This week we catch up with one of our favorite friends Tina DeGraff Martinez from the Salt Gypsy. We talk about job changes, big life pivots, getting back in to running, and body inclusivity.
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This is Joy & Claire Episode 125: Catching Up with Friends: New Jobs and New Beginnings!
Episode Date: May 5, 2022
Transcription Completed: June 18, 2022
Audio Length: 55:28 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire. I just want you guys to know because I want to be able to sing this song, that I just got a [singing] coffee delivery.
Joy: It’s morning time. It’s a Sunday morning. So Claire and I have a pretty busy month of May coming up. Every time I say “month of May,” I want to sing the Arcade Fire’s song, but I won’t.
Claire: No, you want to say, “It’s gonna be May.”
Joy: That too. We’re going to save that, but we have a pretty busy month of May coming up for a lot of things going on. We are pre-recording a few episodes with our friends. The reason being, we have really cool friends. But also, Claire and I check in a lot, but if we were to record multiple episodes of just us two in a row, we get a little like, okay what the heck do we talk about? So weekly is a good cadence for us. So let’s bring in some friends and catch up with some of our friends.
Claire: Our lives are not big enough.
Joy: They’re not as glamorous. We are not the Kardashians. I wish so bad I was.
Claire: Can the Kardashians support that much content? That’s why there is like nine of them.
Joy: That’s very true. Watch out Keeping up with the K’s. We’re coming for you.
Claire: We’re “koming” for you with a “k.” Alright.
Joy: But we’re catching up with some friends this month. This week on the show, we have our friend Tina who has been on the show. And Tina, I remember, I think our last episode with you was right when the pandemic hit. We had a little coming together with some friends and listeners because we were all feeling really isolated, so we were like, let’s record. I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I remember we talked about you getting Covid. Because you were one of the first people we knew that got Covid.
Tina: Yep. Patient zero.
Joy: And we were all like, “What was it like?” It was so new to us. That’s how new it was in the pandemic. Anyway, welcome back. Thank you for hanging out with us this week. I am so excited that I wore my Tye by Tina shirt. You wore a Tye by Tina shirt, and Claire didn’t get the memo.
Claire: And I feel really left out. We’re on a group text. You couldn’t be like…
Joy: I know. I actually didn’t plan it. I just woke up, and I just intuitively knew that I should wear a Tye by Tina shirt. Are you still Instagram @tyebytina?
Tina: Yes. I still do it. I have six sweatshirts sitting here that I’m about to send out to people. Do you guys know who Sunny Anderson is?
Tina: She’s on the Food Network, and I do a lot of food styling for the kitchen, which is the show on there. I gave her one of my sweatshirts once. She wore it on the show. It blew up. And because of that, I got a million – not a million, but you know what I mean. Like fifty sweatshirts that I had to make. It’s been a lot of fun. And every now and again, randomly someone will send me a message and be like, “Hey. Can I have this or this?” I do it. I don’t have a stock. This isn’t my job. I just order a sweatshirt, ask what colors they want, and I make it and send it. It’s fun.
Joy: Oh, that’s so cool. I remember, you started that when the pandemic hit too, right?
Tina: Yeah. I needed things to do.
Joy: Yeah, you were on a hiatus. Your job had kind of shut down, so you were waiting. Let’s catch up since that episode. Tell our listeners – just give a recap of where you live, what you do.
Tina: I am a food stylist by trade. I live in Brooklyn. Before where I am currently, I was at the Today Show for seven years. I was doing television food styling. Prior to that, I was doing editorial food styling, which is pretty different actually. Then the pandemic hit. They kept us on the payroll for a while on the Today Show. God bless them for that. But eventually, we weren’t doing anything, so they let the whole team go. The whole team being four of us. They were really scared, so no one came back for a while. So I just started freelancing basically. I had been out of the freelance world for seven years. Unfortunately I didn’t keep the best connections. I still talk to some people. But at the end of the day, I have to find work, so I have to email people that I know. I know a lot of people. Started making the phone calls. Started sending the emails. Sending the DMs. Some people were really amazing. Sunny Anderson being one of them. Got me a bunch of jobs with the Food Network. That was really helpful. Because you just make a lot of connections. In the food styling world, it’s a lot of word of mouth.
Joy: I was going to say, I remember you saying that. It’s not a job that you’re just going to hop on LinkedIn and be like, stylists unite.
Tina: It’s pretty rare, yeah. So if you meet someone and you really like them, you’re like, wow, she’s a really good food stylist. When I’m not available, I’m going to pay it forward and I’m going to tell them to contact this person. So it’s a lot of that. That’s what’s been happening. But it’s hard. Sometimes you don’t have the opportunities, so you can’t showcase how good you are or how long you’ve been doing this or how much experience you have. In the food styling world – I may have mentioned this last time – it’s really cliquey. So if you look at The New York Times, they’re constantly having the same photographer, the same food stylists over and over and over again, and there’s not that much diversity. Don’t get me wrong, those people are talented, extremely talented. But there’s not a lot of opportunity because they keep hiring the same peoples. You see a lot of that if you are looking and paying attention to that like I am. I’m constantly seeing the same names. It’s just difficult. It’s hard. But I made some great connections. Now I have a part-time food stylist job. I’m at a company called Marley Spoon. It’s quite lovely. I work with really talented people.
Claire: And that’s a meal kit company, right?
Tina: Yes, it’s a meal kit. Exactly. It’s like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. We do all of the digital food styling. So anything that you see on the recipe cards, on the website, on Instagram. We do social. We do marketing things. It’s way less stressful than television. I’m still doing Tamron Hall. I do Good Morning America. I’ve done The View. So I’m still doing TV because people know me in the TV world. But it’s just so much more stressful. It’s funny. One of my friends I used to work with on the Today Show, he saw me recently. We worked together and he was like, “You’re so much happier.” I’m like, okay, I’ll take that. I’m not sure what to take that as. But it’s true. I do feel way less stress. I really enjoy the people that I’m working with because everyone is just so nice.
Joy: Yeah. Well I think it’s worth – we were going to talk about this if it came up. But I do want to just bring it up. You had a change. Everyone from the Today Show was laid off, but they hired some people back. There was some tumultuous situations that happened there. I think the purpose of that is you and I had some parallel experiences of going through some really tough heartbreak with jobs last year. Can you gloss over or go into as much as you want as far as what you did to get through that? Because it was really painful.
Tina: I would say it was. It was actually pretty hurtful, and I questioned my self-worth, how good I was at my job, my confidence. A lot of things happened when they hired other food stylists that I had worked with there, but. I was not hired back. For whatever reason. I like to say I’m tough but fair as an employee, as a manager, as someone who is a worker. I’m tough because I’m good at what I do and I demand a lot. If you’re going to work with me, I’m going to demand a lot from you. I think that I was always the bad cop. They’re wanting you to do so much on television, constantly throwing things at you. And if you don’t push back a little bit, you’re going to get walked all over. You just have to be like, listen, we can’t do this. There has to be push back. And I was always the bad cop. I know I was unliked by some people.
Joy: But wait a minute, is it just because you pushed back a little bit?
Tina: No, I think it’s just because I’m a tough person. You know what I mean? I want to get the job done. I want to get it done well. And I’m not always there to be sunshine and rainbows.
Claire: You’re not there to make friends.
Tina: Yes, but no.
Claire: I’m just kidding.
Tina: Do you know what I mean?
Claire: Totally. I mean, when we had you on two years ago –
Tina: Yeah, two years ago.
Claire: I don’t want to refer too much to that episode in case people haven’t heard it. But I remember you talking about how you really have to bring yourself up by your bootstraps in this field. And kind of what you were referring to earlier, it’s not like you can go on Indeed and search food stylist jobs. It is a little bit… not necessary “cutthroat” might be a little bit of an aggressive word.
Joy: Her face is saying, “confirmed.”
Claire: You’ve got to throw some elbows it sounds like to get where you want to be in that field. You can’t do that and have everyone you’ve ever worked with think that you’re this fluffy, soft person.
Tina: Absolutely. It’s funny because the people that they did hire back, they’re tough as well. But there were some things said – I won’t get into that. But there were some things said about me, and I did say some things about my experience there and about how I maybe didn’t want to go back. Maybe it was taken out of context, whatever. But I felt a little betrayed.
Joy: Because you were saying things in confidence, and it might have been held against you type of thing?
Tina: Exactly. So I think that in order to move on for myself, honestly, I unfollowed the Today Show. I unfollowed the Today Food. I unfollowed it all because it was triggering to me. It still is at times, but I’ve started to move past it. I think I’m so much better for it. Listen, I never want to take my experience away. It was phenomenal. I learned so much, and I worked with amazing, talented people every day. But at the same time, I wanted to move on for a while. Maybe that was the kick in the butt I needed to then move on. I am happy now. I am happy moving forward. Who knows? How they always say, maybe it was meant to be. I don’t know, but I’m definitely better now than I was there. I just didn’t see it. But again, a friend and I had a conversation, and I was just like, “Better you than me.” Because honestly, everyone is still complaining. Everyone is saying the same things still. So that’s not going to change, and I don’t want to be in that environment anymore.
Joy: That’s the exact same situation. You and I both talked about that over the year of how hard it was to feel like you were burned and unappreciated. All the things you sort of feel like, “Oh guys, I thought I was doing a good job.” All of those feelings come up where I had to take a look and go, wait, I thought I was doing a great job. And you know what? I was doing a great job. But the environment wasn’t in alignment with my values, and I think there was just some backwards way that kicked me out of the orbit of that in the same way that you were. It wasn’t until I was out of there where I realized how much happier I was. But how it happened was you felt burned you felt betrayed, you felt like you confided in people, people were going behind your back. All this weird high school stuff. And then you realize, oh yeah, I’m not meant to be in those situations. That’s why I’m not there is I’m not a high school girl who likes to participate in that drama. So yeah, you and I had a lot of similarities in that aspect. Do you honestly, a year later, look back and think, now I’m a little bit more healed?
Tina: Way. Big time. I’m able to accept what happened, not really blame anyone anymore because they have their reasons, whatever they are. I don’t need to hear them either. No one is really going to tell me the truth anyway probably. So I’m just better letting it go and moving on. Because holding onto it makes it so much worse. You’re going to constantly question if you’re good at your job. Then once your confidence is gone, that’s my job. My job is built on the confidence that I can do it well, like any job. Once you lose that confidence, you’re not going to be good at anything, so I just have to believe in myself.
Joy: You have to take your talents elsewhere, quoting LeBron.
Tina: Because I know I’m talented.
Joy: Truly because this is something I had to tell myself. It may sound silly. But I was doing a great job. I think there was some level of them being threatened by that because I was doing a great job. That is where I was like, I don’t care if it’s false and I sound like an egotistical maniac because I have to tell myself this to work through it.
Claire: I feel like we can parlay that into so many things. We follow you on Instagram. It’s been so interesting to see your evolution over the last two years. I don’t know if you realize how obvious it’s been on social media, or maybe we are just creepy weirdos who really notice.
Joy: Who follow you all the time.
Claire: Who follow you and are like, I really want to make pitas. I will say, as an aside, you have inspired me to make homemade Mediterranean food, which I never ever used to do. Because red onions used to really scare me. They’re so spicy. Anyway. It’s been so interesting to see the way that you’ve approached things. From the outside at least, it seems like it’s really changed. It seems like you’re a lot more open to just trying something and seeing how it goes. I also am really interested to hear you say that you feel so much more relaxed now that you’re freelance but also part time somewhere else. To me, that job structure sounds like a nightmare because I just want to show up and do one job. The piecing of things together I think is a unique set up that not a lot of people would thrive in because there is a lot to juggle. But then I also think from a personal standpoint, your conversation about yourself has really seemed to evolve in the last couple years. You’ve talked a lot about embracing things about yourself and about your body that you previously really tried to hide. Or if not hide, just sort of gloss over. From a professional and a food standpoint, the other thing I think is so interesting about your job is that cooking is something that we all have to do all day every day, no matter who we are.
Tina: You have to feed yourself.
Claire: It’s never ending really.
Tina: It’s true.
Claire: It’s interesting too. You do these Instagram reels and lives where you make stuff at home. I’m curious. You talk about that confidence and how making sure you don’t lose your confidence in that and having to really fight for that. How have you seen that show up in other places in your life throughout this process?
Tina: That’s so interesting. It’s so true, talking about the whole body acceptance and the food thing and my self-confidence. I have definitely evolved in the last two years, or because of the pandemic. I think that I put a lot of pressure on myself body-wise, maybe even three years ago. Pre-pandemic, I would constantly almost make Marcos separate meals from then what I would eat.
Claire: And that’s your husband.
Tina: Yeah. Because God forbid I ate what he was eating. And then I think during the pandemic, everything happened and we were just stuck inside together. Well hello, I am not going to start making three different meals for him and I. So I started cooking for us. We started eating together more, engaging in that aspect together. And as a result of all that and as I get older, I’m just like, why am I putting so much pressure on myself to look a certain way? I have some friends that are still stuck in that body stuff sometimes. I have this one girlfriend who her and I really confide in each other and talk about it all. Just how you have good days and bad days. At the end of the day, I just started to accept myself more and be really happy with myself. I think honestly the pandemic really helped with that. Even something as simple as making a meal with my husband and I, it turned into something totally different, I think. I think that evolved into the Instagram thing where I started cooking for people and wanting to show people what I was making. I think in a world where all of us are involved in fitness, and there is so much diet culture and so much restriction and all of that, I think I was like, I’m just going to show people that I actually do eat. This is what I’m actually eating. I’m not here to tell you can or cannot eat something. You’re not going to ever find any kind of nutrition information on my recipes because I just don’t know. At the end of the day, I just want to make delicious food. I’m not going to make it super heavy and all that stuff. It’s still going to be nutritious and all that stuff. But I just want to show people that you can eat well and still feel good.
Claire: And for people who don’t follow Tina or aren’t familiar, something that we talk about a lot and that I think is more prevalent of a conversation on social media and when we talk about diet culture and when we talk about body type biases is around normalizing bigger bodies. That’s fantastic and really needed. I think that is where 99% of the work needs to be done from a societal level. But for you, it’s been more about being a very muscular body type. We talk about this with Joy as well. I always remember this post that you made about how you used to ask your husband to cover your shoulder with his hand when you guys took pictures together because you were so self-conscious about how muscular your shoulders were. This is really naturally your body type. I think it’s an interesting perspective as well and one that I think a lot of people who listen to this podcast can relate to of having that muscular body type, of looking a certain way that is not traditionally classically feminine. You’re never going to have that lithe –
Tina: Lilth. Whatever that word is.
Claire: Right, exactly. And learning to embrace that too and not shy away from certain activities or certain types of clothes. You know what, it all falls under that same conversation of no matter how you differ from that ideal, it’s still harmful. Whether you fall more or less into that normative body type, it’s just so… I don’t know. I think it’s been interesting too, as you’ve evolved that conversation to, I’m just going to show what I eat. I’m not going to be sitting here eating super heavy because that’s not how I eat, but I’m also not going to sit here and pretend like all I do is drink green juice all day or eat protein crackers like every single thing has extra protein in it. But also, you’re not going to shy away from weight training anymore, and you’re going to be showcasing that side of you as well.
Tina: I think it’s funny because what people don’t know – or maybe people do know – I’m very much food, fitness. Those are two things that I absolutely love. I think sometimes when people follow me, they think that I’m just here for the food. And then sometimes people are like, oh, she’s just here for the fitness. There was this fine line where I didn’t want to show fitness because I didn’t want people to be almost scared, I guess, of me. But then some people that wanted to see fitness didn’t want to see the food. So it’s evolved. Another one of my friends who teaches people how to use Instagram, she basically was like, you need to do what makes you happy. You need to show what you want to show. And if someone doesn’t want to watch it, then they just don’t watch it. I think going back to the body acceptance. I think it’s great that they are being more size-inclusive on websites like Lululemon and Athleta and all that stuff. But I’m still only seeing maybe one person that looks like me. And it’s very, very rare that I’m going to see a woman with a muscular body on Gap.com or another website, whatever it is. So when I’m looking for clothes, it’s so hard because that person doesn’t look like me.
Joy: That’s so true. Oh my God, yes, half the time I still have to be like, but is it going to fit my shoulders?
Tina: Yeah. When you were referring to that post I made about Marcos covering up my shoulders, it’s true. Because I’ll get the stares that are like “that’s disgusting.” Or I’ll get the stares that are like, “Oh my God, I want to look like you.” It’s so one way or the other way.
Joy: Polarized. Yeah, it’s very polarized.
Tina: And it’s kind of like, I don’t want to get the looks like “Oh my God, that’s disgusting.” That feels terrible.
Claire: Who wants that?
Claire: Nobody is like, “I want people to look at me and be like, ‘Nasty.’”
Tina: Listen, I can tell. Even Marcos says it. Marcos says there has been a couple times where he has almost been like, “You need to put your eyes back in your head because I’m going to come over there in a second.”
Joy: He’s so great. By the way, if you don’t follow Tina, you should. Because every once in a while, he makes an appearance and it’s the best.
Tina: It’s definitely been hard. Let me tell you, there’s been times where I didn’t want to wear a tank top because I didn’t want a comment. I still do feel that way sometimes. I’m not even that muscular compared to other people that are muscular. But it’s just enough to be not normal.
Claire: Whatever the heck normal is.
Joy: Whatever the heck normal is. Right, it’s just that body judgement period is ridiculous.
Tina: Yes. It’s true. You don’t see muscular women every day. It’s definitely different. But at the same time, it’s doesn’t mean you need to be staring.
Joy: Right. I think everyone can probably relate to this and feels this in some way, shape, or form. Whether it be muscular or whatever size your body is that doesn’t fit this “norm.” It’s very, very bizarre.
Claire: And isn’t it interesting the things that people think are okay to comment on.
Claire: Honestly. Every time I think we as a society are finally starting to move passed this, you hear about someone getting a comment or you get a comment or whatever the case may be and you’re like, really? There’s people out there who think they can just come up to me and say… I don’t say this in a self-deprecating way at all. I don’t get muscular comments, of course. I just don’t have a muscular body type. This is not a hurdle that I encounter. It is interesting. I feel like everyone out there, no matter how “typical” your body type is, you do get those comments. And then it just makes me consider how many comments, how many stares, how many whispers under your breath people who have even less normalized body types are getting, and it just makes me furious. I just think that we overlook the conversation around the more muscular, the comments that you get or the considerations that you make.
Joy: It is very much wrapped up in whatever this feminine-masculine thing is, and that’s really confusing too.
Joy: But that’s a whole other conversation for another day.
Tina: Yes, yes.
Joy: It is very interesting. So what is feminine? What is masculine? What does that even mean? Okay, so here is a quick example and then we’re going to have to take an ad break. I want to give you an example of how powerful media can be in our psyche. I’m 44. I feel pretty good at this point in my body. It’s kind of freeing in a way. Maybe when you’re younger, you feel like you have to show more skin? I don’t know. Maybe that’s not a thing. I just feel like when you’re younger, you feel like you have to wear more attractive…
Tina: Crop tops or something?
Joy: I don’t know. I think people get what I’m trying to say. Because then it goes into, do we have to attract a mate? I don’t know. Whatever. “F” all of this. “F” all of this.
Claire: We’re just out here doing mating dances.
Joy: Yeah, we’re mating, all of us. I’ll look at clothes now and I’ll be like, oh my gosh, that’s so cute, but I could never wear that. Okay, train of thought. that’s so cute. I wonder if I could “fit” into that and “look good” wearing that? And then I go, but I actually don’t care. Because I’m 44, and I don’t want to wear that anymore. Of course every once in a while, I’m going to throw on a great, fabulous faux fur coat. But you know what I’m saying? There is a pressure that is released of I don’t have to show all that stuff anymore. I’m sure you could. No shade to people who are older and want to show that skin. It just doesn’t feel comfortable to me. And then… okay, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this. But let’s just say it all. I was watching the entire season five of Selling Sunset this weekend. They’re all in their 30’s and early 40’s. They all have the most fabulous outfits, and they are all in very, very small bodies. It really gets into my psyche. I can see how people really fall for this. They all had plastic surgery.
Tina: So much.
Joy: No shade for plastic surgery. But it gets into your psyche. And this is where my brain goes, guys. I had to go on the internet and look up before and after pictures of the cast because I want to tell myself, “This isn’t real, Joy.” This isn’t real. They have so much work done. And in order to get myself back into a healthy mind space, I had to go back and Google before and after. Like, I got to get this out of my head. Otherwise I’m going to go down the trail of, this is the ideal, everyone needs Botox. What would I look like with a nose job? You know, It’s crazy making. It’s crazy making.
Claire: This actually reminds me of a conversation we had a couple weeks ago, months ago about how I had this realization about skiing. I don’t have to want to try hard. It’s kind of the same thing where you reach this point of, I don’t have to want to try that hard. I can just wear a greasy pony – I mean, not a greasy pony tail every day. But maybe. Maybe.
Claire: I don’t have to want to look like that. I think that has been a huge breakthrough for a lot of people where you have this lightbulb moment where you’re like, not only do I not have the time or resources or stylists available to me to ever look like that even if I wanted to. I don’t have to want to look like that anymore. I can let that go. And it doesn’t mean that I’m being lazy. It doesn’t mean I’m letting myself go. It just means I’m letting that go, and I can just live my life now.
Tina: I’m happy that I’m older. Because I think if I was younger, I would have a lot more pressure. I look at my cousins who are younger than me, and I’m like, wow. As a 25-year-old, I feel for you. That’s hard. One of them was talking about how their 25-year-old friend was already getting Botox. Maybe it was 22. I was like, 22? You don’t even have a wrinkle.
Claire: Preventative Botox.
Joy: I guess it’s a thing.
Tina: Oh, it’s definitely a thing. But that’s a lot of pressure. And also, how are the 22-year-olds affording Botox?
Claire: That’s another great question. I know someone who has so much lip filler. I’m like, I know how much you make. That’s a whole paycheck.
Tina: It’s also living beyond your means.
Tina: Which Joy and I talk about this. We are both the most frugal people ever.
Joy: So frugal. I’ll never forget when you and I went on a Camelback hike, and you’re like, “You know how cheap I am.” I love that about you so much.
Tina: Marcos always says, “I never have to worry about you spending money because you’re so frugal.”
Joy: It’s so true. I’m the same way. It’s how I was raised. It’s how you were raised. It’s how you were raised.
Claire: I need to learn from you guys because I am not frugal enough.
Joy: It’s being raised by Diane Zara [UNSURE 00:29:54.11] who would take a stack of coupons to the grocery store. Because that’s what we had to do. Anyway, so much to say. Let’s take a quick break because we’ve got to do an ad break and then we will continue this wonderful conversation.
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Joy: Where do we go from here? What were we talking about even? So much body talk. I do have a thing that I go back and forth with. Everyone needs to do what makes them feel good. But there’s times where I’m looking at people of living beyond your means and spending all this money on making yourself look good. The person that I look up to in terms of aging gracefully is – has Jane Fonda had a ton of work done? Because I feel like she looks great.
Tina: She’s like 80-something. She’s definitely had a lot of work done.
Joy: Maybe a face lift?
Claire: Like a tasteful amount of work?
Joy: Yeah, a tasteful amount of work. Like, you look at Madonna, and you’re like, oh wow. You don’t even look…
Tina: That’s deep end.
Joy: If I had the money and the means – if I had money to spend, sure, I’d probably get a face lift. I don’t know. I really don’t know.
Claire: I mean, talking about living beyond your means. Madonna can do whatever she wants. I think the thing is looking at celebrities and thinking that says something about what I should do with myself.
Joy: Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Because they are setting the standard because they show up in media. We see it. We think we have to look like that.
Claire: Because who is to say what’s the line between a tasteful amount of work and too much work?
Tina: J Lo.
Claire: Well J Lo’s genetics are just…
Tina: Whatever her doctor is doing for her, they are doing just the right amount.
Joy: Just the right amount.
Tina: Just the right amount.
Claire: I agree. But I don’t want to be the person that’s like, “This is the right look.”
Joy: That’s true.
Claire: Because that’s another standard, right?
Joy: It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Claire: It’s all about who gets to make the call that that’s the right look. I do think that there is a lot to be said for not normalizing that within just your daily life. It’s one thing to look at celebrities and realize this is the celebrity world and this is not the real world. Versus going to work and seeing someone whose lips are like, how do you even close your mouth? Or you see the people who you are like, I know how much you make. I know you can’t afford that car. Or whatever the case may be. I think it’s just the tale as old as time of keeping up with the Jones/Kardashians. To have that comparison –
Tina: They are completely different people now, though.
Claire: Oh, a thousand percent.
Tina: I stopped following them a while ago. But Khloe might as well be… she is literally not the same person.
Joy: A robot.
Tina: She has gotten so much work done. You’ve gone from this to this. I see pictures, and I’m like, damn. You look good, but –
Claire: This is not your face.
Joy: It’s hard. Because when you’re born a certain way and you get so much work done to fit into some type of… most people can’t do it.
Tina: All people.
Joy: It’s all people. And I think what it does for me personally is it confuses me. I’m kind of like, wow, they’re so pretty. How did they get that? And then you go, oh, well they weren’t born that way. You kind of have to do these weird mental gymnastics to make yourself feel better. At least, that’s what I have to do.
Joy: Because I will go to a place of, “oh my gosh.” I compare myself and then I feel like a troll. It’s just a very weird time because we are in a time where there are so many things you can do to your body and face. We’re watching this every day. And then all of the sudden Kylie Jenner is a completely different person from when she was a kid, a teenager. And then all of the sudden she looks like Kim Kardashian. This is all very, very weird. Oh, and she’s a billionaire.
Claire: Right, there is also that. They’re all billionaires. There’s a conversation that we’ve had on and off for years about seeing people normalize not getting work done. Seeing people who have gray hair and who have stretch marks and who have saggy skin and who have thin lips. When you see them and they’re out there – and I think about the women in my life who exude the most confidence, who I look up to, they are the women who show up at a coffee shop with not a lick of makeup on with stringy gray hair pulled back into a braid. Who are just too busy doing cool stuff with their life to worry about how they look. I’m sure those people are not as immune to the demands of society as I want to believe that they are. But I think about these 65-year-old women who are out there crushing on their skis. Or these women who are out there working with their hands, and they are awesome makers and artisans. Whatever the case may be. Those are the people who when I’m in their presence, I’m like, damn, this person has it figured out. Not the people who when I’m around them, I’m like, well you look beautiful.
Joy: That’s so true.
Claire: The other thing that being around those women does is it feels like it gives me permission to not care about that in that moment. Where if I’m sitting there across from somebody who I really admire or look up to or think is doing something badass and they have a super hairy upper lip, whatever the case may be, they don’t give a shit about that. This is not something that should register on the scale. Whatever. Enter thing that you’re insecure about here. And they’re just not even making a big deal about it. It’s like, yeah, my upper lip grows hair. So what?
Joy: And I’m not going to wax it.
Claire: That hurts. Or for me, I have a lot of – around having loose skin after being pregnant and not facing the reality that even though I’m in my early 30’s, I’m never going to have tight skin on most of my body ever again. And so what? Being around people who normalize that. And I don’t even want to say “embrace” it because that feels like too active of a word. But just don’t even worry about it.
Joy: Not even worry about it.
Tina: Not on their register.
Claire: It doesn’t register, exactly.
Joy: Yeah, and as you’re talking about this, I’m like, so why am I not focusing on those cool women?
Claire: Because there aren’t multi-season reality shows about them.
Joy: Exactly. I do love a reality show. You guys know I love pop culture. But as you’re talking about this, I’m like, yeah, I wonder if Oprah, Michelle Obama, Kamala Karris, all these amazing women, are they getting Botox every day? Maybe. But it’s just one of those things, why aren’t we putting our focus on the amazing women that are doing amazing things. Versus how we look. And I think both things can exist, but the beauty standard is so strong. That’s why I think it gets to me the way that it does.
Claire: And I think the other thing too about the women I have in my mind is they’re not celebrities. They’re just –
Tina: Normal people.
Claire: The person at the farmer’s market selling eggs or the librarian at your local library who have this passion but never would want that recognition or would care enough to seek it out.
Tina: They’re probably not on social media.
Claire: Probably not even on social media, so you can’t even curate your feed to throw them in there. So maybe we should just all get off social media.
Tina: I think that’s the thing.
Joy: I think that’s the solution.
Tina: I was telling Joy. I just started talking to a therapist. It’s very brand new for me. We were talking about social media and the pressures of social media. You guys have been doing all the reels lately. Sometimes you just don’t want to show up. You just don’t want to show up. You really don’t have the mental capacity to post another video, to put forth the effort. You’re like, why am I doing this? Questioning all of that.
Joy: Do you go through that? Because I go through that a lot.
Joy: There will be days where I’m like, oh God…
Claire: I’m going through that right now. I woke up this morning and I was like, gosh, we haven’t posted a reel in two days. What the hell am I going to make a reel about today?
Joy: But I get in a weird headspace of, what does it all mean? I go existential and weird. I’m tired, ugh, who cares? Why am I doing this?
Tina: Why am I doing this, yeah. It’s a lot. and maybe people realize it. Maybe people don’t. But it’s a lot of effort to come up with a recipe, film the recipe, edit the recipe, then create the video, put the thing on there, and maybe ten people and my mom will comment.
Tina: My mom always comments. Speaking of, she is calling me right now.
Claire: Hi, mom.
Tina: So what my therapist and I were talking about is how – and you know this Joy – that it is an actual diagnosis now, being addicted to social media. These kids are putting so much pressure on themselves, and their mental health is going to garbage because they are using social media as a validation tool. I don’t need that to validate myself. That’s hard. That’s tough.
Joy: It’s one of those things that I wonder if I really went off social media for a month to see how I felt. I’ve had a couple friends do that, and they’re like, “It’s so great.” There is a piece of me that really does enjoy looking at things. But what I’ve been trying to do is cut back if I find myself mindlessly scrolling or feeling bad, I immediately stop and exit the app. Or I love the thing that you can put a limit on how much you use a certain app. I have it for Instagram because that’s the one that usually takes most of my time. It will interrupt you. It will give you a little pop up on the iPhone.
Claire: I have that. It’s like, “Is it time to log off?” I’m like, good to know.
Joy: But the nice thing for me is I’ve noticed only on days when I’m creating a reel that I’m spending a lot of time where I’m trying to create the reel will I get that pop up. Most days it doesn’t. I’m like, good, I’m not spending a lot of time on there. But anyway, it’s the world we live in. It’s the stuff we have to face. It’s the conflicts that we’re having to deal with and how we spend our time.
Tina: You can also be thankful that your job isn’t being a social media influencer. We all have jobs. It’s something we use for fun, something we have extra, something we enjoy doing. And if we do get burnt out, we can just step away from it because it’s not paying my bills.
Joy: That’s true. That’s very true.
Tina: We all have day jobs, which is great.
Joy: That’s very true. Well let’s finish up this conversation with running. You and I were talking about this offline before we started to hit record. I just went on a run this morning because I have a 10-miler coming up, and I went running with our friend Kelly Lutz who we had on the podcast a few weeks ago. She is a running coach, so she and I have been like, “Yeah, let’s go on a run.” You’ve been running more, Tina.
Joy: What was the decision around that, and how are you feeling?
Tina: I made the decision to stop doing CrossFit full time because as I am getting older – again, when we talk about the comparison track. Comparing myself to older females in the CrossFit space. I’m just not PR’ing anymore. I’m tired. I just didn’t feel like I could keep doing those workouts and doing them at the capacity that I should be doing them at. I didn’t want to be on the floor anymore gasping for breath. So I joined another program. It’s more like body building, which I thought was really strange, but I’m actually really enjoying it now. So I joined that program probably back in January. They are an online space. Two days a week, you do whatever cardio you want on this program.
Claire: Which program are you doing? I know people are going to ask.
Tina: Paragon Training. A few friends have done it, and I’ve been following one of the founders for a really long time and was like, you know what, I’m just going to try it. I need something different. So two days a week, they allow you to do whatever cardio you want. One day, you could do a longer run, and one day you could do an interval run. Before I started doing the Paragon Training, I was starting to run on my own again. I would go to the park and try to run. I was like, oh my God, this is horrible. I would get two miles in and be like, I need to stop. I just did two miles. I’m good. I was telling Joy that I used to run pre-CrossFit. And anyone that CrossFits, after they join CrossFit, they are like, “I hate running.”
Joy: Yeah, screw running. Because it’s like, “There’s a better way,” which we all used to say that too.
Claire: I still feel that way.
Tina: But you know, doing running in the middle of a metcon is brutal. It’s horrible. It’s always gasping for air.
Claire: I will never forget looking at my coach in disbelief the first time someone was like, “And the rest is going to be the run.” I don’t understand. What?
Joy: For any moment, I hated when they were like, “So the double unders are going to be the rest on this workout.” I’d be like, I’m going to shove this jump rope –
Claire: I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m going to die. By rest, do you mean eternal rest.
Tina: When Marcos and I went to Colorado two years ago and we had to run, he was like, “I think I am going to die.” We got to Winter Park. We tried to workout.
Claire: No. You were at like 9,000 feet. There’s no oxygen. I go to sea level and I’m like, “Ohhh.” Conversational pace.
Tina: Running in New York. You can run in New York. I can’t run in Colorado.
Claire: I try to remind myself of that. Even though I in theory should be adapted because I literally lived here my entire life, that’s the thing I tell myself. But if I go to sea level, I could go for a run. But in Colorado, to get to a conversational pace. I get out of breath walking fast. So no, I don’t talk.
Tina: Joy and I were just talking about how you put this pressure on yourself. Because I did ten years ago is what I can’t do now. So now that I’m starting to run again after not running for ten years, longer distances. Lately everyone is talking about running slow. I’m like, is this a thing? What? This conversational pace? So I really started to back off the treadmill. I usually run on a treadmill. Personally, I don’t mind running on a treadmill because I get to see what my pace is, I get to see how fast I’m running.
Joy: A lot of data.
Tina: Yeah, I get the data. So once I get the data, maybe then I’ll start running outside. New York isn’t the best weather anyway. So I don’t mind it. But it’s just been really interesting to learn something new again and learning to put less pressure on myself to get the numbers that I got ten years ago. That’s been a struggle. I’ve been following Peloton a lot. These instructors are like, if you start slow, you’re going to finish strong, which is another thing that I’m doing. Yeah, it’s just been really great. I love it. I’m enjoying waking up and being like, I get to go on a run today. I remember those feelings. I remember being excited to go for a run. I’m there now. It’s such a good feeling to feel that way, to be excited about something.
Claire: I have talked about this on the podcast before. It’s not that big of a secret. My secret ambition –
Tina: Trail running.
Claire: Yes, see. So as part of my secret ambition to be a trail runner, I read the book The Uphill Athlete. I actually listened to it. If you guys are not familiar, it’s written by these mountaineers. Who are men, okay. Maybe let’s just talk a little bit about training adaptations, which they literally don’t even talk about one time. But it’s by these endurance mountain athletes who they are professional mountain racers. Which is this tiny little community of people. But it’s so interesting because it’s really all about building up this huge endurance capacity that has to also be balanced with a strength component because you’re going uphill. So it’s all about ski mountaineering, trail running, and these huge mountain traverses. Something they come back to time and time again is the only actual way to improve your aerobic threshold is to work out below your aerobic threshold. That is the only way that you are going to increase it. We have thought for years and years and years that you need to work out right at your aerobic threshold or just passed it and that’s how you’re going to push it, and it’s actually not true. You need to work out below your aerobic threshold the majority of your training. I want to say they say is 70-80% needs to be below your aerobic threshold in order to increase your aerobic capacity.
Tina: That’s so interesting.
Claire: That way, your body can actually build. We understand that from a strength perspective. You wouldn’t expect to ever get stronger by doing nothing but working out right at your one-rep max all the time.
Tina: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Claire: You would understand that your body can’t support that. It’s a very similar concept with your lactic threshold and your aerobic threshold. Which they also go into the difference between lactic threshold and aerobic threshold. But it really does support that. Just go out, and if you’re running a 20-minute mile – “running” might be a strong word to use.
Joy: A shuffle.
Claire: Hey guys, I love a shuffle. This is why I fall every time. People always laugh at me for tripping on my runs. It’s because I’m shuffling. I trip over everything. I fall all the time. When I heard that, it did have this lightbulb moment. I wouldn’t expect to be getting stronger by constantly working out at my one-rep max, but that’s how we have been treating aerobic training. It’s a really interesting book. You can listen to it also. If you buy it, it has all these side bar charts. So I would recommend doing both maybe. They do a good job with the audio book. It’s like a coffee table book at Patagonia. You get it and it’s so thick. It’s been very, very interesting. I think it’s also really changed the way that I have been thinking about long-term fitness. With being in CrossFit for 10+ years, you do have this vision of fitness meaning – even though the definition of CrossFit is supposed to be across broad time and modal domains. Failing my Level 1.
Tina: That was so long ago.
Claire: It was so long ago. Even though that’s what they say, the reality of working out in most neighborhood CrossFit gyms are 3-minute to 20-minute-long high intensity workouts. And that’s fine because that’s what can fit into an hour-long class. But that is a very specific type of stimulus. And to your point, Tina, how many of us want to spend the rest of our lives in a pool of sweat every day laying on the floor gasping for air? That’s fun every once in a while, but it’s really hard to turn that into a sustainable training method if you’re trying to do it 3-4 days a week.
Tina: I also don’t know if I could do that at 60 years old. I really don’t. I see these women that can do it. But I think again, it’s that 1%. We’re seeing the 1% that are doing CrossFit at a high level. There’s master’s athletes. And again, I was very competitive as a master’s athlete when I first became a master’s and had aspirations. And then the steady decline happened. I’m like, oh, I used to be this good. I’m just sick and tired of saying, I used to, I used to. And was like, I just need to move on. I still love CrossFit. I just can’t do it as well as I used to.
Joy: I was talking to Kelly this morning on our run. I was like, I’m thinking about starting CrossFit again. I’m not sure when that would be. Maybe when Joe is a little older, just because we have to be around a lot for him as a puppy. But I’m like, I don’t miss something always hurting when I did CrossFit. And I know you have control over how hurt you go. But when you’re competitive, there’s no second gear. I only have one gear, and it’s go all out. Something always hurt. I was always at my chiro being like, “My shoulder is killing me.” There was always something that was out of whack. That tells me too, maybe I just need to stick with the workout plan that I’m on right now which is Peloton rides and doing some running and doing some strength training at home. But the other thing around training below your aerobic threshold is Peloton does a lot of rides called “power zone rides.” It’s only six or seven zones, and you figure out your power zone by doing a test ride. A lot of the really elite instructors, the ones who really are technical when they instruct, really only have you riding at a two or three. Which is very easy, something that you could hold for hours.
Tina: That’s what they always say. Something you could do for 90 minutes. I’m like, I’m not running for 90 minutes.
Joy: Yeah. And it feels easy, but that’s a challenge for me to go, I’m going to stay here. I trust his training. That has been a really big game changer. Also taking care of my health. This is me personally speaking for what feels good for me. I know we are not talking as trainers or anything like that. But how it feels to go through theses stages of life of what feels best for your body. So anyway, that’s a good conversation.
Claire: It all just comes back to I don’t have to want to try hard.
Joy: I don’t have to want to try hard.
Claire: Just release that.
Joy: [singing] Release me.
Claire: Alright guys.
Tina: Oh no, it’s that time.
Claire: It’s that time.
Tina: We’ve got to end.
Claire: Thank you so much, Tina, for coming back around. We loved having you.
Joy: Thank you for catching up with us.
Tina: I love being here.
Claire: We will link to all of Tina’s accounts in the show notes. But where can people find you?
Tina: You can find me on Instagram @the_saltgypsy. If you want to contact me, you can contact me through my website, which is tinadegraff.com. And if you want some tie dye, I’m @tyebytina.
Claire: And you can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can go to joyandclaire.com. You can always email us thisisjoyandclaire.com. Don’t forget to check out our favorite sponsor, Ned, helloned.com, discount code JOY. Or helloned.com/JOY. That’s helloned.com. Get your cannabinoids. [singing]
Claire: Sometimes I do this stuff and I’m like, why do people listen to us?
Joy: [laughing] It’s because of that.
Claire: It’s because of my songs. Thank you. We’ll talk to you next week.
Joy: Bye guys.
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