Bad Mood

When my beloved Target closed, I bought a pair of white jeans, size 8.

I figured I’d wear them by the end of summer for my birthday in London with my friends. Instead, I moved to Edmonton on a whim one day because I make amazing life choices. Then I got frustrated with my old gym, and allowed all of the old insecurities to creep back in and I ended up gaining 25lbs back instead of continuing to lose weight. Those white jeans have never been worn. Tonight I was folding my laundry and I saw the white pants. I also noticed a black knit dress I bought to wear to a Holiday Party (which I didn’t end up going to anyway). I saw the black vegan leather shorts I bought to wear as the first pair of shorts I’ve worn since 2002. And the black and white dress I bought one spring at Target because my friend Brie said it looked cute on me (I have now decided that I will wear it to her wedding). I own lots of clothing that just hangs in the closet, never worn, because I’ve put weight back on, or I never go out.

It’s my own damn fault. I spent eight months off & some nights I don’t work out; I eat poutine and watch Total Bellas.

I don’t work out at home on days I can’t get to the gym. I’m letting my self confidence take a hit and all of my adorable clothes sit in the closet and never get to be worn. I spent money on these things. I was so excited to wear them. But now, they’re just put away in the closet, with some sad acceptance that I’ll never wear them.

Until today.

Much like I hide at home because I’m afraid that everyone on Earth subconsciously thinks I’m an idiot, I’m doing myself a disservice by not wearing my cute clothing. By sighing and saying “you’ll never fit into those white jeans, so eat the brownie,” I’m just allowing myself to have low self esteem. My best friend Melissa is kind of feeling the same way that I do. We’ve been planning a ladies only trip to Montreal for spring 2018, so I think it’s time to get us out of that self defeating attitude and start getting into that “we are so very bad ass” attitude instead.

Today is October 1/17. I’ve decided to make it my personal goal to wear all of the things in my closet that I bought as motivation to lose weight/was too self conscious to go anywhere within the next 365 days. It may seem really stupid to an outsider, but to me, it’s a goal to work towards to help me stay focused. I’m an emotional eater, so a stressful day at work will have me reaching for the chips. So, I hung the white jeans beside my bed. Every morning when I wake up, I’ll look at those jeans. That will remind me at the start of the day that binge eating isn’t worth it. I’ll focus on this;

And less on this:

Of course, Melissa isn’t one to be motivated by “reward clothing,” but she is a personal trainer that works for a fashionable clothing company, so she knows what she wants her body to look like so she can wear what she wants. Because our goals are the same, we can help keep each other accountable. I’ll also check with my girl Johanna and her fitness Facebook group to help me feel like I’m holding myself accountable by checking in every day.

I’m always at my best when I’m driven to reach a goal and right now, that goal is to wear those white pants. Maybe it seems stupid to an outsider, but I’m sure you have something, whether it’s a fitness goal, a professional goal, or a personal goal. You have your own white pants and it’s up to you to come up with a plan to achieve that goal. Set a timeline, and then make it happen. My goal is to wear all six items in my closet my October 1/18. But those white pants? They’ll be worn by spring. Every time I think about grabbing a bag of chips, or skipping a workout (if I can’t make it to Crossfit, pull out Stratusphere Sculpt or Stratusphere yoga), I’m going to ask myself if it’s worth not fitting into those pants.

I’ll be adding this to the pile of projects I have on the go (more about those HERE). Maybe I can drive my new car to my new house, wearing my white pants, if I just stay focused and work hard.

…Ready For It?

Welp, another spin around the sun for me, as yesterday I celebrated another birthday!

Still not mature

I celebrated my thirty something-th birthday with the coolest bunch of coworkers ever, cheesecake made by my littles, and this weekend, I’ll be a true Albertan, heading to an Oilers game, and some friends & I will be hosting a girls night get together the next night! Yup, being alive is pretty rad.

However, I’ve been using this time in my life to make some change. My place, which was a great “starter” place here in YEG, isn’t right for my family anymore. With the teen attending school in a different part of the city, we need to look at living closer to her school. So, I put myself on a waiting list to move to a condo closer to her high school. Come spring, we’ll be living in a newer, nicer place. While I’ll miss my lakes for running, I’m sure I can find running in a residential area just as fulfilling (narrator: she will not), but the needs of the family need to come first. I’m also finishing up driver’s education, so come spring, I will be buying my VERY FIRST CAR. That’s right bitches, I will be buying an automobile. I’ve got some great suggestions (thanks to every one on Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat for their vehicle suggestions! The best part of being a slightly well known blogger is the awesome product suggestions from readers). I’ll be test driving all of your suggestions, as well as my first choice, a 2015 Toyota RAV4 (big thanks to my good friend Paul at TD Insurance, for letting me know which cars body shop techs and rental agencies recommend. When it comes time to insure my new baby, I’ll be talking to you for sure!) & should have narrowed it down by spring! This is kind of a big deal. I’ve always been afraid to drive full time and buy a car. But I’m really excited to be a car owner. It’ll make getting to the gym easier, and easier for the girls and I to go places without having to wait for a bus. I don’t plan on wasting gas; I’ll still walk short distances when need be. But it’s another major step for the famjam.

It’s really important to me to continue to check off boxes and grow and evolve. As I continue to be happier in my life, it’s only better for the girls, right? I need to teach them the importance of self growth, self love, never settling, and hard work. So, over the next few months, I’m going to do just that; grow, evolve, love myself a little more every day.

So, thanks everyone for your birthday well wishes. I super appreciate them all. I’m pretty much the luckiest person ever to have so many cool people in my life. This year is going to be even better than last year and I can’t wait to share those experiences with my girls, my crew, and even you, random person taking the time to read my blog.

Tell Me You Love Me

Let me tell you the story of MH’s terrible, no good, very bad day.

It actually started off pretty awesome. I had a good visit with my boss, with lots of great feedback. My most favourite member of the management team was filling in across the hall so I got to have a good catch up with him. I got some interviews ready for my latest YEG Fitness piece. Not a bad day at all.

Then a customer called in to discuss his experience yesterday. During this call, he mentioned that he had spoken to me, but he referred to me as “the pregnant lady.” “She’s very pregnant. Huge. Ready to burst.” As I am the only woman on staff, HE WAS VERY OBVIOUSLY TALKING ABOUT ME.

FIRST OF ALL, LET US GET ONE THING STRAIGHT;

THIS IS WHAT I LOOKED LIKE PREGNANT

THIS IS WHAT I LOOKED LIKE LAST WEEK

After ranting and complaining to my coworkers, I thought about doing what I always do when my ego is bruised: eat. I eat a ton of shitty food. When I first moved out here, and when my last serious relationship ended, the pizza dudes knew me by name. Some people drink; I eat garbage food. I started flipping through Skip the Dishes, trying to decide what fattening foods I should enjoy, when I closed the app and opened Instagram. I decided to post a progress pic, falling into the social media trap that if it’s on IG, it’s real. Maybe if I could convince the outside world that I was proud of my body, that maybe I could convince myself. I got feedback that ranged from hilarious to empowering. My favourite was from my gym, who made me tear up a little.

For once, social media used its powers for good, not evil! But while all of the rad encouragement was happening, I also didn’t order any junk food. Instead, 2/3 of the crew & I watched the Mae Young Classic (& decided that Candice LeRae is cute as a button) & then went for my Friday night run. By the end of the night, I was kind of kicking myself. I mean, don’t I always tell the girls that words only have power if you allow it? Don’t I have a thicker skin? Does it really matter what a customer thinks (of my appearance)? The only person who should care about how I look is me.

I guess even the toughest humans can end up with bruised egos. When you’re putting a lot of work into something, and someone knocks the wind out of your sails, it’s gonna sting. But you’ve got to handle it in a positive and constructive way. Don’t binge eat nachos; find a way to remind yourself that people who sometimes people just say stupid shit. There’s no ill intentions, they just don’t think before they speak (Dude, I am soooooo guilty of that!). But you can control your reaction. It’s okay to feel hurt, or offended, but don’t let it ruin your progress, whether it’s your health, your job, or your self esteem.

Anyone Else

I get asked a lot why I love crossfit. Let me tell you a story. 

Thursday, I went to the gym. The workout was tough. I had to scale some of the movements & weights. I was huffing and puffing through the WOD, envious of those who can get there every day, and were executing handstand push-ups flawlessly. Halfway through, I questioned why I was even there. But as they finished, they were rooting for me and congratulating me for making it through. That kind of teamwork, along with the results I see at Crossfit is why I continue to go. We celebrate each other’ successes and support each other. It’s such an amazing thing, to see people coming together to help everyone succeed.  That success helps me in my day to day life. The next day, I went to work and had a great shift. Then I really pushed myself and managed to run 0.4KM more than my Tuesday run. When I feel good mentally, it helps me push myself physically. It’s a cycle of wellness.  

But crossfit has also helped me embrace my body. I’m never gonna be a size six again. My thighs are always gonna be big. I’m gonna have a booty from squats. That teeny waist and dress size isn’t a realistic goal for me. But part of loving yourself is loving your body. I may never be thin, but I will be strong. My fellow crossfit ladies are strong, sexy, beautiful women. They have powerful bodies that are healthy and ideal for their body type. My goal is to get to their level, but with my body. I can’t worry about a scale number, or the size on a clothing tag. Just my own health. I will teach my girls that being healthy is more important that a body type. As their mom, it’s important for me to be the role model. I can’t have low self esteem & teach them to love themselves. I have to embrace my curves, my thick thighs. It’s been a hard road, but I’m getting there. 

I’m so glad that we are now celebrating healthy body types of all sizes, and not a “one size fits all” sort of beauty. We’re celebrating healthy, active, strong women. For the longest time, Nikki Bella was my fitness inspiration. She still is. Maybe I won’t have her body, but I can develop her commitment to fitness, her enthusiasm, the way she supports all women & wants everyone to succeed. I think we all need that type of attitude. We need to love our bodies. We need to build up other women. We need to get excited about fitness & health.  I may never be a size four like Nikki, but her journey as an athlete inspires me to continue to work on my own health. 

But lately, I’ve found myself really inspired and motivated by WWE Superstar Nia Jax. Her IG feed is loaded with body positivity. She doesn’t look like the average WWE woman. She’s strong, powerful, and unlike the Bertha Faye’s & Bull Nakano’s, she’s presented as more than just a one note monster character. She’s beautiful, she’s smart, witty, and assertive. Nia Jax is not a personality free monster designed to prey on the beautiful ingenues. She’s a fleshed out character, focused on her goals, which is to be a champion. My own daughters are big fans of Nia (and while they rooted for Bayley & Sasha, were LIVID that Nia didn’t get a special Wrestlemania entrance like her opponents. They said she deserved Tinashe singing her theme, and fireworks like the others). They think she’s beautiful, strong, and funny. When I was a kid, she’d be a mute monster. But my girls get to see a powerful woman portrayed as smart, sexy, as well as dominant. 


But more importantly, she’s not like most girls. She’s strong, athletic. She is in the best shape of her body type. And representation matters. Not every woman looks like Nikki Bella, and that’s totally okay. Some women are built like Nia Jax. Some women work their asses off like I do with the knowledge that size four is never gonna happen. Instead of feeling embarrassed, women should embrace their healthy. That’s why women like Nia Jax are so important. It’s important to see that healthy and fit mean something different to everyone.  

But that’s why I love crossfit. I remember working out at the GoodLife gyms, and hearing the snickers while I was on the treadmill or when I set my machine to a lower weight, as I was a beginner. I heard the giggles in the change room, as if a fat girl had no business there. It kept me out of a gym for four years. I don’t hear that at my gym anymore. It doesn’t matter if I scaled the workout, or finished last. There’s no mockery, just encouragement and acceptance. I’m sure women like Nia hear your mockery too. They see your tweets calling her fat, calling her Nia Snacks, etc. A friend of mine has come back to wrestling fandom after 10 years off and he called her “the fat chick.” His wife (who works in fashion), commented that she looked like a strong, powerful, woman. But those comments are why women like Nia are so important. We need to teach little girls that every woman’s body is different. A dress size or a scale number can’t be your goal (My Fitness Pal said my goal weight should be 118lbs!), but being in the best shape for your individual body should be. 

If you’re a woman who is actively working on her health, celebrate that work. Celebrate your body and what it can do. Celebrate your strength, your movements, your accomplishments. Hell, even celebrate that cheat day where you ate a large pizza with extra cheese. But celebrate your body, not the number on your dress tag or on a scale. 

The Divine Zero

Despite my fascination with pop culture, I must admit I do not keep up with the Kardashians, mostly because everything they say and everything they do annoys the shit out of me. 


From Kim’s baby talk to Kris’s whining, whenever I see them on social media or TV, I immediately flip to something else. If I had to pick one that didn’t annoy me to no end, it would probably be Kendall, as she at least to have a job of some kind, as well as some talent or a skill (modelling is a skill). I feel like Kendall may also be smart. The rare times that I hear them speak, she seems to be the only one that has her shit together. So, good for Kendall. 

I googled “Kendall Jenner” and saw lots of pics, but this one stuck out. She looks so fresh faced and lovely

Now that I’ve made it clear that I don’t keep up with Kardashians, I am also late to the party when it comes to their “projects.” I casually flipped over to People Magazine’s website to read the gossip (because celeb gossip is my guilty pleasure, fight me) and I discovered that Khloe Kardashian has a show called “Revenge Body!” Basically Khloe plucks people from obscurity to teach them health and fitness tricks so they can get a slamming body to get back at an ex boyfriend, mean parent, or childhood bully. Wait till they see how HOT YOU ARE?! THAT WILL TEACH THEM!

What. The. Fuck. 

As a someone who worked to lose a ton of weight, gained some of it back and am working to lose it again, it must sound weird that I’m saying this show’s concept sounds bloody God awful. Well, here’s why. The concept of a “revenge body” is fucking stupid. Do you really think a shitty ex boyfriend is gonna magically say “I shouldn’t have been the shittiest boyfriend ever because she has a fantastic squat ass!” No. He’s probably playing house with the girl he was cheating on you with while you were trying to save the relationship or on Tinder swiping right. You shouldn’t give a shit about what that guy thinks. Or your high school bully. Or your douchebag dad. Why? Because not a single one of these people matter in your life. “Shamers” are not real. Words only have power over you if you allow them to. And besides, by losing weight to “shut them up,” they’ve won! They made you feel badly until you changed! Don’t be that person. Change to grow. 


When I chose to get healthy, I chose this to be a role model to my girls and for me. Not the shitty ex husband who abused me. Not the shitty ex boyfriend who treated me like shit and abandoned me. Not the shitty guy who lied about getting a colonoscopy to go out with another girl. Not the asshole coworker who shit talked me when I left the room. Not the girl who bullied me in grade nine math so much that I refused to try out for basketball because she made me feel badly. Why? Because these people are irrelevant. They are simply chapters in my life that I’ve closed. I wanted to get in shape for me. I wanted to live longer. I wanted to look cute in leggings. I wanted to feel more confident. I wanted to be the best MHC ever so that I was happy with me. But it was my choice for me & I want everyone in life to be confident in their choices for themselves. When you need revenge, you are letting someone else take up space in your mind. Every second you waste on them is a second that you could be loving yourself. Why waste those seconds on shitty people who treat you badly when you could use them on yourself!

Still a work in progress, but always progress

Maybe I’m totally off base, and Khloe Kardashian is helping these people let go of their painful pasts and focus on their incredible futures, but the promo shows people announcing who they’re getting “revenge” on. But from one human to another, the best revenge is letting go, moving on, and investing in you, for you. You don’t need revenge. You need to love yourself enough to invest in yourself. Because if you do it for revenge, once you get the killer body, you’re still empty. They still treated you badly. You didn’t get back at them, or get them back. Chances are you don’t really want them back because they are sucky people! The shamers won’t be impressed. Instead, they’ll piss on you for something else. Then you’ll go right back to your destructive, unhealthy habits because nothing changed. You need to change. Change your habits and your mindset so that you can be better for yourself. When you do that, you’d be surprised at how far you’ll come. 


Khloe herself admits she started working out to stop people from calling her the fat & ugly sister and stick it to them. That’s so sad. She’s a beautiful woman and while I don’t keep up with her or her family, I believe everyone is good somewhere. She’s a sister, aunt, friend and tried very hard to make a toxic marriage work. I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I just hope she’s found better motivation.  Maybe she’s learned to love herself. But I’d hate to think that with all of her success, loving family, wealth and the like, she’s letting faceless internet trolls or the ghosts of husbands past rent space in her mind.

So, screw the idea of the revenge body. How about we focus on healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy hearts?! I’m gonna keep working on mine. I hope you work on yours too, but because you want to, not to stick it to someone else. 

Bright Lights

I have a confession to make.

Despite my attempts to get in shape, I no longer weigh myself.

I know I’ve gained a little bit of weight since I moved and attempted to adjust to a new time zone and schedule and gym, etc, but I don’t worry about how much. Instead, I focus on making little changes here and there to ensure that I’m staying healthy. Packing lunches, working out, etc.

  
I used to weigh myself every single morning. My day would be made by what that number said. That was the first six months of my weight loss journey. Every morning, that number. But I realized that I was letting that number define me instead of my progress. My pants were smaller, my face was thinner. I had more energy. My back no longer hurt. I don’t get migraines as often anymore. Why did that number mean more than all of those things? So, I stopped weighing myself and focused on building a healthy body in a way that still promoted body positivity for my daughters.

  
I believe in health, not thin, or “fat positive,” as I keep seeing on Tumblr. I think we as women need to buck society’s image of beauty, as it is skewed on both sides. Being morbidly obese or too thin is not good for you. We need to stop focusing on those numbers and focus on the healthiest body type for us. When I started going to crossfit, I wanted to work to be thinner. After a few months, I realized that wasn’t what I wanted; I wanted my aesthetic to be strong. I like the feeling of knowing I was stronger than I ever thought I could be. When I finish something that a year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do, I feel very proud and I love that feeling and I like working towards that feeling of accomplishment. But I’ve also learned that strong =/= thin. I had to change my thinking. So, if my thighs are bigger, or my arms not quite lithe, that’s okay. I will never be the fashion industry definition of “thin.” But, I will be healthy and strong and a good role model for my daughters, as I’m not just embracing my body, I’m loving it enough to put good food into it (most of the time) and work on it to keep it running so I’ll be a part of their lives for a long time.

  
Which is why I ditched the scale. That number was hindering my progress. I was letting it define me instead of why I started working out in the first place; to build my self esteem and like myself better. If that number was hindering my progress, and becoming the source of my self worth. I’ve long made it clear that only I determine my self worth, not my friends, my boyfriend, or a number on a scale. Me. So, I decided that I didn’t care. I’d just keep on doing what I wanted to do in order to feel stronger and be healthier and that scale could just gather dust. As long as I’m happy in my own skin, that’s all that I need.

  

Giants

I often joke that I’ve turned my 8yo daughter into a “crossfit douchebag” & it’s my proudest achievement as a parent. 

Maybe it’s not the GREATEST, but I like it. 

To balance parenting & fitness, I often bring my kids to the gym with me. My teen daughter is preparing to start crossfit soon, as she is getting ready to start her quest to become the youngest WWE Divas Champion in history. And my youngest builds forts out of foam rollers. But my middle child, whom we call the Overlord LOVES crossfit. 

When her dad told her that girls with big muscles weren’t pretty, she cited the “prettiest girl ever” was our West London Crossfit coach Lacey, who was “pretty like a princess & stronger than boys!” She’s already told me a Lacey-free gym won’t be as fun, despite my telling her that the new gym has girl coaches. She says when she grows up, she wants to be pretty & stronger than boys (& will tell you why kale is amazing). 

 

I don’t post photos of my daughters, so you’re stuck with my post-wod selfie with Lacey
 
This brings me to a hilarious story. 

When our cable provider messed up connecting our internet & TV, they gave us a PPV credit, & I asked them what to do with it. The Overlord shouted “I WANT TO WATCH BLONDE LADY FIGHT!” If you’re wondering who “blonde lady” is, allow me to show you!

 

from mmanews
 
That’s right; my 8yo idolizes Ronda Rousey. 

As a big WWE fan, she absolutely LOATHES the character of Stephanie McMahon. In fact, her Stephanie action figure only exists for her Brie Bella action figure to put in the Yes! Lock. When Ronda appeared at Wrestlemania 31 & tossed Triple H & put the hated Stephanie in the armbar, a girl crush was born. Ronda is strong. Ronda is tougher than boys. Ronda could probably whoop a boy. Ronda won an ESPY & BEAT OUT BOYS. Ronda is pretty much the coolest person on Earth to her. Ronda is sooooooo pretty. And after explaining that unlike WWE, Ronda fights for real & the fight might not be long (“because the other girl isn’t Ronda Mommy,”) & we NEVER imitate WWE or  Ronda, we are going to watch “Blonde Lady” fight tomorrow (cue all the sanctimommies questioning my parenting!). 

from mmanews

I also love Ronda; she takes no crap. She showcases an image that women have been told wasn’t a real thing; that strong women aren’t sexy. They are masculine & ugly. The thing the dad told my daughter. I stopped trying to be thin long ago; I started losing weight to be healthier for my girls, but now the goal is strong. Maybe I’ll always wear a size 10-12, but my thick thighs don’t bother me anymore. They are the product of hard ass work & strength. Those thighs can deadlift my body weight & squat in triple digits. And they’re only going to get stronger, as my goal is a 200lbs back squat by year’s end. A few years ago, a woman like Ronda Rousey would have been mocked relentlessly for her physique, called a dude, & yes, it still happens, but when she shuts the body shamers down, we cheer with her. When similar comments were made about Serena Williams, JK Rowling shut them down like a boss. It’s cool to be athletic, strong, & strong women can be beautiful! 

 

It’s pretty much an awesome time to be woman, as we can now be proud of our bodies regardless of size, whether the media agrees or not. Tess Holliday made “plus size” women stand up and say “we are beautiful too, not a fetish or a niche!” (While I think sexiness comes from self love, I’ll give Tess credit) Women of colour are celebrated for beauty, not “exotic looks,” thanks in part to Lupita Nyong’o. And Ronda Rousey made the world see that it’s cool to be strong. 

I’ll get “uh, MHC, body shaming still happens, it’s REAL. Just because it doesn’t bother you doesn’t mean it isn’t a thing.” Yup, still is a thing. I get accused of it all of the time because of my fitness posts on social media, but here’s the thing; you are in control of your body. If you love yourself, no one can shame you. My belly isn’t taut & my thighs have cellulite, but I am strong. And I’m proud of my strength. The definition will come if I work hard. I’ll always have double D’s & big hips. But I also have daughters & it’s more important that I embrace those double D’s & deadlift thighs than I fit in a size three. And no amount of body shaming will make me stop loving my body so my daughters emulate self love. Tess Holliday is successful because when she looks in the mirror, she sees beauty. When Ronda Rousey looks in the mirror, she sees beauty (& the knowledge that she can kick the crap out of anyone who thinks otherwise). You need to see beauty when you look in the mirror (as I’ve said before) & then no one can hurt you. 

 

from usa today

There’s something awesome about women being able to look at any body type & see beauty. My teen daughter is a 00. She will always be thin. She’s often mocked for her thin frame, but I remind her that her body is perfect, as she’s an athlete, a track star. She’s proud of her fast, long legs & doesn’t need to stress about her chest or booty because she’s built to be an athlete, the thing she wants to be. And if her idol, AJ Lee, can buck beauty standards & be a champion, so can she. 

from wwe.com

You can listen to body shamers who tell women they’re too thin, too buxom, too fat, too strong, or you can embrace your body, like women like Ronda Rousey. I love that my 8yo thinks she’s cool, mostly because she is cool. She’s confident & proud, and that matters more than how she looks on the outside.