The Dark In You

Despite being a ray of fucking sunshine, apparently, people don’t always like me.

It’s not really that big of a deal, because I mostly don’t care, not to mention I don’t like to discuss it, because I feel like by giving faceless online strangers attention, I’m feeding into their ego. But it ties into something that’s been bothering me for some time now, so here we go.

I visit a website to discuss the pro wrasslin, because I enjoy the product and most of my friends don’t care for it, so I would rather discuss it with like minded people, just like my friends who watch the Bachelor go to Reddit instead of trying to talk to me about it.

However, pro wrestling has a huge group of misogynistic fans that like to police the fandom, because they hate themselves and project their hatred onto others. They use this as a way to spew their venom on others. Usually I laugh. But there’s one or two that take it too far. They stalk my social media. Attack my appearance. Look up my personal address and my employer. Send death threats. Imagine being this butt hurt because someone really didn’t love Samoa Joe. But last night, this same dude decided to post this pic and tell everyone, wait for it, that I am fat.

First of all, holy shit, no way. Literally 90% of my blog is dedicated to why I’ve worked to change everything about how I eat and live so I can look and feel better about myself. The other 10% is all about embracing that how I’ve chosen to do that doesn’t lend to a stereotypically thin frame. I’ll never be a size two. Instead I’m a 10-12. My legs are strong. Maybe I don’t have a six pack abs, but my body is healthy for my body type. That 31 inch waist is the result of exercise and healthy living. Maybe it can’t wear sample sizes, but when you used to wear a size 22, it still feels pretty damn good. Is there still work to do? Of course! But I’m not going to undo all of the work I’ve put into improving by getting all depressed because someone who hates themselves is mad.

But it always makes me laugh that this is somehow the only insult people can come up with; you’re fat. My ex husband (who was twice my size) would use it whenever he was having one of his tantrums; you’re fat. You’ll never amount to anything without me, because you’re stupid and fat. As if this word somehow detracts from a woman’s worth. When WWE superstar Paige was bullied by the same idiots, it was always the same; she’s fat. As if being healthy and overcoming so much to finally feel comfortable in her own skin doesn’t matter; SOME DUDE THINKS SHE IS FAT. She no longer has worth, or beauty, or value.

What a load of crap.

Fat is a word. It only holds the power you give it. I believe every woman should aim for healthy for their body type, but I also think words mean only what you want them to. Technically, Ashley Graham is “fat.” But she’s known for being one of the world’s most beautiful women. There is no one size fits all for women & we need to aspire to reach our healthy body type.

For too long, fat was the word to cut me to my core. As if being fat meant all of my good qualities had no merit at all, because I was FAT. Meanwhile, the only person giving that word power was me. I chose to let fat make me feel badly about myself. But it’s still the go to for every insecure little puke on Earth, regardless of size. Besides, the same people who call women fat are the same guys who cry when women check out guys that look less like them and more like Chris Evans. Why can’t women stop being so superficial? Maybe they don’t like you because you’re an asshole that calls women fat on the internet.

I guess the point is that words only hurt if you let them. As summer comes (in theory), we’ll be surrounded by fad diets and cleanses, telling us how we can get a bikini body. How if we aren’t a certain size, we should be ashamed of how we look and who we are. As long as you’re doing your best to live in a way that’s the most healthy for your body, you should be proud of yourself and not let a word define you or hurt you. Be proud of all the things that matter; your dress size will rarely be one of them.

Shake it Out

Guess what guys? I’m gonna do a thing!

My gym decided we should build a team to run a 10k together. I am not a good runner, despite running for four years. I am slow and awkward. But, my attempt to join the Festivus Games was such a flop, and I’ve been looking for a new goal to work towards. This seemed as good as anything, so I’ve set a goal in Runkeeper and we are gonna do the damn thing…

…I am going to die. Please help me.

I joke, but I’m actually really excited. Before I made the big move, my daughter, some friends & I did a 5k mud run and we had a blast! Training was fun and we felt so empowered afterwards. We were strong. We kicked ass! But more importantly, it was fun to be a part of something. We went out there together and accomplished something together. We’ll have those memories forever.

Humans have a deeply rooted desire to belong. It’s why peer pressure is a real problem. It’s why people stay with toxic friends or mates. We want to be part of something, be included. Everyone wants to feel like they’re part of something special and magical, which is why we get inspired by people who are creating their something to be part of. My girls & I watched the first ever women’s Royal Rumble, and it didn’t matter who won, we were inspired that these women were part of something special. They were making history together, they elevated each other. Deep down, that’s what we all want; to be part of something meaningful.

I think that’s why I like Crossfit & my gym community so much. You are part of something. Yes, you’re focused on your personal best, but you’re also part of a community of people who are elevating each other to do their very best…or enter a 10k run for funsies. But you celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. You cheer each other on. You are part of something meaningful. We all want to belong to something. The lesson is to find a place of belonging that is positive and encouraging, not one that sucks the life out of you.

I was excited at the idea of being part of something. Part of a team that’s doing a cool thing. And let’s be real, aside from encountering some asshole geese or a shin splint, is there really a negative downside to participating in a 10K run? You get a tshirt, you get to feel accomplished, and it’ll help me get those legs ready to rock a dress for my friend Brie’s wedding later in the summer! Not to mention, I bought all of that Birdiebee gear, including the cute shorts. I think I found a place where I can wear them for the first time! When you’re surrounded by positive people, you’re inspired to do positive things and set positive goals. The trick is to do your best to be positive yourself and be the change you wish to see in the world. My girls are watching me, so I need to show them what healthy, active and happy is. I think it’s working, as my oldest has embraced athletics through cheer and now Crossfit (she’s skipping the run. Waking up early isn’t her thing).

So, I’m going to train. I’m going to work hard. I may crawl to the end, or die after I cross the finish line, but I’ll finish, and I’ll be part of something positive and healthy, which I hope will inspire the girls to seek out a positive and healthy way to satisfy their desire to belong.

From Now On

GUYS. I HAVE NEWS. GUYS. GUUUUYYYYSSSS.

Today, I was scrolling though the Twitter like normal, because in addition to today being my daughter’s 11th birthday, I have the flu.

I’ve actually lost my voice completely, so it’s a wonderful time to be alive, as Bossman said. But I can’t talk, outside of about 10 minutes today. So, while she was happily trying on her new apron and oven mitts (apparently the best gifts EVER, as she’s always wanted a nice apron with matching oven mitts and these are Nerdy Nummies, so even better), I was mindlessly scrolling. I saw a tweet from my editor at the Yards, and saw that he was nominated for TWO Alberta Magazine Awards! I was so excited for him, and went to issue a congrats until I saw something in the corner.

GUYS. I HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR AN ALBERTA MAGAZINE AWARD AND I FOUND OUT ON TWITTER, WHICH IS COMPLETELY IN LINE WITH MY LIFE.

That’s right! I am an Alberta Magazine Award nominee! Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve ever heard?! (To read my nominated piece, CLICK HERE) I would have screamed if I could make sounds other than pitiful squeaks! So, I texted everybody I’ve ever met and told them! My friends are the best because they’re super supportive. My best friend in Cow Province agreed to be my date. My gym crew all took the time to “like” the news. My teacher and mentor said she was proud of me. It was a day of happy tears and ruined mascara, but I got to celebrate the fact that one of my best friends in the whole world turned 11 today and after all of these years of working and risks, I am finally making it in the world of journalism.

I didn’t submit this work for nomination. I had no idea this was even a thing that could happen. I’ve been a member of AMPA since 2015, when I started at Great West Newspapers. I never thought this could be me. I was proud of this piece because it was important and relevant and I was proud to be asked to write it. I probably won’t win this award. The other pieces are a zillion times better than mine. But for me, the girl in 80G who was part of the Convergence pilot program a million years ago, this is a huge deal and I’m super proud.

Ahh, fat MHC. How I hate you.

Hopefully I can get the time off and Carissa & I can go to the ceremony while I meet other journalists and maybe learn some new ways to improve my writing. Then I’ll lose, be disappointed, and move forward. But right now, I feel like one of those celebrities when they hear they’re going to the Oscars; proud and humbled.

Today I feel like I can really be a great writer, and make my daughters proud. They were proud today. For all those times I feel like I’m parenting wrong; today made me think I could really be a role model to them and be the kind of Mom that they can be proud of…at least until the next time I have to work late, or on my day off, or whatever it takes to keep us fed and housed because this house of four women are doing it for themselves. But for one day, all of those struggles seemed totally worth it.

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.

A New Day Has Come

I’ve always said that no matter what happens in my life, professionally, I am killing it. I can use present tense because I am ALWAYS killing it. Call me an egotistical bitch, but I’m very good at what I do & when I set a professional goal, I get it. Why? Because I’m MHC & I work 10 times harder than I need to because I’m determined to be the strongest woman I know. 


This past week, I’ve been contacted for two interviews; one for a management position that would allow me to begin to merge my wireless career & public relations career and one AT MOTHER EFFING POSTMEDIA. MOTHER EFFING POSTMEDIA. LET THAT SINK IN BITCHES. POSTMEDIA. It’s not the position I am gunning for, but it is a start.  It’s opportunity and all I’ve ever asked for is an opportunity. I can prove myself with the rest. But everything I’ve worked for since I was eight could start to come together. And if it blows up, I have an opportunity to continue my reign as the Queen of Telecommunications. Speaking of my reign, my manager called me today to tell me that I was this week’s top performer for all of Northern Cow Province. All hail the Queen. My last blog post was praised on Twitter. Random strangers messaged me to tell me they think I’m gifted with words. Boom. My new editor has been really hands on, working with all of us to appeal to our strengths and help us grow as writers. I’m so excited to work with him, as I’ll just become a better reporter. I’m so super happy. I have almost everything I’ve ever wanted after a minor setback in the winter. But that’s all setbacks are; minor. With hard work & determination, it’ll always come together. 

I wanted this job so badly that I ditched my signature red lip in favour of a natural look. I am actually wearing more makeup to look like I am not wearing any than when I wear cateye and red lip

Regardless of if anything pans out, I know the opportunity is there. All humans are 100% capable of making their lives how they want it to be & I am gonna do just that. I have a destiny to be so much bigger than I am, and so do you. We all do. Part of that destiny is teaching three girls to (if I can borrow a line from Queen Britney Spears) work bitch. I’ve been pushing myself at the gym (my quads will tell you all about it), I’ve been pushing my cardio by following my Runkeeper plan. Strong women create strong women & I intend to raise three unstoppable forces. To do that, I have to be one myself. 

I was gonna run around the lake, but geese.

Life isn’t perfect, and it will never be perfect, but it’s coming together nicely & I can take comfort in the knowledge that I did all of it MY way. I’m gonna continue to do it all MY way because, not only am I teaching my daughters to do it their way, but because I can take joy in knowing everything I’ve ever accomplished I did on my own, for me. It wasn’t my coaches that lifted the weight, I did it. No one got these interviews for me, I DID.  No one sold the phones for me, no one wrote the words for me, no one did it but me. I DID IT & for the first time in my life, I’m going to embrace what I can do. Once you embrace what you can do and what you can accomplish, no one can take it from you ever again. 

MH’s guide to life is simple; 1. Be a bad ass. 2. Own the fuck out of your bad assery. Let your light shine bright & never let anyone or anything make you think you can’t. You can. Own that you can. I tell my teen daughter that you can look for the light at the end of the tunnel or you can bang two damn rocks together until you get a spark to light it yourself. 


I’ve got my spark, time to start my inferno. 

The Great Divide

Let me tell you a story called “MH’s no good, terrible, horrible, very bad days.” 

One thing I have never lacked is ambition; mostly because I think I can do everything. So, I decided to paint my entire house, by myself, in 24 hours! 

(I am well aware that this was actually stupid, no need to remind me)

I got through two rooms (walls only) & one started before I gave up & cried. And passed out. It was pretty fantastic. 

The next day @ work, I was programming my shiny new work phone & so proud that unlike my last work line, it actually worked! I put my shiny phone in my pocket & headed home, as my movers refused to drop off my stuff unless I was there. I went to answer an email by pulling my phone out of my pocket & found THIS;

 

Apparently my booty game so strong that IT DESTROYS ELECTRONICS
 
After putting an insensitive friend on blast & receiving a helpful reminder from a former coworker about why Z3 screens are actually made of delicate rice paper (and apparently this is common), I was pretty much DONE with the last 48 hours. 

Normally, I use crossfit as my stress reliever, but I don’t have a class until later today. Yoga wasn’t an option either; as movers were all over my house. So, I went shopping. If I like you, I probably bought you or your kid something (but I didn’t buy my brother the Anger plusher because I’m a jerk sister). I also bought my first piece of “bandwagon sports clothing” so I’ll fit in amongst Western Canadians. I got some David’s Tea. By the end, I was poor, but I felt better. 

 

I bought this shirt. I am such a child
 
In my professional life, I have mastered time management & quiet control. In my personal life, I have mastered letting things play out as they should & finding my comfort level without overthinking. As a parent, I have mastered equal time for my children. But as a woman, I still try to accomplish more than one human being is capable of. 

Part of it stems from the girls being gone for so long. I want their home to be perfect when they get home. Then there is the fact that I want to do everything ON MY OWN. I hate relying on others, I hate asking for help. I want to be completely independent & take care of myself & my family on my own. I want to be super mom & super woman & super athlete so I can feel like a strong & independent woman. I want my girls to have a good role model so perhaps my ambition, while well meaning, is a bit…nuts. 

I’ll get my house painted. I’ll just have to pace it out a little bit each night until it’s done. I’ll get unpacked. I’ll get my work phone fixed. It’ll all work out. And crossfit is tonight so getting back into my fitness life will help me feel “normal” again. And I’ll keep working to leave my over ambitious nature in my professional life, where it will serve me to accomplish all of my goals in my own bad ass way (& for crossfit, because gains). 

Whether it’s positive self work or spending money, I’ll always try to find the positive so I can keep tackling life each day & making it my bitch, because that’s the only way to live! 

In the interim, I’m going to pace myself to get what I want to get done completed. I’ve got some great opportunities lined up & I don’t want to burn myself out sweating small stuff…& I bought a bunch of stuff so I get to give people gifties so they’ll be happy & I’ll be happy that I got to make them happy, because no matter how much I grow, the basic core of who I am, the person who loves to give to others, will never change. 

  

Ready, Aim, Fire

Ugh. 

Sorry, no amazing lead, and my journalism teacher would kick my ass for that, but that’s the best that I can do, as I am so very tired. 

 

Remember that time that I got to wear regular clothes & had a day off? that was a great day…a month ago

I always tell people that I am a bad ass and a force to be reckoned with. I can move mountains & I am the strongest & most dominant woman that I know. I say this because self love is super important. I used to base my self worth around others. Now, I take it from my own belief that I can do anything. However, for the last two months, I’ve had to prove it. 

When my most awesome (& well paying) job ended, & my ex husband lost yet another job (which begs the question, how many jobs must one get fired from before they are completely unemployable?), this mama needed to do whatever she could to pay the bills, as I’m once again a sole support mama. This means working a full time job, a part time job & writing remotely (PS check out my latest articles here & here). It’s a lot of hours & juggling & sometimes swapping shifts & rushing from one job to the other all to make ends meet & build up my savings & all that good stuff. It’s not pretty, but it’s what’s happening. It’s tiring & almost too much, hence why changes are being made. My manager at one job has tailored my schedule so I can get the kids to school & go to the gym. I’m also interviewing for a position this week that would give me more income & allow me to work only one job. More changes need to be made, but it’s a start. I’m being pulled in a lot of directions & it seems like I’ll be heading in a way I wasn’t planning on, but life never goes according to plan, that’s why you roll with punches & move along.

My incredibly hectic life is one of the reasons I’m so glad I have crossfit. Yes, I’m a huge douche about my love of fitness, and in five weeks, I apologize in advance if you’re on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, as I will be flooding your timeline with crossfit “this is my one rep Max, watch me lift heavy things” douchebaggery, but strengthening the body helps keep one focused, especially when focusing on a lot of things at once. 

 

it also keeps me looking fantastic!
 
Between crossfit twice a week, walking to work, yoga three times a week & running when I can, I use fitness to clear my head. It helps me, whether I’m stuck on a story or I’m trying to organize my thoughts & get a lot done all at once. With trying to balance three schedules, raising a family & writing with a time zone difference, I’m grateful that I have an outlet that keeps me grounded & level headed. Listening to music during a good run will help me focus & organize my thoughts long enough to plan what’s coming next. Yoga helps me center myself so I can let go of some of that “MHC type A” attitude & help me let the universe sort out where I belong. And nothing helps you feel like you can conquer a mountain & reach your life’s goals like lifting heavy stuff & realizing the weights are getting bigger because you’re getting stronger. The past few months have felt like I’m clawing towards a goal & I’m in over my head, but the things that once crushed my soul have not impacted my life in any negative way thanks to my fitness regime. Whenever I felt over my head, or sad, I did the only thing I’m good at, write. But this time I added fitness & the endorphins & those things kept me focused on the goals & kept me positive. A few more weeks and something will have changed & life will be even better, because that’s what everyone is hoping for, right? A way to make things better? 

So, I’ll keep plugging away, and keep my focus on my family, my writing & fitness so that I’ll reach my latest goal & while this part of the journey may suck, it’ll make reaching it that much better. But most importantly, I’ve learned that I really am the force to be reckoned with and bad ass woman I’ve always claimed that I was, and that feels pretty damn good.