Gorgeous

Oh, Hello. Happy New Year!

I hope you enjoyed the festive holiday break! I worked like a dog through it! But, it wasn’t all for naught. I love my jobs, even if journalism had to take a backseat for the month due to the craziness of the season. Fortunately, I’m working on an article that I’m super excited about, with some pitches out there. Things are quieter at the day job. 2018 is already amazing & I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me.

My professional life is already off to a rocking start. As many of you know, last year I was asked to step down from my position and work as an assistant manager. It was demoralizing as fuck, but I wasn’t ready for the job. I had so much to learn and I actually saw it as an opportunity to learn how to be a good manager. I wanted to learn from my mistakes and become better. So I did. Thanks to a lot of guidance from my District Team Leader (whom I call my Jedi Master), I was recently transferred to a new location as acting sales manager! I’m pretty excited about my new role within my company. My staff is amazing and I’m so proud to have them as my team. Don’t worry though, I held onto that old nametag because I was pretty sure I’d use it again.

Meanwhile, my personal life is going pretty okay. I have the best friends who are with me through of the best and worst times. 2018 brings visits with them, including my friend’s wedding to her soul mate. Her joy makes me smile. I’ve been adopted into the best gym community. There’s no one else I’d rather hate my life during a WOD with. My kids are amazing and they’re super pumped for our trip to see Taylor Swift this summer. Breaking Benjamin has a new album coming out this year and my friend/favourite former co-worker are going to see them live in February, so that’s pretty awesome too. 2018 is gonna be rad yo.

My love life will always be ridiculous. I’ve been casually dating a guy we’ll call the teacher for about a month. He’s nice, attractive, we have a ton of things in common, and I should be head over heels…except I’m not.

I wanted to like him, but instead, Meh. The first red flag was that he goes dutch on every date, which is fucking rude. Before you get all “But MHC, you’re a feminist, what about equality?! I can’t believe that this bothers you! Think of equality!” Well, Captain jerkface, let me tell you something; except on very rare occasions; my platonic friends and I don’t even go Dutch on nights out. The person who invites pays. Why? Because it’s called having manners, asshole. Tonight I went out with my friend Carissa & I paid because I invited her. The guy asked me out every time. But every time, we split the bill. This to me screams lack of effort. If you can’t treat your guest, and make them pay for half the plate of nachos and a mojito, what effort will you put into a relationship? Not to mention it sends a mixed signal. Are we on a date? Are we dudebros? Life is too short for games in the early stages of dating. But more importantly, everything has a negative twist. EVERYTHING. Working late, not having plans on Friday, the Far Side. Everything had this dark attached to it. I look at the bright side of everything so the sigh and pessimistic side to everything was kind of meh. But we kept talking. I kept agreeing to go out again. I kept the conversation going. It was constantly me putting in the work & it bugged me. Unless he’s having a bad day, I don’t hear from him. Why do I bother? I guess I thought that you can’t ask for everything to be what you want. So what if he’s cheap, and kind of emo, and says things like “it’s too people-y out?” He’s interested and nice I guess?

Sure, I didn’t get butterflies, or kind of excited when he texted me. Just meh. But I’ll grow into romantic attraction, right? When was the last time the butterflies led me in the right direction anyway (if you need a friendly reminder of my horrible dating choices, click HERE)? Obviously it’ll be the right choice, I’ll just keep telling myself that.

Then I ran into the hot guy from my gym while I was out and about one day. I tried to talk to him once before. I tripped over my own barbell and contemplated dying there. Everything else can be summed up by my lord and saviour Jesus Swift by clicking here.

But we had a nice chat and said we’d see each other in class. Told my best friend; she may be planning the wedding because she was so excited that I’m so attracted to a human being. I’ve literally spent a year telling her about why the hot guy from my gym is so hot. This random interaction gave me an epiphany (& no, it’s not what one of my fellow managers thinks and that Jesus was showing me that I should make a move. Hot guys at the gym always have girlfriends, because they’re hot. And cool. And I’m a potato that sucks at burpees). I realized that I was wasting my time with the teacher.

I keep settling because I feel like I should date, or want to date someone, even though I don’t really care. Then I hate them after like a month because I realize they’re assholes. I choose guys (to shut people up) that I think are more “my league.” You know, losers, not “quality mans”. I always think maybe if I was in better shape, or wasn’t awkward and weird, I could land a great guy who would make me happy like in the movies. But I am, so I should choose guys more my level. You know, the guy who doesn’t pay for dinner and turns everything into an emo sigh.

Between well meaning friends and family who want me to meet someone, and my own feelings of inadequacy when it comes to my life, I keep settling for guys so I can be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. It’s not some item I want to check off of a bucket list, like the triathlon I want to participate in, or going to Vegas, or finally trying a donair. It should be because I genuinely want to spend time with someone. I’m tired of selling myself short in relationships. So, I likely won’t see the teacher again. I keep replying to be nice, but I can’t see accepting another date. Maybe we can be friends, or acquaintances? But a relationship is definitely out of the question. So is hot guy from the gym, because that would require actually talking to him, and I literally cannot do that.

For me, 2018 is about elevation. Elevating my team, empowering other women, including my daughters, building people up and watching them thrive. It’s obvious that I need to start with myself! Get to the gym more and have some work life balance. Attend the events we hold at the gym! Spend time with my friends, and make loving myself a priority. The more I love myself, the more I will see men like hot guy at the gym as “my league.” After all, I’m pretty dope. Four out of five Wireless sales managers would agree that I’m kind of cool. And I’m pretty when I make an effort. I’ll keep losing weight and build up my confidence and kick some ass at life & stop lowering my standards just to say I have a date. I deserve better, and I’ll need to remember that.

Maybe I need to look in the mirror and see a “quality womans,” and then I’ll stop wearing my “I attract losers” sign when I go out. Or learn how to talk to guys without looking like an idiot. Or both. Whatever.

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.

Show Me Your Fangs

I have a confession; I waste a lot of time on social media. 

When all of your friends are two time zones away, I get lonely, so I waste time on social media. My favourite places to waste time are on George & Brad Takei’s respective FB pages. Today he posted a hilarious meme that had me cracking up;

  
Don’t worry, all the Tumblr Social Justice Warriors were out in full force, explaining how Barbie was designed to fulfill men’s fantasies & create an unrealistic standard for women & He-Man was half alien (no he wasn’t) & little boys know the difference between a doll’s body & a real one because it’s make believe & girls shouldn’t have Barbies or Princess a Dolls because they teach them how to be damsels in distress. 

Let me tell you that all of this is bullshit. 

When I was a little girl, I played with Barbie. I had Dr. Barbie, Rock Star Barbie, and yes, I was gifted Reporter Barbie at the age of six. I didn’t see Barbie’s waist or hair & think “I have body image issues!” I was excited that she had a bad ass job & after work, she could dress up to go out with my Jordan Knight doll. 

Anyone who thinks Barbie is somehow hurting little girls makes me sad, because Barbie gets a bum rap. Barbie has had 150 careers, owns her own house, her own car, stables, an RV, a moped, among other things. No disrespect to the men out there that do respect women and their career choices, but I’m pretty sure a doll designed to fulfill the desires of men wouldn’t be an independent bad ass who owns her own stuff & works hard. What I learned from Barbie is that girls can do damn near anything they want. My daughters play with Barbie (although the younger two prefer Ever After High) and they always liked that Barbie was a vet, or a nurse, or a pilot. Yes, there are cooking sets, or beach dolls, but all people eat & go to the beach. That’s not sexist; that’s liking to eat & go to the beach. 

 

even Barbie understands the importance of converged journalism
 
What grinds my gears is the idea that boys wouldn’t feel body image pressure from a toy, but girls are fragile flowers that must be protected. Boys have body image issues too. While I don’t feel that the media or celebrities have the power to make you feel badly about yourself, as you choose how you feel about yourself & have the power to change it if you don’t like it, saying a little boy wouldn’t feel inadequate because it’s make believe play (you know, like BARBIE) is silly. Personally, I don’t get it because everyone on Eterna looked like He-Man, even Bo, that dick that pined for Adora. Maybe Eterna’s schools have a heavy focus on PE. 

 
Every super hero for boys is ripped. Did Captain America have the dad bod? Nope. What about Chris Pratt, who women say “got hot” when he got in shape for Guardians of the Galaxy? Men are bombarded with images of the triangle body. Again, I don’t think a magazine or a celebrity can give you body image issues, you have them because of you & only you can learn to embrace them or fix them, I’ve said this before. But if you did believe that, then why wouldn’t you believe that a toy could also affect a little boy as Barbie would a girl? 

  
At the end of the day, no toy, no magazine, no celebrity can make you feel badly. No words can hurt you unless that’s how you already feel about yourself. People call me fat, crazy, whatever, but I choose to love myself & focus on being healthy with a eating healthy & the odd treats in moderation & Crossfit. Words only hurt if you give them the power to hurt. But if He-Man is make believe & kids can’t learn body image issues from toys, let’s stop saying it about Barbie, as she’s cut from the same plastic. 

and we can finally focus on something important!

Rest to Get Better

Since the rest of my life seems to involve writing (I just wrote an awesome article about a lifetime achievement award winner! So excited!), acquiring many jobs, scheduling interviews with a time zone difference, making lists & staring blankly at the ceiling whilst I try to make life decisions like a real adult, Imma gonna write about the stuff in my life that I’m not screwing up. Parenting & fitness. 

I’m always striving to be a better MHC than I was yesterday. It’s really important to me to set the right examples, do the right things, live the right life so that the three minor children that I’m charged with getting to adulthood see that you can be anything by doing anything you set your mind to. It’s why I’m still working for the goal of finally landing a full time job in journalism, because I need to show them that you don’t give up on what you really want in life. You work hard & keep trying & if you get knocked down, you get back up. 

Another part of this is body image. It’s very important that I show my daughters that you should live a healthy & active lifestyle, eat right & love your body. It’s not about “skinny” or “fat shaming,” as someone accused me on Facebook after I posted a gym related status update; it’s about taking pride in who you are. Most obese people learned poor eating habits from their parents. Obesity is linked to low self esteem. My self esteem was low for years because of my weight & while it isn’t perfect, it’s getting there. Obesity is linked to many health problems. So, my job as mom is to show them how to be healthy. 



You want progress? Work for it.

I refuse to make excuses. I want a healthy self esteem, I want to live longer, I want to be the best possible MHC, then I’ve got to work for it. I think of workouts as appointments I schedule with myself. I am the boss of my own life (a really crappy boss who can’t make major decisions), and I wouldn’t miss a meeting with my boss, right? No. I wouldn’t. So, I look at my fitness schedule the same way. Part of that has been taking up crossfit. While there are some people who make fun of my “torture cult,” &  make fun of my elitist gym with poor training, I just laugh. My gym is full of the most encouraging & welcoming people on Earth, always encouraging each other & making people feel welcome. I came in as a terrified newbie that couldn’t even do a real burpee. The coaches & athletes helped me with proper form, cheered me on through the hardest workouts (or as the Overlord calls it, “encouragement yelling”) & I’m stronger & in better shape than I’ve been in in years.

 

Because I’m always challenging myself, I entered a crossfit competition! One of the coaches at my gym said it would be super fun (he lied; it’s actually terrible), but every Friday night or Saturday morning I truck myself to the gym to do the crossfit open workouts, including the workout that required me to life weights that were five lbs heavier than my personal best. BTW that totally sucked. I have one more week to go & I’ll have achieved my current goal of getting through it & living to tell the tale. I brought the girls with me, and while my eldest & youngest daughters colour, my middle daughter, whom we call the Overlord for her plots to take over the world, became absolutely enamoured with crossfit. 



When my friend (who teases me regularly about my crossfit love) decided to try it, she made him a practice WOD



She decided one of our coaches was the most amazing because she is “pretty like a princess & stronger than boys!” I even had to postpone a trip to Windsor because we couldn’t do the workout early, open days are Saturdays & she found little jobs for herself, like bringing protein bars & fresh fruit & making herself the official cheering section. She would tell me after every week that when she is big, she wants to be strong & healthy & lift heavy weights & have muscles & be stronger than boys. Mommy is strong & that’s cool! I may not have set any records (my 15.2 score was a whopping six & 15.4 was 13), but my daughter saw being healthy & strong & working hard as being super cool, so right now, I feel like I won parenting. 

My job as mom is to show my daughters that they can do anything; they can have any career they want, they can be strong, fast, brave, & they can have the confidence to do that. But I can’t tell them, I have to show them. So, while I’m currently in 48 thousandth place & won’t be going to the Crossfit Games, I feel like I won, because I showed my girls that with hard work & determination, they can accomplish anything. 

48 To Go

As I continue to work towards my fitness goals (down 40.5lbs), I’m learning how much money I waste on…well, crap food.

A little progression pic. See my 40lbs loss...and my various phones.
A little progression pic. See my 40lbs loss…and my various phones.

Between my Tim Horton’s Tea and my Starbucks chai tea and my restaurant lunches on paydays, I’m not eating as well as I should be, especially if I want to lose the last of the weight. I’m over halfway to my goal and I’ve dropped two sizes and plan to drop two more, as well as get stronger. Eating that crap is not going to help me. Not to mention it’s pricey and with summer coming, I want to be able to take the girls on a much needed and well earned family vacay to the zoo, as the overlord has been waiting since she was two years old to see hopping kangaroos. Not to mention that in the next three months, I will be attending a WWE Live event and “Queen” Katy Perry with the littles, as well as Queen and Ed Sheeran with friends (still accepting offers for someone to accompany me to see Ed Sheeran. You get to spend my birthday with me and go to Ed Sheeran for free, as my friends are all “I don’t like him, he’s a hobbit.” Jerks), so having the extra cash would be nice.

In order to finally kicking the junk food habit, I’m imposing my #29DaysJunkFoodFree. From June 1 – 30/14, with the only exception being the soon to be teen’s birthday, I’m going to cut out all junk food, fast food, caffeine, and alcohol. I’m going to put the money I would have spent in a jar to see how much money I waste on junk food. Obviously I’ll need to find some workarounds, as my coworkers are planning a team outing (so I’ll have to order salads and drink water), but I will not eat fast food, or chicken wings, or drink, or have any caffeine. I’ll see how much of a difference it makes on my weight loss goals as well as on my wallet. I’m going to hopefully lose more weight while fattening up my wallet.

This just cracks me up...and will help me kick cupcakes.
This just cracks me up…and will help me kick cupcakes.

Part of trying to live better is taking accountability for what I eat. Cutting out junk food and caffeine and restaurant foods will help me live longer by cutting out excessive fats and unhealthy foods, but it’s going to put money back into my pocket, which will help me support my family. I have friends trying it with me, with each picking one exception day and we’re all going to go #29DaysJunkFoodFree. I hope to see awesome results and get one step closer to living healthy and well and teaching my kids to teach them healthy eating habits too.

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