White Noise

I think it’s time for me to admit that I do really stupid things.

I wouldn’t necessarily say stupid,  but maybe “I have no chill” as the cool teenagers say.

Because my journalism career is picking up all kinds of steam, I decided to separate my personal social media from my professional one. I figured it might be better to separate my work from my social media, where I discuss super important things like crossfit, why I think running is stupid, and of course, the return of Seth Rollins and my childlike crush on Seth Rollins. It’s honestly really boring and why I have any followers, I will never know (speaking of which, follow me on Twitter and read about my boring life and teenybopper crush on Seth Rollins!)

Still say that this is where MiTB ended. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

So, I opened up this super cool professional Twitter account, which you can totally follow here if you want to read my latest articles! My next article should be up in the coming weeks, so I’m excited.

I’ve also been offered an opportunity to contribute to a new news and popular culture blog (check out my writer profile HERE). That’s kind of exciting. And one of my blog posts was extremely well received by readers, including some fitness writers! Not too bad for a story about a goose.

But the editor for some of the many newspapers I applied for jobs with read this blog and then told me he thought it was really good! Naturally, when responding to the compliment, I managed to do in a way that can only be classified as “completely awkward asshole.” That’s how I deal with compliments folks. Like an asshole. Of course, I DID make an impression, so next time there’s a posting at the Examiner, I can apply with “Hey, remember that time you complimented my work and I asked if you were being sarcastic like a douche? That was me, I swear I’m talented and have the education and portfolio to back it up. Please give me a job.” But it was such a big deal to me. Someone who’s body of work I admire and I hope will someday be my editor complimented this mishmash of thoughts. It was like a big sign that said “You are on the right track MHC.” This silly compliment made me so very proud & it took everything in me not to text everyone I know that the editor thinks I don’t suck. But most of the people in my life are sick of the play by play about my career, the stories I’m working on, the emails I’m sending, etc. I sometimes forget that this is actually only really important to me, and that the eye rolls I get are perfectly natural. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person who gets this passionate about what they do and who they want to be.
That same night, another freelance opportunity presented itself and I applied. Then I sent a message on LinkedIn asking if there was more I could do to help with my application. That’s when I realized that while in my personal life, I have infinite patience, in my professional life, I have NONE. No chill ever. In my personal life, I am the giver of chances, I am the person who wants to offer love and forgiveness and the opportunity to prove that you can be the person you are capable of being if you would just try really hard to stop doing dumb ass shit (until I reach my limit, then you’re erased). I want my children to learn from my example; how to be healthy, mentally healthy, strong, brave, and determined. I give them chances to grow. I’m patient with them. I listen. But when it comes to my professional life, I become so impatient. Reply right now. Interview right now. Let’s get started. Let me write right now. The position I interviewed at Great West won’t even be available until the fall. So, here I am, trying super hard to be patient, because I’m starting to realize that my eager beaver ways might be putting off potential editors. While I think it would be awesome to have staff that wanted a job as much as I want one, maybe others disagree. So, I am going to try this patience thing. I’ve heard it works in some circles. I’ll wait the proper seven days and then call and follow up. Hopefully, I will get in and can proudly announce the next paper I’ll be writing for so my friends and family can all pretend to care and roll their eyes again. I’ll apply the patience that I give to those I love the most to the world I love the most and see if it pays off.

I’m just so excited. The more places I can published & the more time I can put in a newsroom, the closer I get to the thing I’ve worked my ENTIRE life for. And I get ahead of myself. And then I do and say stupid things which doesn’t help. Sometimes I swear I’m a cartoon character.


If not, I’ll find a happy balance between “aggressive bitch” and “wishy washy passive.” It’s gotta be in there somewhere.

Holy

Since I started working with Great West Media last year, I have emailed the publisher once a week, every week. I have emailed him 66 times. 

Yesterday, I took a trip to St. Albert to interview with him. 

An opening arrived. He was very honest and said I was competing with people with 15 years editorial experience, but there are some positions opening up in the fall that I would be better suited for & this would be a preliminary interview. He liked my work. He admired my tenacity. Could I make it in two hours? Uhhhh…duh. Sure it was deadline day, and I had a sentence to add into my hiking piece. But I can’t turn down a chance to meet a publisher! So, I went on the epic road trip to St. Albert & made it in 1.5 hours, a new record for me. I didn’t even get lost. Baby Jesus was in my corner. 


I think the interview went well. They asked about my adding some extra freelance work to the local paper on top of my current freelance work until I can take my road test & get a car. I’m already freelancing, why not?! It’s money in my pocket. It’s new & different subject matter (City Council writing was discussed) & I learn more and more about becoming a better reporter. It’s another step closer to the goal that I’ve worked so hard for & moved across the damn country for. One step closer. 


Even if I just sell more stories until I can buy a car next year while I build my wireless career as the cell phone boss lady, it’ll be okay. I start my new job on 07/04 & I’m excited to get into my new store. And this meeting was productive. It’s one step closer…& more money. I put in the time, the effort & hard work & I got the meeting I’ve been gunning for. He didn’t have to do that, after all, he said himself that there were other candidates with more experience. But he read my work & it was damn good. And if I freelance with the newspaper, I’ll get some time in a newsroom & a chance to learn other styles of reporting. My new editor has been very hands on with my latest work. I’m soaking up the feedback like a sponge. Anything to learn and grow & become the best damn reporter I can be. 


I don’t fear failure anymore. Mostly because I don’t really know what it is. If it didn’t work the first time, I believe in doubling down & trying again. Didn’t get the meeting? Try again. Want a better job? Take the road less travelled to get the interview. Nail it. Bad weekend for your diet? Eat better tomorrow. Was that WOD or run loaggy & crappy? Oh well, your time will improve tomorrow. This is the mantra that I have built my life around. There is no failure; only a setback in which I can then use to become the woman I’m supposed to be. Thanks for that kick in the nuts, I’ll just bounce back better. 

Life is always about proving to yourself that you can be the best you that you can be, without hurting people or stepping on them on the way. You can always improve, grow, be better. If you want it badly enough, you’ll do it. I always remind myself that if former WWE champion Seth Rollins can rehab 10 hours a day & crossfit on one leg to get back to what he does best, I can get my ass to the gym. If I can be brave enough to move away from everyone I love to be a writer, I can learn to drive, freelance, take everything thrown at me until I get to where I need to be. I can be the best cell phone boss lady I can be and make my store successful. Why? Because I want it. That’s why. 

Still pretending this is where MiTB ended. Fight me

Cheap Thrills

I work in customer service and media relations. I pride myself on my level of customer service. At my last workplace my customer service score was 100%. During my Target Mobile tenure, one of my customers sent an email to Target Canada’s head office praising my service. During my management team’s follow up calls, they tell me how my customers praise my empathy, genuine interest in them & product knowledge. There’s a reason my friends call me in the Cow Province instead of their cell providers in Ontario; because I take pride in my job & my ability to do it well. They call me “Cell Phone Jesus” (although I prefer the title “Queen of Telecommunications” as is in my Twitter bio). Thanks to this, I may never need to apply for a job again, for I’m often contacted by recruiters for open positions. In fact, I’m currently in the interview process for a new position that will help me transition my wireless career into a wireless/public relations career. I REALLY want this job, so if you could send all the happy thoughts, love, trend the #HireMHC tag on Twitter, prayers or sacrifices to Cthulu, that’d be GREAT (yup, I humblebragged. Fight me). 

Flashback to when Bossman Adam bought me a tiara

But customer service is super important to me, because as both a customer service representative & a person who buys stuff, I expect it on both sides of the counter. So, when I see an example of poor customer service in my travels, I tend to want to comment. 

This past week, lovable WWE jerk Kevin Owens made a comment online about a restaurant called Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce, claiming he waited quite some time & he and his wife Karina ended up leaving when they were told to wait even longer for their meal. The staff then proceeded to take catty shots on Twitter in a manner reminiscent of Owens’s in character tweets to fans & then somehow, the story ended up being relevant enough to be discussed on Ariel Helwani’s podcast, prompting Owens to post a rebuttal. While right now, it’s a source of annoyance for Owens, it’s a helpful lesson in good customer service. 

I always tell my team that we are representing a company and cellular brands. We are the face of them. If we do a good job, they tell their friends. If we don’t, they tell EVERYONE. Go to any restaurant or cell company’s Facebook & see the comments of “I went into _____ location & they were dicks!” Or ask someone what cell company/restaurant to recommend. They will lead with “don’t go here, they suck.” Why? Because humans naturally gravitate towards the negative. When I think of my first cell phone & the bad customer experience I received (I won’t name names), I know that bias slips into my work, as I lead with Rogers phones, as I’ve had great service with Rogers. Once again, that level of positive service reaps rewards. I’ve never met Kevin Owens, but I do know based on this, I won’t go to Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce next time I’m in Montreal either. Not because of the complaint, but the response & the continued attempts to embarrass Mr. Owens afterwards. That’s just bad customer service. That night, he wasn’t lovable jerk Kevin Owens; he was thoughtful husband Kevin Steen, a guy that really just wanted to take his wife out to dinner. He got poor service & made a comment about it on social media, you know, like everyone else ever. 


I think I empathized with him because I know how seriously Kevin Owens takes his role as brand ambassador for WWE. Last September, my mom bought my kids & I WWE live event tickets to celebrate my youngest’s sixth birthday (& mine, which is 10 days later). My youngest, dressed in her Nikki Bella gear from head to toe carefully made a sign saying she wanted to meet her hero, as well as her favourite wrestler, Seth Rollins. However, Nikki Bella was injured, but fellow Diva Natalya helped my child get a birthday wish from Nikki, which she did & is still on her IG. However, when Kevin Owens arrived, my then eight year old rushed over to the fence to try and get an autograph for her uncle, who’s birthday had just passed & a shy eight year old was drowned out by the “it’s still real to them” crowd & he didn’t hear her. She cried. My oldest suggested we put it on Twitter & maybe it could be funny promo fodder or we’d get a snarky tweet because she finds them funny. After all, it was an accident. Even my eight year old knew it was an accident & had moved on to seeing if she could wave to Cody Rhodes. Owens tweeted back asking what had happened, and even though I stressed it was an accident, she was fine, no harm done, he arranged for the girls to go backstage to the meet & greet, where they got to meet Seth Rollins (& they all nearly died of joy) & messaged a belated birthday wish to their uncle. By the end of the night, my eight year old was crying again, because she didn’t get to meet Owens to thank him.  But to say it didn’t stick out is an understatement. Many of my wrestling fan friends already liked Owens for his in ring ability, but his commitment to the fans made them respect him more. My kids adore Kevin Owens & can’t wait for his action figure to arrive (although it DOES have to apologize to their Sami Zayn for the whole being a jerk to Sami Zayn thing) & I have no problem lining his coffers with my purchases of Kevin Owens merchandise (even though I’m sure his gesture has more to do with him being a father of a child close in age than my buying his merch). The guy running the Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce Twitter could learn from him. 

For my family, Kevin Owens isn’t just a wrestler; he’s a guy who did a really cool thing for my kids. He didn’t have to do anything. But he did & my kids are forever grateful. Nikki Bella didn’t have to wish my daughter a happy birthday. She wasn’t even there! But she, Natalya & Owens went above & beyond & it’ll always stick out & I’ll never tank them enough. THAT is being a brand ambassador & something too few people seem to care about. Both situations started with a tweet about an experience. The difference is that Owens represented his company well & Notre-Boeuf-De-Grâce didn’t. 


It costs you absolutely zero dollars to be a good person, but being a douche can cost you many dollars. While the customer may not always be right, they are a person too & should be respected, even if the answer isn’t one they wanted to hear. A simple “sorry you had a bad time, did you want to DM us what happened?” Could have gone a long way. In this day and age of social media, restaurants can’t afford to be sassy to anyone because by day’s end, the universe will know & you will only have yourself to blame when your business looks bad. 

We all work with people every day. Treat them like they were your best friend, not like just another customer, or chances are, you won’t have any more. 

Welcome to the Show

It’s been a weird few weeks. 

I haven’t really felt like blogging. I’ve been writing, as I’ve been working hard at the magazine as I AM GETTING ASSIGNED STORIES AGAIN! But I didn’t feel like blogging. I even pulled the app from my phone for a bit. I’m all about being more selective about what I share with people. Even my close friends aren’t learning as much about my life. I guess I’m internalizing a bit. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think there are people who use my blog to figure out my mood, etc. instead of actually communicating with me & I’m kind of over that. But I really wanted to share this tale of how strong women inspire strong women & maybe it’ll motivate other strong women. 

But I’m losing the plot a little bit. Hold on, let me back up the train a bit. 

  

This week, my girls were talking about heroes & women who inspire them. I’m always interested to see who catches their attention & motivates them. For my oldest daughter, it was Sasha Banks. 

  
My teen daughter has made it no secret that she wants to become the youngest WWE  Women’s Champion in history. She’s also been told by her father, grandfather, and maternal grandmother that she can’t. She’s lazy. She’s selfish. Spoiled. So she’ll never make it. However, she keeps on training. Working on her athletics in gym & her theatrics in drama class so she can become that girl that has her moment. I always remind her that for every AJ Lee & Sasha Banks, there are hundreds of little girls that didn’t make it, so she’s gotta put in the work Sasha & AJ did. I tell her that she’s capable and while I fully intend to be at ringside when she wins that title, it’s always good to have a university education in case of injury. Last week, Sasha Banks showcased her Wrestlemania Diary, where she revealed a journal where 10 year old Mercedes (Sasha’s real name) wrote about her dreams to become the WWE Women’s Champion. Last Sunday, my eldest child, decked out in her Legit Boss gear, got teary when the opening notes of her favourite’s music hit and as Sasha Banks got her moment, she said “Sasha did it, and in a few years, that’ll be me.”

  
Regardless of the outcome of the match (which pissed off every one of my kids), Sasha Banks inspired many little girls who are told that they can’t, like my daughter, so she should be proud of what she accomplished. Much like little Mercedes looked up to her heroes, in a few years, my daughter will describe how Sasha Banks walking to the ring helped inspire her. That’s gotta be amazing. 

Later this week, I introduced my daughters to THE GREATEST CINEMATIC EPIC OF OUR TIME; Legally Blonde. My 9 year old, whom we call the Overlord called me at work to tell me;

“MOMMY. ELLE AND THE DOGGY SAVED THE LADY AND WON THE CASE AND SHE DID IT ALL BY HERSELF AND THEN TOLD THE JERK BOY TO GO SCREW HIMSELF. SHE IS AWESOME.”

I take flack for loving Elle as much as I do, but she’s pretty bad ass. She got into Harvard Law all by herself. And she became a lawyer all by herself. She didn’t hold it against Vivian that they fought for the same guy, because he didn’t deserve either of them. And Elle just wanted to make the world better for people. She kind of rules. The Overlord kind of wants to be a lawyer…and I need to watch my language, as screw yourself shouldn’t be in a kid’s vocabulary. 

  

 And my youngest daughter told me this week that I’m her hero. Because Mommy writes for a magazine & moved to a Cow Province to be the best writer & sells phones & works hard & gives hugs & takes her to Zootopia & does crossfit & I would never blow up her planet like Darth Vader blew up Princess Leia’s planet. It was kind of cool.

  
But it reminded me why I need to make sure that I’m being my best self every single day, as there are little people who are watching me. Little people watch how you treat people, how you carry yourself, how hard you work & emulate you. While its great that Sasha Banks & Elle Woods inspire my kids to become champions & dog toting lawyers, I’m the one they see every day. I need to be the bad ass woman that conquers the planet, works hard, and treats people well. I’m the one who will teach them what kind of woman they want to be. I don’t want them to be like me; they will accomplish far more than I will, but my character sets that blueprint. I need to make it a good one. 

  
So, the lesson here is, never be afraid to be the best version of you. You never know who is watching.

  

Big & Loud

This has not been my week. I’ve been sick. I’ve had xrays. It’s actually super shitty. But I will figure this out in a few days & all will be well. 

But I refuse to let dark times cloud my awesome life. My life is the raddest. I’ve lost six pounds this month. My gym dues are paid & I can train. My kids got rad report cards. Oh, and I got some much needed time with some friends this week. It was just what I needed. 

  
But enough about my life. Let’s talk about mindless drivel. Today’s mindless drivel is why the WWE Divas Division continues to piss me off. 

It has not been since 2014 that WWE has had a true babyface Diva in Brie Bella. Brie was beloved by fans, as they hoped she would defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon & avenge her husband Daniel Bryan & sister Nikki (she didn’t. She was defeated & aligned with Nikki to reign as bad girls in Team Bella & now is used to elevate the NXT Divas). 

  
Since then, all of the dominant women have been stereotypes. Bad girl Nikki Bella. Jealous geeky girl AJ Lee. Manipulative Paige. Daddy’s spoiled brat Charlotte Flair. All until the unexpected rise in popularity of Becky Lynch. 

  
Becky Lynch has gone through many phases since her debut, but the core of her main roster character has remained the same; she wants to be a champion of integrity. Someone little girls can look up to. She wants to win the right way. All three of my daughters watched the Royal Rumble with baited breath, to see if Becky would overtake Charlotte Flair & become the Divas Champion. 

She didn’t. 

Instead, Charlotte’s father forced himself on her, she was pinned in dirty fashion, tossed out of the ring like trash by villainess Sasha Banks & left to sob alone. 

  
As a mom & a feminist, I find it horrifying that male “advocates for women’s wrestling” like Jim Ross & Mick Foley are more concerned about whether or not the word Diva is problematic than the actual treatment of the women. An old man forcing himself on a woman is a humourous plot point in 2016. Every woman except Becky Lynch is a stereotype, from mean girl to cat lady. They are booked as catty, jealous bimbos who are self serving & petty. Even my 14 year old daughter, who wanted to be a Diva, no longer wants that. She feels like she would have to become a character that her sisters couldn’t be proud of, or end up humiliated like Becky Lynch. 

  

WWE has an obligation to their female fans to give them a hero. I’m not necessarily about kids role modelling from TV people, my kids look up to me, my strength, tenacity, my work ethic. But little girls deserve to see the heroine win in the story. Celeste Bonin’s Kaitlyn was humiliated by man eating villainess AJ Lee. Brie Bella was felled by her evil twin and then joined her. Paige fought the good fight, but turned bitter. WWE finally has a chance to give little girls a chance for their hero to win, like John Cena or Roman Reigns for boys, as Becky is still fighting the good fight against two evil stereotypes. As the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania approaches, I hope WWE finally shows that nice girls can finish first, and the big moment can go to the character who wants to show that you can become champion & keep your soul; Becky Lynch. 

  

Away

I used to be that person who was way too open with my life online. Then I got burned & now I’m not. 

My personal life isn’t “out there” on FB, with memes & sap. I’m not that girl anymore. There have been random tweets, but again, this is rare. In fact, I don’t even think I tell my friends when I’m dating someone (aside from my closest friends). I’m very guarded about my life, whom I trust, because it’s something I struggle with. This is why it weirds me out when people put their personal lives all over the Internet.

WWE Superstar Darren Young took some heat from fans this week when he posted screencaps of an Instagram DM (which can still be found on Young’s Twitter), where a cameraman for the E! series Total Divas sent a shirtless snap to the former Tag Team Champion. He then sent back a photo of his partner & put the man on blast for trying to “break up his happy home.” Young defended his airing of his dirty laundry in some other tweets after fans called him out on his poor behaviour. As my friend Matt Bastard & I discussed jealousy & whether it means a lack of trust in your partner, I thought this whole thing was sad & really embarrassing for Darren Young. 

  
I used to be a bit jealous. Not much, but there was one friend of my boyfriend’s that made me feel uncomfortable. Maybe it was the fact that they used to date. Maybe it was the fact that she was overly flirtatious. I’m not sure. But it bugged me. Now, I’m indifferent. Somewhere along the way I became more confident in who I am as a person. This helped me realize that he loves me. It doesn’t matter if she’s pretty, if they used to date, if they were neighbours, or if she hypothetically showed up at his house naked. He loves me & chose me. And he respects me enough to be faithful to me. I’m sure he notices pretty girls, but in the end, he loves me & chooses to be with me & demonstrates this with his actions.  And I need to be confident in his choice & trust him. After all, my being insecure in his choice makes him feel like he needs to do more to prove that I’m his choice. My questioning his choice makes him question it. Lack of trust brings more mistrust. Now, I understand that he chose me because he loves me & I have no reason to question this, because I know he feels it’s the right one. So, instead of being insecure; I’m proud to be the woman he chose. 

I’m sure lots of women hit on him. He’s a good looking, intelligent man who works around people all day. I’m sure girls send him flirty Facebook messages & texts. But he loves me, so it doesn’t matter. However, I would question his character if he put these women on public blast, instead of just politely telling them he has a girlfriend. This would show me a lack of respect for people on his part & an even less respect for me. If you need to put a human on blast to prove your home is happy, then your home isn’t that happy. I don’t know Darren Young or Nick Villa, his partner. But I do know that they don’t seem terribly secure, as they had to put humiliate a stranger to validate their love. Maybe this cameraman wasn’t aware that Young was in a relationship. I’m not married, I don’t wear a ring. I’ve had men ask for my number because there is no obvious indication that I’m with anyone. So, I tell them & life goes on. A simple “thanks for the invite, but I have a boyfriend,” would have sufficed. Maybe they could have become platonic friends? Now, some poor guy has been shamed & humiliated for what could have been a simple misunderstanding. 

The only thing I took away from Darren Young’s tweets was that his relationship appears to be full of insecurity, jealousy & a lack of trust. So much so that he needed to humiliate a total stranger to prove how “happy” he is with his partner. Anyone who needs to go to such immature lengths to showcase a happy relationship can’t be that happy. The fact that these two make such a public front to appear happy makes me think their private is actually stressful. 

A little bit of jealousy is normal, everyone who loves someone might feel a small pang of jealousy from time to time. It means you are protective of your relationship & (when discussed) can help you & your partner find a comfortable place. But when your jealousy & possessiveness leads to you attacking someone & hurting someone else to defend your “happy home,” then you need to evaluate your partner, because there is obviously no trust there, and you can’t have a successful relationship when you’re looking over your shoulder wondering who’s looking at your mate. 

  

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. 
 

Something Great

I watched WWE as a kid & still dig the camp factor. My daughters love it though, are very invested in the storylines & I’ll have to keep my two eldest in neutral corners as their faves AJ Lee & Paige compete for the Divas title tonight @ the Summerslam PPV event (yes, they are well aware it isn’t real, it’s all scripted & they’re all friends in real life, but you can get hurt if you try it. My middle daughter will tell you this is the best cartoon on TV & Daniel Bryan is everything).

However, I often complain at the lack of proper representation for their female characters. The Divas (until recently) were one note characters, either kind of trashy or innocent ingenue & their only storylines were bad girl wants good girl’s Divas title or is jealous of good girl. The only exceptions were the long & storied feud of Trish Stratus & Lita & the mean girls style antics of Laycool (Michelle McCool & Layla El). As a parent of daughters , it bugged me that there were no characters they could really get behind or rally around. Well, it’s as if Stephanie McMahon (the company’s principal owner & mom of three daughters) heard every mom’s concerns & did something about it.

The women have complex characters now. Divas Champion AJ Lee went from one note man eater jealous of the girls from the reality show Total Divas (on the E! Network) to complicated heroine struggling to keep her composure after an onslaught of machinations created by her “friend”. Newcomer Paige is a sweet young girl…or a master manipulator. The Bella Twins went from wooden bad girls to heroines protecting each other & their family (namely Brie’s real life & legitimately injured husband Daniel Bryan) from the aforementioned McMahon. Nikki put up with unfair advantage week after week believing that she could overcome & Brie, having had enough, challenged McMahon to stand up for her family & Brie vs. Stephanie is going to headline tonight’s PPV.

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That’s right: the main event is two women! Something unheard of in the sexist & misongynistic world of wrestling. Women are normally relegated to less than 10 minutes & put in the spot known as the “death slot,” so you can get nachos before John Cena appears. My daughters were heartbroken @ Wrestlemania XXX when they waited all night for the first Divas title match in the history of the event, only to see there were no entrances (save for AJ Lee) & their match was shorter than the time it took for the Undertaker to walk to the ring. The Divas disappear from TV for weeks while little girls sadly hope for a glimpse of Brie or Nikki & last year, a Divas t-shirt was a mythological thing. If little girls wanted something to represent their idols, they had to make it themselves.

But not anymore.

Seven women have merch for little girls to buy. There are two women’s matches a night. TWO. The women have actual storylines & Brie Bella, who’s match was famously pulled off a PPV to make room for Machine Gun Kelly to play John Cena to the ring is considered more important than the men. My daughters pleaded for their Bella shirts & I relented (& got one too) & they are excited for tonight like it’s Super Bowl Sunday with their Fearless Nikki & Brie Mode shirts. They’ve counted down the days for Bellaslam as they call it & tonight, they all get to stay up late to see if their beloved Brie can defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon.

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While to those who don’t watch, it doesn’t seem like a big deal; it’s just a campy, stupid TV show designed for rednecks & children, but to every girl who was told that they only watched wrestling for the hot guys or for the soap opera like atmosphere, this is our moment. For once, the girls we cheered for aren’t being marginalized in a dumbed down storyline that makes women look like shrews or like they only care about pleasing men or like women secretly hate each other & it’s all about jealousy. This is the equivalent of A Disney Princess grabbing the sword from Prince Charming & saving herself, or the Cubs going to the World Series. Fans waited so long & gave up hope that the day would ever come. Suddenly, for every little girl who aspires to be a Diva (including my 13 year old daughter), the main event, the star of the show, is an option. It’s attainable & kudos to WWE for realizing that girls can kick ass, girls do have feelings, & girls can star the show & people WILL care about them. Between this & the successful reality show Total Divas, it’s like WWE finally gets what they seemed to have forgotten since Trish Stratus & Lita retired; women are people; strong, resilient, confident, brave & emotional people & not just objects for men to ogle.

Now, I’m well aware that WWE will likely screw this up & break up the Bella Twins or something & turn this into a one note jealous sister storyline & remind me why they are sexist & can’t write for women, but right now I’m feeling very girl power for them & for my own kids, who get to ask to stay up without saying “if they don’t get cut” or “it’ll only be five more minutes,” because for the first time ever, the Divas are the star of the show.

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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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Can’t Go Back

After The Texan got me to go Vegan for exactly one day, I decided to adopt more vegan recipes into my diet to help the girls & I be healthier & open minded about other dietary options. Because of this, I bought Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by vegan chef Natalie Slater (my kids love taco lasagna). I’d been following Slater for years on Twitter because she’s freaking hilarious. But her first column with Red Eye Chicago (found here) solidified a thought I’ve had for years; celebrity worship is getting out of hand.

From Global Looking Glass
From Global Looking Glass

Slater details how her longtime friend has no privacy & can’t do simple things like take out his garbage or go to Target without people snapping pics. My oldest commented on how much that must suck when her friends on IG were uploading photos of her idol AJ Lee attending a hockey game with former WWE superstar CM Punk. “Poor AJ. She doesn’t deserve that. She’s not wrestling right now,” she said before unfollowing the offending account. She doesn’t read dirt sheets, mainly because she feels that they are biased against AJ & the Divas, & only goes to one wrestling discussion group, one of the few communities that promotes women’s wrestling & respects the hard work these women put in to entertain her.

From wwe.com
From wwe.com

As a semi retired entertainment reporter, I understand celebrity worship. In fact, as I apply for jobs in media in my new city, I understand that my livelihood depends on you caring about celebrity culture. But there is a limit & that limit is that celebrities are not trained monkeys to amuse you every second of their lives.

My job is to promote celebrities (well, it’s currently to sell phones, but my designated career path is to promote celebrities). I actually take minimal issue with the paparazzi. I feel that you signed up for that life, you take the pros & cons. But there is a limit. If a celeb is enjoying an outing with their children or doing a mundane task, then back off (I mean, does anyone REALLY care that Elisabeth Hasselbeck pumps her own gas?) I’m sure you’ve noticed that my children, while mentioned, are never seen. I have posted their photos twice. I do not call them by their given names. Mom’s a blogger; they aren’t. They deserve privacy. They also deserve me as a role model, not Miley Cyrus.

by: Terry Richardson
by: Terry Richardson

Before I go further, I love Miley Cyrus. I think she’s awesome. I also don’t expect her to raise my kids for me. If my kids experiment with drugs or dress inappropriately, that’s on me, not Miley Cyrus. Her job is not to raise your kids. Her job is to release albums & go on tour. She’s doing that. Don’t like it? Don’t buy them. Don’t go. Posting venomous comments on message boards clinging to anonymity because she doesn’t want to act the way you as fans want her to is sad. Then we wonder why kids bully. They learn it from you.

Slater’s piece should have opened our eyes to our fan entitlement. If Slater’s friend wants to retire from professional wrestling, he’s allowed to do that. He doesn’t owe you anything more. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan didn’t need to ask your permission to get married on the date that he chose, causing him to miss a week of TV. Jennifer Lawrence shouldn’t have to apologize for her personality. I have probably purchased everything with AJ Lee’s face or logo on it, but she does not owe me her private time & I hope if I ever ran into her in public, I have taught my teen daughter enough respect to leave her hero alone while she shops at Target or approach her with manners & respect, as well as respect that Lee has the right to decline her request for an autograph if she chooses.

Think about how you would like it if you were enjoying a baseball game & strangers were photographing you to announce it like a Sasquatch sighting. Or you’re enjoying dinner & 20 strangers bombard you, asking you when you’re in next or why you made that choice at work. Because that’s what it is; their job. I know if a stranger bothered me on a date to ask me about either of my jobs while I was off the clock; I’d punch them (or want to).

Sadly, Slater’s piece didn’t help anyone “get it.” Just more fan entitlement. Those people didn’t get that this is exactly what she meant. Those people who blasted her & called her horrible names, she was talking about fans like YOU. Yes, people choose the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t make them zoo animals, forced to perform 24/7. It’s not about you; it’s about basic human respect.

So, next time you decide to send that hate tweet, or go on Disqus as “guest” to put a celeb on blast for not being a good role model to your bratty kids, or attempt to take a selfie with the celeb you spotted at Olive Garden, think about how you would feel if people sent you hate tweets for making a work decision or demanded photos while you were eating your angel hair pomodoro. Also, before you say “well, they chose & I didn’t,” yes, they chose & worked hard & sacrificed & succeeded to entertain schmucks like you, & I bet you’d trade places for a day if you could. And I bet if it meant shopping in peace, they would too.