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.

It Ain’t Me

One thing I talk about frequently is my love of fitness. I super love it. Fitness is my favourite thing in the entire world. I love running. I love crossfit. I love yoga. But even though I love it, work, parenting, and life prevents me from working out as much as I want. I’m starting to realize that I need to work my way up to “the people at my gym go five days a week! I need to find time for six workouts or imma be a Mighty Morphin Failure Ranger!” 

When I started working out, it was six days a week with Stratusphere yoga. Then six days with Stratusphere Sculpt. But once I started running, I found six days to be too much. I ran every other day. So, three to four days a week. Then I added Crossfit. I went twice a week. During the winter I added some yoga at home twice a week. But as I added intensity, I found I needed downtime. Then I took six months off for an injury and three more because I had lost that WLCF loving feeling, where I would grab my gear and make a 7am class because those were my favourite people, outside of ones that shared my DNA. I’m so fortunate to have captured that again at my new gym. They are the best people in YEG. But sometimes I only get there once a week. And I might not want to run the next day. Then I look at the Fitbit that says I’ve only worked out twice and get down on myself. Then I eat shit…and feel like shit. 


Last night, I decided to FaceTime one of my two BFF’s, you might know him as heavy lifting outlaw Lift Bitches (give him a follow on the IG, you won’t be disappointed. PS I totally named his YouTube channel. Totally remind him that it’s great)! I love having a competitive powerlifter friend. I can talk about my progress, fears, etc. He gave me some real talk; yoga for six days (even bad ass yoga) is a lot less intense than two 5K runs and two WOD’s. Stop comparing myself to the guys in the competitors class and compare myself to last week’s MHC. Is she better? Eating better? Living better? Could I add more weight to my bar? Did I do an extra hanging knee raise before I felt scared? That’s the progress that matters. 


I keep forgetting that in October, I was basically starting my crossfit journey all over again. I can’t compare my progress to the competitors. I can’t even compare myself to WLCF me. I have to only focus on here and now MHC. My workouts have changed. Four days a week of crossfit and a 5K run followed by a half hour yoga cooldown is okay. No, I may not achieve my goal of a handstand push up by the end of the year. I may not hit a 200lbs back squat. But if I keep pushing forwards instead of stressing that I’m obviously not cut out for crossfit because my time was the slowest and my burpees were sloppy and I needed a rest day after a hard WOD, I’ll actually do those things. I need to be proud of the little victories, not kick myself. 

And always remember selfcare.

I sometimes wonder if my desire to be the best is hindering me. I fell in love with Crossfit because it’s a limitless journey to become healthier. Why am I always looking for the quick fix? Why do I feel like “the scale didn’t move this week. Am a fat failure. Break out the pizza.” I also wonder if I’m the only Crossfitter/person trying to be healthy who feels this way. 


So now, I’m going to focus on realistic goals. A realistic workout routine. In a few months, we’ll add a day or two, but right now, this is where I am, and that’s okay. I have to set goals that are right sized for me, not for the guy who can deadlift a million pounds and has been training without stopping for five years. He was probably struggling to get through that power snatch just like me once. But I’m never gonna deadlift a million pounds if I keep beating myself up for not working out six days a week. I’ve gotta trust the process…and myself. 

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. 

  

Blasphemy, Myself & I

Today, I took two hours out of my super busy life and did something that I wanted to do.

I know, holy crap, right?!

(Today also featured a series of unfortunate events that forced me to call into work for the first time in nearly six years. This troubles me, but I can’t sweat it; it happens. Life sometimes messes things up. I’ll be back on the normal “this would kill a lesser woman” schedule again tomorrow)

I attended a super rad seminar hosted by gym about eating. As someone who spends 97% of her life working and the last 14 months dropping 100lbs, this is super important to me. I can’t undo all of this hard ass work by eating garbage food. After all, it’s not like I have a lot of time for meal prep, but when I do I prep the crap out of stuff. I have worked too hard to be amazing to let a little thing like “working literally every second of my life” undo it.

I'm big on comparisons, so I present the fitness evolution of MHC
I’m big on comparisons, so I present the fitness evolution of MHC
But part of the seminar reminded me why I love crossfit so much; which is the belief that there is no limits to what you and the human body can do.

The seminar stressed that we need to change our thinking in order to progress. You can’t just run on the same treadmill or eat the same foods or think the same way. We as humans need to grow and evolve. The crossfit mentality is there is literally no limit to how strong you can become, how fast you can go. There are no limits to what the body can do. Isn’t that super rad? There is something so exciting to me about the idea of growth, of evolving, of changing and growing. While yes, I am stubborn as a damn mule and I know what I want and will not settle for anything less than the life that I deserve, the career I want, or what I think is the right thing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to improve things, change things, learn, grow, try things from a different perspective, etc. I bore easily unless it involves my children, journalism, yoga or crossfit. I can’t do the same things over and over. That’s why my career speaks to me so much. I never write the same thing twice and that’s really kind of exciting to me.

But part of eating right and living well means thinking well. In order to become the person we are meant to become, we have to believe that we are capable of being the person we are meant to become. We need to think we are amazing, extraordinary, we have a purpose, we deserve to be loved the way we’ve always wanted and we have a purpose.

purpose

Purpose isn’t something I lack, as I’ve known what I was meant to do my entire life. I was meant to be a good mother and a good person and a good writer. I was meant to be a kind person who gives to those who aren’t very kind, to themselves or others. I was meant to find positivity in less than pleasant circumstances & lead by example and raise compassionate, kind hearted and strong women. I was meant to kick life’s ass. This has been my purpose and I’ve been pretty passionate about it. In fact, unless it involves my children, Great West Newspapers, my various retail gigs or crossfit, I probably haven’t really paid much attention to it (unless you visit my tumblr, which is pretty much just a shrine to Seth Rollins at this point. I’m a huge fangirl. I regret nothing)! My drive to fufill my purpose has blessed me with opportunities to achieve my goals, three amazing daughters, a fitness program at a gym with some pretty rad people that feel like I do; that there are no limits to what a boring human being on her pink couch can do if she puts her mind to it, focuses on things that are positive and enrich me and walk with the purpose that I’m meant to achieve all of my dreams.

While talking about my purpose in life, I like to remind people that I'm actually a confused little creature with no idea what's happening around me.
While talking about my purpose in life, I like to remind people that I’m actually a confused little creature with no idea what’s happening around me.
Maybe I need to stop playing it so safe with my life. Maybe I need to start focusing on doing the things that I need to do to make me happier and fufilled, professionally and personally. My current life, while it’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things, is burning me out. I don’t have time to do the things I truly enjoy doing; raising my family, writing (well, I do have a couple of articles submitted to various magazines) and crossfit. I rarely have time to enjoy my girls, or even a good sweat sesh. I can afford to live, but what kind of life do I have when I can’t enjoy my life? Clearly I need to think of some changes in order to live the life I was meant to have. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but the next few weeks will require some major changes (& a major decision needs to be made) so I can enjoy the life I’ve worked so hard to build.

But no matter what happens, I know there are no limits to what I can accomplish. During my workout last week, I was using a 20lbs kettlebell for my Turkish Get Ups (look them up, they were invented by Satan himself), but the first time I did them, I injured my leg doing them…and that was with a five lbs dumbbell! My coach and I giggled a little bit through the memory as I plugged through the set of three unbroken reps, amazed at how strong and coordinated I’ve become. Every time I can do something more, I get excited because it means I’m getting stronger. This has a domino effect; I can get much deeper into my yoga poses and hold the more complex ones longer. The endorphins and healthy eating have improved my physical health; no longer am I experiencing migraines and rarely am I ill. I can remember a time when I was constantly having blood taken to figure out why my iron was low or my blood sugar or why I was always tired. Those days are gone (well, not the tired, that’s totes present in my day to day life, especially because I’m giving up caffeine for thirty days to help improve my eating habits). This improves mental wellness. I haven’t had a panic attack in 19 months. The events that used to cripple me were bumps in the road & my persistent optimism remained. These things improve my professional life; my job performance improves, I never call in sick (well, except today, except I’m not the one that is sick) and my writing has been pretty solid. All of these things help me live out my potential and fufill my purpose. A few changes and the right frame of mind goes a long way. You can do it too. There is no limit to what a human being can accomplish if they just try. You can be extraordinary and you can find your purpose and live out your dreams.

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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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Day 28: What Stresses Me Out

There was a time when everything in life stressed me out.

During my marriage, I walked on eggshells. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t do anything. After the marriage, I was walking on different eggshells. I was so afraid to be alone that I didn’t want to make anyone mad at me. That way, they would love me.

Now, I focus on things by breaking them up as I need to. Cleaning my basement? We’ll do it in four days. Budgeting? We’ll plan it at the start of each month. Chores through the chore hat. Instead of procrastinating and letting things build up in my mind, I handle them as they come. I meditate each night. Yoga helps me detstress. I keep a list of goals I’ve accomplished. All of these things help me keep focused and almost sane. Then, of course, there is my writing, which always helps me, no matter how stressed I am. When I was in school, I often wrote about inane garbage because the subject matter sucked so hard that I couldn’t focus. My writing helped me focus on what needed to be done to get through. Same with the rest of my life; writing helps me find my balance.

The other thing is that I no longer feel dependent on others. I have realized that no matter who comes and goes in my life, I have my children and I will survive. It might sting, but that’s okay; because as the singer Jojo says “Disaster strikes and I’m alright because my love’s on his way.” Whether that’s a friend, a lover, a relative I’m reconnecting with, there will always be someone who loves me in this life and I will cherish those people. However, sometimes, their time in my life has an expiration date. That may sting, but it’ll be alright because I have myself, my daughters, my faith and my determination to make all of our dreams come true will get me through.

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Also, if that doesn’t work and life throws me for a loop, I’ll simply spend an hour doing yoga and between that and chivasana, my mind will be cleared enough to write, which always helps me find my way. Or there’s wine. There’s always wine.

Day 16: Body Image

I used to love my body…then I got fat.

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I got REALLY fat. I weighed almost 300 lbs @ the time I graduated college & had my second daughter. I felt disgusting, so I worked out, did weight watchers & lost 70lbs.

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But it’s a yoyo thing; I get depressed, I gain weight. I get motivated, I drop it. I had friends tell me “you look fine!” Maybe I do, but not to me. I think I’m fat. I can understand how Rachel Frederickson ended up underweight during her recent stint on the Biggest Loser. When you’ve been a thin girl & now you’re a fat girl, there is nothing more intoxicating than the compliments, the scale number going down, the smaller pants. It’s amazing! So, you keep on wanting it & that’s how you go too far.

Courtesy NBC
Courtesy NBC

One of the things I realized is that my low self esteem kills my relationships. I choose men who are narcissistic & then feed their egos because I don’t like myself. I think it’s okay to be ignored, neglected because I’m a fat & ugly basket case & they’re great guys & are “putting up with me.” That’s not true; they were lucky to have me! I treated them well & was supportive & loving. Then I drain my friends because I feel like I let those men and my family down by not being good enough and kill those relationships by feeling unworthy of friendships. I need to get out of the mindset that I’m unworthy or ugly. I need to look @ myself & think I’m pretty & bright & sweet & kind & I deserve to be loved. But I don’t see pretty; I see fat. So, I decided to take control & stop being fat.

I started eating better. No more days of not eating while focusing on work, the kids, etc. Three meals & one snack. I watch my calories & fat through the Lose It! app. I talk to my best friend the Psych Major (who, along with her husband, are personal trainers) about the right eating habits & I work out every night. Every night is Stratusphere Yoga. I did the 30 squat challenge & I’m on Day 17 of the ab challenge. I’m going to do 30 days of push-ups next & come spring, I’ll be ready to start couch to 5k. All of these things have helped me safely lose 15lbs thus far. I have a long way to go, but I prefer to look at how far I’ve come.

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I need to take responsibility for my own happiness, my own self esteem. After all, if I can’t love myself, how can anyone else, so I’m taking responsibility for my weight & I’m committing myself to losing it. After all, there are no magic pills or fad diets. The only way to lose weight is to eat right, drink lots of water & get up off of your ass & exercise. So, that’s what I’m going to do & finally lose the weight & gain my self esteem back. It might take a long time, but that’s okay. I’m in no hurry to do anything. But the more I work towards getting my body to the way I want it to be, the more confident I feel and the happier I am. All of these things will count towards me getting to be the person I know I’m capable of being.

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Day Seven: What Makes Me Happy

What makes me happy? Everything!

It doesn’t take much to make me happy, as I pride myself on making myself happy every day. I couldn’t imagine living a life where tiny things, such as my favourite song coming on my iPod just when I wanted to hear it, or shopping, or something funny my daughter said didn’t make my whole day awesome. So, to compile a list of things that make me happy is actually quite easy. But, for the sake of not boring you, I’ll keep the list small.

1. My daughters. Duh. They’re my pride & joy, my source of happiness every day. Nothing brings me greater happiness than my girls.

2. Yoga. I love yoga. I love how it makes my body feel better, with less back pain. I love that it’s helping me lose weight. I love that I feel so rejuvenated after a good sweat session with Stratusphere Yoga. Even while I was house hunting, or ill, & couldn’t do a full workout, I still made time for twenty minutes of yoga poses. I even have yoga goals; like someday I’ll be able to do Crow pose properly & not just prep & I’ll do those preacher curls while in Flamingo. Yoga helps the body, mind & spirit.

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3. Music. I love all music. I identify with so many songs & they take me back to snippets of time that make me happy. I couldn’t go a day without singing along with the radio or listening to my iPod. I love all music, from death metal to classical & I think it’s my second favourite non-parenting thing in the world.

4. Writing. Another duh. Never a day without a word was my former professor’s motto & I think I live that. I love to create & give my random ideas life. I love telling stories, recreating memories of concerts, sporting events, the first time you heard that song. It’s my passion & it’s everything to me. Writing is like oxygen to me. It makes me a better person, & once I’ve finished moving, I’ll have a byline again & I’ll be telling my stories again before you know it.

5. Edgar Allen Poe. My all time favourite author. I love his work so much. So much, that my favourite work by Poe is often a “How well do you know MH?” Staple. There’s just something about his macabre works that draw me in every time.

6. Tim Burton Films. I used to own his entire filmography until my ex husband pawned them all. My copy of Nightmare Before Christmas was all that survived (although I do have a copy of Edward Scissorhands as well). Jack is tattooed on my shoulder, he’s regularly my Facebook cover photo & even my phone’s lock screen. My all time favourite line from Nightmare was once a text tone on my phone, but I don’t use that one anymore.

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That’s my short list of happy things. I hope you have a quality list too. Everyone deserves a list of awesome things that makes them happy, as everyone deserves to be happy every day.