Archive for the ‘Body Image’ Category

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It’s OK Val, we all fall into a rut sometimes. Even though you were once a hot, chiseled, latex-wearing tight little package of twisted steel and sex appeal, try not to let this current sad state of affairs get you down. You’ve gotten a little chubby! That’s OK! Just put down the sandwich and get right back on that hamster wheel. Am I right?

Well unfortunately, Val and I both know it ain’t always that easy. I remember what it was like to feel like a hot and sexy superhero too. It was awesome!!! Kickin some ass and takin’ names. 45 minute Insanity workout everyday, showered, dressed and ready to take on the world by 9 am? I think SO! I worked hard, I felt great, I looked good! I laughed in the face of Danger!!! I pinned a plethora of healthy meal ideas and fitness motivation pictures to my Pinterest Board. I was unstoppable!

So what went wrong, you ask?

Queue Swimsuit Season please.

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Now to be clear, I was feeling pretty darn good right around March/April. I’m always in the best shape of the year at the most pointless and inopportune time of the year. Exactly when everyone is wearing parkas and sweaters and hiding on their couches under a Snuggie, that’s when I look best in my bathing suit. Its like a law of nature. Why? Because January to April happens to be my “slow” season for cakes, and I have the time to make working out and eating healthier into a part-time job. Which, let’s be honest, it really needs to be in order to look even remotely close to one of those ‘motivational’ fitness models. The trouble with those girls, however, is that they start out looking MOTIVATIONAL but after a month or two of working out and trying to eat “clean”, the only thing all those motivational fitness pics on Pinterest motivate you to do is give your computer the finger, type “quick and easy desserts” into the search bar and forget you ever saw them.

So ANYWAY, as I was saying, I was rockin’ my bikini in April. Well I live in SASKATCHEWAN and we get approximately 2 DAYS of hot beach weather per year and they generally don’t arrive until late July. That’s a tough row to hoe, my friend. That’s basically a 3 month all-you-can-eat BOOOFAY of hotdogs, macaroni salad, ice cream and beer to barge through before arriving at DESTINATION:SMOKE SHOW in July. And if you’re willpower-challenged like me, it’s pretty much a lost cause. You see, friends, I fell into a rut.

My Rut started where most ruts do, in the kitchen, but not for the reason you think. I found myself at the end of my 2 month Insanity program at approximately the same time my busy season started gearing up. This was the perfect storm, a combination of excuses ranging from “I’m too busy” to “I’m too tired” to my personal favorite, “I can afford to take a little break and reset my metabolism.” Before you know it, my running shoes have collected a layer of dust, I’m covered in frosting, and I’m shoveling cupcakes down the hatch with reckless abandon in the interest of “quality control”.

So much for my swimsuit dreams. I take my cake breaks on the couch, drinking beer and eating sandwiches, trying not to make eye contact with the poster of Jillian Michaels taped to my treadmill. I begin wearing my yoga pants a lot. I start to try and rationalize the situation, attempting to spread a little silver lining around this unfortunate cloud of despair. Maybe all this cake will go straight to my boobs!
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Or not. My tank tops are tighter, but in all the wrong areas. I begin to lose hope. Every day that passes is another day closer to “Someday, when I feel like working out again,” and that day never comes. Welcome to my Rut. Its deep and dark and smells like fried chicken.

Yesterday, I threw caution to the wind. I caught a glimpse of my ass in the window of the ice-cream shop (where they know me by name) and went straight home to lace up the runners. Today, I groaned and creaked to life as my super stiff body tried to roll out of bed. And so, I’m back on the hamster wheel. Come on, Val! There’s room for two!

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You know what I’m sick of? 2 things.
1. Winter.
2. Seeing Kim Kardashian’s pregnant behind plastered all over the internet, t.v., and magazine racks at the 7-11 when I’m trying to buy my Family Sized chocolate bars.

In both cases, I think I can speak for the entire North American population when I say, “Enough Already!”

I want to be clear about my position on the Kardashians. Love ’em or hate ’em, the Kardashians are in your face all over the place. Famous for being famous, I guess, which is why they have such a dedicated posse of haters. And there are a lot of haters out there!!! I am not one of them. I happen to think that if you have found a way to be famous for no reason at all, you’re a freakin’ genius. Good for you! You’ve turned the public’s disgusting appetite for celebrity and all things superficial into a bankable career, and for that you should be commended. Reality shows, Clothing lines, high profile romances….. ahhhh the life. And as for the Kardashian women, for the most part I can actually look past the superficial bullshit and find admiration in the way these girls use their assets and social strengths to create public personas for themselves, all while steeling themselves to the harsh and criticizing world of our shallow and misguided society.

Case in point, Kim Kardashian. I happen to think that Kim is one of the most physically beautiful women on the planet. Not only does she have dark stunning features and a striking set of eyes, she has a bountiful body full of curves and one hell of a booty. A girl after my own heart. But probably the most attractive thing about Kim is her CONFIDENCE. This girl has a bum so big that I believe she had her ass x-rayed to prove that she doesn’t have butt implants. A lot of girls in her shoes would be draping themselves in pretty sarongs on the beach…not Kim. Kim rocks a tiny bikini every time. By industry standards, she’s got wide hips, big boobs, and a big ass.
EXCLUSIVE: Kim and Kourtney Kardashian take over Miami Beach with new beach bods
By my standards, and most women and men out there, she’s a goddess. And Ironically, her baby-daddy previously penned a song with the lyrics, “She’s got an ass that will Swallow up a G-String.” Yes, Confidence is sexy, and Kim has confidence. We’ve all seen that ‘uneven’ couple somewhere and thought, “How did HE get HER?” or vice versa. The answer to that riddle, of course, is Confidence. Mother Nature’s greatest equalizer. Not born with stunning good looks? Snaggletooth and hammertoes? One leg shorter than the other? No problem! All you need is a little of this here magic potion we call Confidence to level the playing field. It’s the single most important quality I believe a person can have, and I pray that my kids have tons of it. There are not many things that can shake a very confident woman….but pregnancy happens to be one of them.

Kim loves to be on the cover of magazines, and all over the media. It’s her career. But I’m pretty sure, when she got pregnant, this was not the type of publicity she was hoping for.
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If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know that even the happiest, most excited, ecstatic mother-to-be goes through some serious body image issues at some point. Things all over your body are changing. Drastically. And while it’s true that not all women are as shallow and body-image obsessed as me, I do believe that most pregnant women struggle with getting bigger in some way. And most pregnant women would not want to be in line at the grocery store with a 2 litre pail of ice cream and see their own pregnant ass staring back at them from the newsstand.

With a caption that reads, “I can’t stop Eating!!”.

OK Holy Hell Society, I don’t know exactly who “you” are, but I’m pretty sure “you” are actually “we” and WE need to wake the hell up and leave pregnant women alone. The pressure that is being put on women in today’s world to be thin and beautiful all the time is totally out of control! I know I rant about it all the time, but it’s really getting to me. I think we can safely assume we are failing as a whole when we start picking on pregnant women about their weight, and EVEN MORE Ridiculous, their fashion choices. Like, Really? This is on the top of the list of most talked about public gossip….Kim Kardashian’s latest maternity fashion DON’T. OH.MY.GOD.

Check out this little nugget from www.redcarpet.net :

“Kim Kardashian slammed for bad maternity style” As much as Kim Kardashian tries so hard to look good during her pregnancy, the socialite just can’t pull it off in her tacky maternity wear. In fact, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star has been lambasted for her bad taste in maternity fashion – which usually comprise either baggy clothing or tight, skimpy outfits. A case in point: she was recently caught by fashion police wearing a billowing pink dress to church in Los Angeles. The reality TV star, who is six months pregnant, looked larger than life – especially around her ballooning hips.But Kim appears unperturbed by the criticism, tweeting photos of her bare pregnant belly for the world to see.

GASP!!! How dare she wear a billowing Pink Dress! How Dare She have ballooning hips!!! Nevermind that there’s a human being growing in between them, she should at least make an effort and slap some SPANKS on those bad boys and try to tame that tummy! Can’t she find anything more attractive? Well, it seems Kim just can’t win for losing. Now all of her fashion choices are being criticized and picked apart, and more often than not, featured in full-on “Mean Girl” style ‘Who Wore It Better’ articles. She gets compared to her previously pregnant sister:

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Other celebrities who are NOT PREGNANT and probably starving themselves:
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And in the most offensive and disturbing display of bullying I’ve seen in a while, she is being compared to Marine Life:
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Now, can you imagine what life is like? This woman is in love, expecting her very first baby, and full to the brim with explosive pregnancy hormones. And every damn time she leaves the house, she knows somebody is going to have a problem with what she is wearing, and there’s probably going to be somebody taking a picture of her big pregnant ass at the absolute most unflattering time and angle possible. Did you ever catch a glimpse of your own pregnant ass by accident before? I have, and I’m pretty sure all the hairs stood up on the back of my neck I was so horrified. Pregnancy may be beautiful, but most of the time, it’s not pretty. And to expect it to be pretty, 100% of the time from someone, is not fair.

Can we leave the pregnant ladies alone? I remember being pregnant with my second. I was huge. My brother hadn’t seen me throughout my entire pregnancy until he came home at Christmas, when I was 9 months pregnant. I’ll never forget his face when he walked in the door and saw me. It was a look of shock and awe, which he tried to hide with arched eyebrows and a nervous chuckle. That was the same Christmas I considered punching my grandpa’s lights out if he made one more comment about how many sandwiches I was eating. And my step-dad, God Love Him, posted a pic of me on Facebook hunched over the buffet table shoving a big bite of something into my mouth. Thanks, Dad! Pregnant women just want to be left alone. We know we are big, thank you very much. I don’t even need to go into the whole spiel about how our bodies are growing precious little lives inside because, well, Eff you, that’s why! Nobody should have to explain or validate their appearance to anyone, let alone a pregnant woman. So back off, K? Can’t we get back to gossiping about the Bachelor’s resident nut-job and buying magazines revealing Hollywood’s worst Plastic Surgery Fails?

Instead, let’s make fun of the ridiculous photographic choices women make ON PURPOSE when they are pregnant! HEEEEHEHEHEHEHE FUN! Ok, so I have to cop to actually taking cheesy maternity photos myself, finally got around to it with #3 and, like everyone else who does it, really wanted to document and remember what my body looked like with that precious little life inside. But OOOOOHHHHH hahahaha I did not go this far. Check it out:

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Jackie Chan says, “WTF?!?!”

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Britney Spears says, “WTF?!?!”

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Kim Kardashian says, “WTF!!!!?!?!”
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hahahaha Come on, Kim, Strap on some of those Yellow Suspenders and let’s see “Who Wore It Better!!!”.

Geesh.

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Hi, Remember Me?

It’s been awhile. Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been soooo busy working out and focusing on eating well and living a healthy lifestyle that by the end of the day, I’m just exhausted and haven’t found the time to blog.

hahahah ya right. You wanna know what I’ve really been doing for the last 2 weeks? Eating chocolate bars. True story.

Not to mention, totally avoiding exercise at all costs. Siiiiggghhhh. It was a good run while it lasted.

OK, let me redeem myself a little here, I’m not giving up!!!! But I do have to come clean and admit to myself and the general public that I have gotten somewhat complacent and dare I say lazy in the last couple of weeks. I could feel it slowly coming on, like you know when you’re starting to get the flu, and you feel that little yucky twinge in your gut? And you stop, raise one eyebrow, and think, “huh. that was strange.” And you carry on with your day. And then a couple of hours later you hear a gurgle down below and you have a seat and wonder if maybe you should go to the bathroom, just to be safe? Until later that night, when you’re doubled over the toilet while your 6 year old holds your hair back and you’re wearing the old black sweatpants “Just In Case” an accident happens and you think, “Yep. Definitely feelin’ pretty sick!” Well that’s what it’s like when your exercise regimen is beginning to lose steam. Maybe you are forced to skip a workout one day because of logistical impossibility. The next day, suddenly, it becomes a little easier to talk yourself into skipping again. Like, “Golly Gee I sure had a lot of extra time yesterday when I didn’t do my workout, I bet if I just let one more day go I could really get a lot done off my To-Do-List and then I will get right back at it tomorrow!” MMMMM-HHMMMMM. Then you get up the next morning feeling kind of guilty, until you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “Hey, I haven’t worked out for 2 days, and I still look pretty damn good!” Then not only does it seem somewhat pointless to keep busting your ass in those crazy workouts, but the trip through the kitchen also starts to take a bit of a turn. Bread starts looking really tasty again. Just one piece of toast for breakfast won’t hurt. Geez, people eat this stuff all the time! Yogurt is getting boring! A little break won’t hurt anyone! Well, that’s where it starts. And then eventually you end up like me, eating chocolate bars every day and baking Sticky Buns at 10 pm on a Monday night. And like the pathetic mess doubled over the toilet with the flu, you eventually find yourself wondering how things went to hell so quickly.

Today was supposed to be the day that I took my “After Insanity” photos. It would have been the first day after the entire 9 week program, and the plan all along was to track my progress and report my measurements. And I have to say, I did do really well! I lost 4 jeans sizes, and definitely toned up. I have an ass I am proud of!!! I still am not really weighing myself because I don’t own a working scale, but last time I got on the Wii I has down a couple pounds. So whatever, I did well! I accomplished what I set out to… I feel good in a bathing suit! HOWEVER…..I am not posting my measurements/photos for 2 reasons: 1. I looked better 2 weeks ago before I fell off the wagon and 2. I really don’t think anybody gives a shit how many inches my waist is or how my bum looks in a bikini.
Am I right? That’s what I thought. The reason you all read my blog, I am guessing, is because it’s nice to know that somebody out there struggles with the same annoying bullshit that you do, and that you’re not alone. So that is what I’m here to report to you. The results of my exercise program and quest for a better body……here goes.

Exercise is hard goddamm work. I said it. If you want to lose weight, you gotta REALLY want it because ladies, it is ALWAYS going to be easier to sit on the couch and watch Dr. Phil. Nobody ever got a beach body or fit into their skinny jeans by taking leisurely strolls around the block and doing “5 minute abs” once a week. It takes sweat. It takes persistence. It takes a dash of vanity and a shitload of motivation; because let’s be honest here, nobody ever launches a major weight loss program “just to be healthier”. I think everyone in some way wants to look better, to some degree. And it takes momentum. You are not going to want to work out and eat clean and drink 8 glasses of water every day and all that bullshit right out of the gate. It takes time, getting used to a new routine. The results of my experience in this area, were that it does get easier. It becomes a welcome habit. Eventually you start looking forward to it, not because of the pain and agony you may feel while you are exerting yourself but because of the incredible feeling of exhaustion and elation and pride when you finish. That is the hook right there. The payoff is the power you feel when you’ve defeated your pessimism. And, of course, results, which brings me to my next point.

If hope and pride are what bring you to your workouts every day, Results are what keep you going. Results are the reason, whether your desired result is measured with a scale, a tape measure, a heart rate monitor, or a blood pressure cuff, when you finally start to achieve what you’ve been working towards, it’s kinda like crack. Very addicting! It somehow makes it much easier to keep sweating your ass off in spandex, when the spandex is getting noticeably looser. When you begin to realize that you are capable of accomplishing a goal, whether it be big or small, you definitely feel a bit more empowered. Suddenly, it’s like you’re 5 years old again and your dad is telling you that you can be anything you want to be. The world feels full of possibility. You begin to believe that you could actually achieve something, just because you decided to. Why? Cause you’re awesome! But don’t get too comfortable with those results. If you’re like me, they can turn on you.

At some point, positive results begin to work against you. You used to look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I gotta get back on the treadmill.” And now that you’re lookin good, you sometimes look in the mirror and think, “Damn I look good!” Which can go either way. It will either make you want to keep going, or if you get to the tipping point like I did 2 weeks ago, it makes you think maybe you don’t have to work so hard and you can relax a little! This is a slippery slope, my friends. What your mirror won’t tell you, is that the reason you look so damn good is because you work hard, but your eyes are focused on your tight bum and your flatter tummy and you’re all gaga in love with how your skinny jeans are fitting you and you decide to celebrate with a nice little Hershey’s with Almonds. And before you know it your treadmill collects a layer of dust and you’re bribing your kids to get in the car and take a late night run to 7-11 because mommy needs some chocolate. Nevermind that all they want is a slurpee and some gum…that lady at the checkout thinks the 4 family sized chocolate bars are actually for The Family and I’m not going to tell her otherwise. You see, life is like that. Up and down. Sometimes you’re winning the race, sometimes you trip on your laces and eat dust. But you just gotta get back up. Right?

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I went out on the weekend and saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time. It was great for my ego (ha ha). People were telling me all night how great I looked, asking me what I was doing differently, etc. I was proud of my results and hard work. But I also felt like a real douchebag! I had a big chocolate bar for supper that night, and washed it down with a Diet Pepsi. And, some fries a little later. And a couple few whiskey cokes at the bar. So as I was divulging the details of my intense workout program, there was a little chocolate bar with devil horns on my shoulder whispering in my ear, “Hee Hee Heee!!!! Don’t forget about MEEEE!!!” I felt like a fraud, actually. Like at any moment, all those chocolate bars and pastrami and cheese sandwiches would gang up on me and my ass would expand like a busted can of biscuits, Nutty Professor style.

I woke up Sunday morning, still not worried about what I was going to eat that day or if I would get a workout in. I blame the ladies at the bar and all their effin compliments. It was Sunday, after all, the glorious day of Rest otherwise known as My Diet Starts Again Tomorrow. So I did what any hungover girl would do, I grabbed an extra large milkshake on the way outta town and slept the rest of the afternoon. Later that night, my man asked me if my head had shrunken back down to size. I thought he was referring to my hangover headache but what he really meant was had I gotten over all the ego stroking that went on the night before. I had to giggle.

When I woke up Monday morning, I vowed to get this train back on track. And I did! I had a great run, and felt exhilarated, powerful and alive when I was done. I ate a really healthy lunch, and did not buy a chocolate bar for the first day in a week and a half.

And then, at 7 p.m., I started a batch of homemade sticky buns. Ironically, a recipe I found on Pinterest while browsing for Fitness Motivation. Such is life. πŸ™‚

So the moral of the story here kids is that in many ways, perfection is an illusion. Even those fitness models who have rock hard abs and an ass to die for probably had one to many cupcakes once or twice in their lives. Jillian Michaels was a fat teenager! Everybody falls. Everybody quits. Everybody fails. Humans, we ain’t a perfect breed. But for the most part we’re stubborn, or stupid, or both, and we just keep trying. It’s pathological. It’s a curse. It’s a blessing. It’s the reason I have jeans in my closet in every size from 28 to 33. So if you’re feeling a little discouraged, no matter what your challenge may be right now, cut yourself some slack and start again.

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Some eCards I'm 30

Ah, Girls Night Out. Who doesn’t love a good one of those? From the time we are little girls doing each others hair at slumber parties, we grow up truly appreciating the value of Girl Time.

The funny thing about Girls Nights is that they tend to change, the older you get. 20 was over a decade ago for me, but I still remember it, somewhat. Let’s dust the cobwebs off of those memories for a moment. When you’re 20, before marriage and kids and mortgage payments, life is like one big old carnival. You may have to pay to get in and stand in line for tickets, but chances are if you’re 20, you have nice boobs, a young face and a carefree attitude and that will probably get you a free sno cone and escorted to the front of the line. Being 20 is great. You can eat cotton candy, caramel apples AND mini donuts and your metabolism will burn that shit up like 10 year old kindling. Your bank account might be a little low but your spirits are high and a lack of funds isn’t going to stop you. You’re gonna get your ass on that Ring of Fire and scream until your lungs burn. And even if you barf afterwards, who cares? You’re young! By the time you get to the next ride, you’re ready to go again. You throw caution to the wind and buy the ride-all-day bracelet because you know you’re capable of riding all day. And all night. Who cares? You probably don’t have a job to go to the next day, but if you do, you’ll just call in sick. Or skip your 9:20 a.m. Music Appreciation class.

Youth. Gravity and Common Sense need not apply.

Well nothing bitch slaps you back into reality like going out to a dance club on a Saturday Night with the girls, shall we say….later in life. Now I’m not gonna say we’re old, because we’re not! But we are older than 92% of the women who were in the bar last Saturday night. I should start at the beginning.

Every once in a while, I need a break with the girls. We all do. It’s soooo fun and sooo necessary! There is no better way to Pause the world of Responsibility and Kids and Relationships and Stress like a good old fashioned Girls Night. Why? Because when girls go out together, we let it allllll hang out, ok? Girls are gross. Picture a bunch of guys in a locker room and multiply that by 10. Or 5 at least. Vulgarity, with pretty pink lip gloss. When you’re with the girls, not only do you not have to suck in your gut, but you also don’t have to worry that your swearing is a tad too manly or that a fart will kill the mood. You can talk freely about periods and IUD’s and one night stands and nobody gets offended. There is no imaginary line you can not cross. Or maybe that’s just my friends, but if that’s the case, I have the best damn friends you can get.

So I organized a little girls trip to the city. Just one night! Don’t wanna push our luck with the men at home doing all the babysitting oops I mean parenting. Hotel Room? Check. Wheels? Check. Better make that 2 hotel rooms. 6 girls trying to shower and poop in one room might be a bit much. OK! All set! So bright and early Saturday morning, we all pile in and get the hell outta town. WOOOHOOO!!!!! Let’s get this party started!?!?! Who wants to do a shot?

Just kidding. It’s 9 am. we’re not 20 anymore. We stop at Tim Hortons and get a coffee and a bagel. So far, nobody has said a swear word. I reach in my pocket for change and find a Ziploc bag of Cheerios. Oh, yeah. I’m Badass. Sigh. And because we’re old and we all have kids and we’ve just had a coffee, we need to stop 45 minutes later for a pee break. A couple swears and poop jokes surface. Someone mentions something about a penis. Buckle up ladies, things are getting crazy!

Finally, we make it to our destination. Time to hit the mall! Can’t wait to find a sexy new outfit to wear to the bar! It’s been awhile since I’ve been shopping for clothes! To my delight, I can suddenly buy shirts in size small or medium instead of large. This puts me on cloud 9 until I realize that it’s only because my boobs have shrunken to their former 8th Grade cup size. Double Sigh. Better go drown my sorrows in a TacoTime Beef Burrito Supreme. Supersized. Thanks. So much for the diet. Who cares? It’s Girls weekend! No calorie counting allowed!!!

Following an afternoon of shopping, we compare notes and realize that for the most part, we have failed to complete our new outfit scavenger hunt but have all managed to buy something for each of our kids whom we have left at home and came here to forget about for a day. And you can be damn sure each kid got an equal dollar amount of stuff, because we all know that it’s easier to calculate fairness by price and avoid the “She got more than me!!!” fight at home. By this time, it’s closing in on suppertime and we are getting thirsty. We make a stop at the liquor store. Swearing and laughing is getting louder and more frequent. We are getting excited! Someone turns the music up a little louder and we all sing along to Taylor Swift. hahahaha I’m not even kidding.

So back at the hotel, it’s time to order some supper, pour some drinks, and start getting primped for the evening. We are getting loud. Somebody is walking around bare boobed. I’m not going to say it was me but I can’t say it wasn’t. There is a lot of penis talk. More swearing. We are soooo coool. Our room is starting to smell like farts and a good time. If there are any guys out there with the idea that girls like to get together in hotel rooms and have naked pillow fights, I’m pretty sure I just ruined that fantasy. Sorry! Now it’s time for shots, for real. The hard stuff, bring it on!!!! heee heee my ears are red and my cheeks are burning from laughing so hard. I don’t know what is so damn funny but those brownies sure tasted good! How thoughtful of her to bring dessert!

ANYWAYS! Off to the bar. There was a brief and disappointing stint at a super lame Karaoke bar, and we knew it was time to leave when the 75 year old crowd started filing in. I’m not even kidding. We needed to get the eff outta there, but to where? This is the dilemma. No matter what city you are in, there is always a bar that is known for, shall we say, Cougars. Women of a certain age. Which, nowadays, means anyone over the age of 25. We did NOT want to go to that bar. We are not old! We are not Cougars! We are good lookin hot chicks in the prime of our lives!! Take us to the cool place! We are still young and we want to dance!!!

So, we show up at the cool place. Early enough to avoid the lines, because as my sister said “I’m 30, I don’t stand in lines.” She was right, we avoided the line and walked in. This is how we thought we looked before we went in:

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This is how we felt, when we went in and looked around:

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My mother warned me about this. She told me once that there comes a point in your life as a woman when you suddenly realize you are not part of the young and cool crowd anymore. You will always feel like you are, but that’s just an illusion God gives you to keep getting yourself out of bed in the morning. We’re at the teetering point, where you’re not quite sure if people are staring at you because they think you look good, or because they’re wondering what the hell you are doing there. You go to the bathroom for a pee break, and listen to conversations like “OhMyGod!!!! You look ssseeoooooo cute!!! I totally think Dylan is totally into you tonight!! Do you think I look cute? Is my hair totally cute or what?” Then you come out and wash your hands and make awkward eye contact with them in the mirror and you’re pretty sure if they had a thought bubble above their heads it would say, “Go Home, You’re Old.”

So what’s a girl to do in this situation. Loosen up with drinks, and dance. Dance like you’re 20. Dance like you’re cool. Dance like your boobs aren’t chafing your bellybutton. Dance like you don’t give a shit! You know why? Because when you’re 30, you pretty much don’t, anymore. You don’t care what the tight bodied 20 year old in the hoochie dress dancing on the speaker thinks of you. You came to have a good time, and you’re damn well gonna. And that’s just what we did. We danced until the sweat forced us outside to cool off. We may have danced with each other all night, but let’s be honest, we were the best dancers there anyway so it was a win-win. And we all went home happy. Drrunkety drunk drunk, but happy. When we get back to the hotel, we fill our faces full of food as we bitch about the 20 year old hoochies. We take a dose of Tylenol and guzzle water. This ain’t our first rodeo. We pass out and hope for the best.

The next morning, it’s a slow moving crew. The hangovers last a little longer when you’re 30. Like 3 days longer. We enjoyed a nice quiet lunch, making sure to pack in as many calories as possible because as usual, we all have a diet that starts again on Monday. We slept all the way home. It’s Tuesday and I’m still tired. And yet, oddly refreshed. Because that’s what girl time does. It recharges your batteries. It reminds you that it’s ok every once in a while to only be responsible for yourself, and not have to worry about your pets and your kids and your man. It reminds you that you can be fun and immature, even if it’s only once a year! And, most importantly, it reminds you that your pets and your kids and your man aren’t that bad after all, and you go home to them appreciative, and ready to take on tomorrow.

When you’re 30, the carnival isn’t as fun. You definitely are not buying the ride-all-day bracelet. If you escape to the carnival without your kids, you’re constantly scanning the crowd every time you hear someone yell “Mommy!”. You make sure to show up at a nice sensible time when you know the lineups are the shortest and you’ll be home at a reasonable time so that your babysitter doesn’t have to walk home in the dark. You probably pack your own lunch because everybody knows that carnival food prices are insanely inflated and totally loaded with trans fats and sodium. At 30, the carnival is all about being as efficient as possible. Get in, have as much fun as you can for the least amount of money as possible, and get the hell back to your cage where the lights aren’t so bright and the noises aren’t as loud. And start planning the next Girls Night Out.

AAA

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So lately, I have been staring in the mirror a lot, and wondering, “What the Hell?”. I mean, I feel stronger! I feel leaner! I feel sexier! And then I open the blinds and the natural sunlight hits me, that evil beam of truth, and it’s like, “WHOOOAAAA, wait…what…the…hell….is THAT?!” I looked pretty good in the dim dark corner, but now, as I bask in God’s spotlight 12 inches away from my mirror, I can see all of my flaws. Stretch marks. Cellulite. Saggy boobs. Bruises. Wrinkles. Moles. Grey Hair. Hairy Legs!!! Moustache!!!! hee hee. Zits. Jiggle. Oh, and the newest member of the team, half-in, half-out belly button, thanks to baby #3. I’m a freakshow in white Hanes Her Way’s. I begin to question why exactly I am busting my ass every day working out and eating right and all that other health bullshit. If this is as good as it gets, I’m screwed.

But why? What is wrong with this package? Well, nothing. Nothing is wrong with my package. I am beginning to realize that. Maybe its age, maybe it’s exhaustion, but for one reason or another, I am really starting to not give two shits about how Women’s Magazines tell me I should look. Why?

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Photoshop. That’s Why. Take this picture of Faith Hill (and shove it!!! haha just kidding). No really. Faith Hill is a stunning woman. Beautiful. And yet, strangely enough, Redbook Magazine feels that she is not quite beautiful enough to sell this “WOMEN’S” magazine to other women!!! So, like every other magazine, they perform a few minor tweaks. Soften the chin. Soften the eyes. Rub out the wrinkles around said eyes. Make her skinnier! Skim the back fat. Look, even her arm is half the size! Airbrush out all that shiny skin….we want soft, smooth baby skin on our 40 something Country singers. Oh, and might as well make her neck a little longer, just for shits and giggles. DONE! perfection.

Bet you don’t feel as bad about yourself now that you’ve seen that, right? Faith Hill has wrinkles, too! And Back Fat! She’s NORMAL. Well, not so fast. Still kind of leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, doesn’t it? After all, commoners like you and I don’t have the luxury of walking around with an entourage of lighting, hair and makeup professionals with the benefits of Photoshop. The world gets to see our ugly. Especially in sweatpants at 7-11 on a 10 pm run for chips & dip. Faith Hill has ‘people’ for that kind of stuff. And she’s over 40! Of course she has wrinkles! The young buck spring chicken celebrities obviously don’t need that much digital “detox”, right? Those ladies are the ones who really have one over on us.

Well….maybe not.
Feast your eyes on Britney Spears in all her posterior glory.

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Now don’t misunderstand me, here. I am definitely not trying to be a “mean girl” and make fun of Britney Spears’ bum!!! She has a spectacular bum!!! But more importantly, girls, she has a NORMAL bum. It is not a flawless, honey-golden perfectly plump ass like the music videos would lead you to believe. She has a bit of cellulite, too! She has been smoothed, slimmed and lifted to perfection. Whose idea of perfection? Your guess is as good as mine. But I have a rotten, sneaky suspicion that we can’t pin all the blame on the MEDIA all the time. The beauty and entertainment industry is, after all, a consumer-driven business. And who are the majority of those consumers? Women.

You may have noticed, I happen to be kind of an “ass” girl. I appreciate a nice round bum, and I have become slightly obsessed with achieving one. But when I look in the mirror, I can’t help but feel defeated and hopeless. That is, of course, until I saw this pic:

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See those slight “saddlebags”, that mild cellulite, and almost-touching inner thighs? I HAVE THAT!!! Do you know what this means? I, too, can look like the cover of MAXIM magazine. And I don’t need to work out for one more day! All I need is Photoshop! Thank GAWD….somebody get me a spoon, I’m gonna celebrate… all the way down to the bottom of the peanut butter jar!

It’s not all about the body shape either, girls. You may not have realized this, because it is a HUGE secret, but PSSSTTT……celebrities get zits too! Check it out….

beforeandafter

Have you ever been driving along on a nice sunny day, minding your own business, thinking about rainbows and butterflies, when you glance into the rear-view mirror and *SMACK*! A huge and angry looking red zit reaches down and bitch slaps you into reality? You could swear it wasn’t there when you left the comfortable soft lighting of your cave, but out here in the harsh light of day, your skin seems like it suddenly contracted some kind of foreign parasite and you find yourself wishing it was socially acceptable to wear a balaclava in the middle of July. Well, you’re not alone!!! Contrary to popular belief, zits don’t disappear when you turn 18, either. They’re in it for the long haul, just like Herpes! Zits are like your annoying third cousins…they’re irritating, they’re ugly, and you may not see them often but when you do, you remember why you hate them. Oh, and they like to pop in at the most inconvenient times. With friends. Just like zits. Only you can’t Photoshop your cousins out of your life…..See? Zits are better!

What I’m getting at here is that we as women have this idea in our heads about what we “should” look like….We could blame it on Hollywood, we could blame it on Magazines, we could blame it on men! But the truth is, we are doing this to ourselves. Women’s magazines Photoshop their ads because women will easily believe the lie that we are not quite good enough, but if we buy their stuff, or follow their advice, or wear their clothes, maybe we could be. And to be a nerd and quote Carrie from Sex and the City…”Why are we ‘Shoulding’ all over ourselves?”. Not to mention, we judge each other. Don’t pretend we don’t. Maybe it’s jealousy, or insecurity, or maybe we’re just plain mean sometimes, but women are guilty of the highest level of betrayal…turning on our own kind. The result of that is Photoshop! We are afraid, for fear of judgement, to present our natural selves to the world, and it’s a sad, sad shame.

I flipped on the tube last night, and while perusing the guide I found: “Dana: The 8 year old anorexic“. I have a soon to be 8 year old daughter. My pulse quickens with anxiety at the thought of her ever feeling like her perfect little body somehow doesn’t measure up, and yet I know that at some point, she will. How can I prevent this from happening? I wish I knew. I can only hope that I can instill in her enough self-confidence to know that she is not perfect, as nobody is, but she is Just Right. I would want her to become an adult who knows that her flaws do not define her, and that worrying about all the ways she isn’t perfect is just a huge waste of time that would be better spent enjoying life. Any mother would want that for her daughter.

I am somebody’s daughter. Maybe it’s time I took my own advice? I think so.

Strong Women

motivation

I’m coming off of a looong weekend of doing absolutely nothing and eating absolutely everything. This was a nice welcomed break from what could be described as a “strict” but enjoyed workout regimen. I welcomed the lapse, thinking that it was the perfect time to shake things up a little….I had just finished the first month of my 2 month Insanity workout program, I had a fun weekend planned, and let’s face it I was getting a little bit bored with what I was (or Wasn’t) eating. I really have learned to love working out and eating clean, but I was starting to hear that little nagging nagger in my brain, suggesting that maybe I should just take a little break? What could it hurt? I’ve been doing so well! I can afford a little down-time!

This is exactly where the wheels typically fall off of the Motivation Train. Despite my best intentions, a day or two break ends up turning into the better part of a week, and pretty soon I end up back where I started, using my treadmill as a drying rack for wet bath towels and digging my fat jeans out of the bottom of the closet. (You know damn well no sane woman ever gets rid of her fat jeans…just in case! That shit is expensive!!) I live in fear of that sinking feeling of disappointment you get the first time you realize it’s time for the fat jeans again. It doesn’t happen overnight, so there’s always a little bit of denial involved, but the end result is devastation every time. Another failed attempt. I guess this wasn’t the time “I really meant it” after all. Most of us have been there, and it sucks. New Years Resolutions, you can go to hell!

So, I am very aware this time, and vigilant. I have learned my lesson. I do not want to give up. I am seeing results! I am on a roll! Alicia Keys is the soundtrack in my head every morning as I open my eyes… “THIS…GIRL IS ON FIIIIYAAAAARRRRRR!” Yep, Feelin’ good. And still, because I am human, my motivation is waning. I feel like I am white knuckling, hanging off the side of the “workout” cliff with one finger, clinging to my last little chunk of motivation for dear life. It’s hot. Fear of failure is beating on my head like a giant laser beam, and the salty sweat of defeat drips down my face. My kids start circling overhead like vultures, just waiting to get a taste of mommy when she finally gives up and tumbles to her demise in the deep, dark chasm of hotdogs and grilled cheese. There is a mirage in the distance.

funny-dog-tongue-peanut-butter<

Yes. Now, I have been eating Peanut Butter all along. I had finally decided I had enough with the ridiculous attempts at trying to give it up, and decided to allow myself as much as I wanted, as long as I was working out and watching everything else in my diet. Presto Change-o! Suddenly I didn’t have an obsession! I still loved Peanut Butter, I just didn’t “love it” 10 times a day. My evil plan worked! What a genius! Reverse Psychology is alive and well! But wait, what is this happening now? I miss a couple of workouts, and suddenly, the Peanut Butter is calling my name? Bastard. I can’t pass through the kitchen without being pulled toward the pantry by Peanut Butter’s evil peanuty force.
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Damn you, Peanut Butter.

I better get on the treadmill and work some of it off. I like to run! This shouldn’t be hard! Ugh. Was it always this annoying to move all the furniture and roll out the treadmill? What a pain in the ass! Who does this? Oh well, ok there. It’s out. I’m ready. Now where the hell are my shoes. There is a knot tied in the laces! WTF! The shit I gotta deal with, I tell ya. I am starting to smell the funk of a bad attitude, and I think it’s coming from me. oK So I finally get on and turn it up…got the baby in the swing, the music is loud, just like I like it. This feels good! I knew it would be ok if I could just make myself get on this…OWW! What in GoodGagnam’sGonads was that?! My foot feels like it has been crushed! When did this happen?

oH, YEAH. Probably on the weekend, when I was wearing those really hot 9 inch stiletto heels out dancing all night. And my feet were so swollen, I couldn’t get the shoes on the next day. Remember that? Uh-huh, it’s all coming back to me…..I’ve heard that beauty is painful but this is ridiculous! OK I’m just gonna have to push past it. Pain is gain! It’s not that bad! I….can…..

Screw it. this hurts. game over.

I shut off the machine and limped to safety. Sitting on the floor, I slowly peeled off my running shoes and wondered if this was the end. Did I hit the wall? Would this be like every other time I finally gave up?

I didn’t get back on the treadmill. I also didn’t let it beat me. I had vowed at the beginning of my “mission” that in order for something to change, I would have to change something. And that is what I did. I changed my attitude. I didn’t let my mind drift to thoughts of peanut butter, fat pants and defeat. I was kind to myself, and forgiving. I put away all my gear for the day, knowing I would try again tomorrow. I made myself a healthy lunch. I stretched. I didn’t give up.

Sometimes, motivation just ain’t there. Sometimes it is, but the body isn’t willing. Sometimes, you just want to sit on your ass and eat cheesecake. Life is unpredictable, and success shouldn’t be measured by checkmarks on your calendar. Success is a state of mind. If it didn’t come today, there’s hope for tomorrow. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Find your inner Alicia Keys.

wkout

“THIS….GIRL IS ON FIIIIYYYYAAAAAAAAR!”

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My head hurts today, for a number of reasons. Number one, I am feeling the effects of over-indulging in copious amounts of my good old friend, rye whiskey. I don’t do it often anymore, but when I do, I rarely do it halfway. My mama didn’t raise no quitter! The second reason I’m a little sore? I fell off the diet and exercise wagon and hit every meat and cheese sandwich on the way down.

As the weekend was approaching, I noticed I was slowly losing my resolve to work out and eat well. I had been really enjoying the new routine! The regular exercise and newfound love of all things healthy really were making a big difference not only in my waistline but also in my energy, mood and general mindset, so I was surprised when I began noticing my old frenemies “Procrastination” and “Laziness” coming around again. Oh well, no biggie. I stuck to the routine for 6 weeks without fail, a couple of lazy days wouldn’t kill me, right?

But soon enough, a few other old acquaintances were joining the party. On Friday night, the last thing I felt like doing after a long day in the kitchen making cakes was cooking supper. Enter my old pal, “Take Out.” Mommy doesn’t feel like cooking, Chinese Food it is! Isn’t it ironic that on the days you don’t exercise, you suddenly don’t care as much about eating junk? It’s like, “hey! I didn’t work out today, I guess I don’t have to worry about this doughnut totally negating the calories I just busted my ass to burn off! Today’s a write-off! Bring on the ice-cream!” Yumm, that was delicious. Probably could have and should have just whipped up something quick and healthy but what the hell, it’s the weekend! I worked hard this week! Everybody needs a break every once in a while, right? By this point, I was not feeling bad at all yet about my decisions. I have spent the last 6 weeks working on changing my attitude about diet and exercise so that I truly do view it as a long term lifestyle change…a marathon not a sprint. So allowing myself treats here or junk food there is not a big issue…generally I find that allowance translates into less guilt and ultimately less indulgence. However, I did seem to be going overboard on the internal dialogue regarding all the reasons it was ok to skip workouts and eat take-out. Hello, “Rationalization”! How nice to see you again!

Saturday arrived. I was very excited. I had plans! I had friends! I had a babysitter!!!! And, adding to my delight, I had a somewhat leaner, sexier body to dress up and take out! What could make this night any better? Whiskey. Whiskey makes it better! Not only do my friends seem funnier, but I get funnier as well! And better looking! And did I mention, I become a MUCH better dancer with whiskey? Anyway, I got dressed up and met up with my friends….everyone was in the mood to party! Excellent! Who needs “Procrastination”, “Laziness”, “TakeOut”, and “Rationalization”? I left those losers at home! Time to get my party on!

Now I know I don’t have to tell you that alcohol has calories. But let’s be honest. Who cares?! The whole purpose of alcohol is to be able to let loose a little and not focus so much on the deadlines, rules and hum-drum minutiae of day-today life. So if I’m going out, and I’m drinking alcohol, you can bet your ass I am NOT worrying about how many calories are in my cocktail. Now that being said, Alcohol also has another interesting side effect. It tends to “lower your inhibitions”. And by this, what I really mean is that it tends to remove your desire to “Give a Shit” about things you normally would. Like, for instance, overt public displays of affection, embarrassing yourself, or in my case, eating like you’re the defending champion of a sandwich eating contest. I know I’m not the only one this happens to, either. Have you ever seen a 7-11 at 3 a.m.? I’m sure they sell the most chicken wings between the hours of 1 and 4 in the morning. Drunk people are hungry people!!

By midnight, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I had a hot date. I was being complimented left and right on my new “improvements” and I was feeling like all my hard work was finally paying off. And, I was drunkety drunk drunk and that of course didn’t hurt my self confidence. So when the ‘midnight lunch’ made its appearance, I thought to myself, “YES!” I’m hungry! What better than a good old fashioned bunwich to soak up some of this booze? There’s something to be said for the fabled Bunwich. Nice big carb-loaded bun, fill it up with the finest cuts of salty deli meat, add a pound of cheese or so, top it off with some pickles and a generous smattering of mustard. Voila`! When it’s late, and you’re drunk, the Bunwich is like the Filet Mignon of the over-imbibed masses. The trouble is that it is also like a Pringle potato chip…you can’t eat just one!

I had finished my sandwich, and graciously ‘helped’ a friend finish hers. I was still hungry. My date was on his way to the lunch table so I politely asked, “Babe, do you think you could grab a little something for me while you’re up? Thanks!” But I think it cam out like, “HeyTHERE baaaaabe, you wanna make me another Sammidge??? I’mSOHUNGRY I could eat the ass out of a dead Rhino!!!” Sexy, hey? I know. Blame it on the whiskey. By the time we left the party and headed to the after-party (after enjoying a quick bunwich on the cab ride over) I think the sammidge tally was at about 4. For reals. We had one less passenger with us in the cab. My new friend, “Self Control” had left the building.
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The after-party had cake. It was somebody’s birthday. Would I like a piece? Don’t mind if I do! Make it a big one too, I made the damn thing and I’m gonna taste it!!! Damn that’s good. I make good cake. Not sure I could actually taste anything at this point but what the hell, it looked delicious. The cake kept me going until about 3:30, when I fell asleep on the couch, and woke up this morning feeling like death.

Today, like every hung over day, was a write off. You gotta allow yourself a few of those in life. I feel like the walking dead but it was worth it! I had fun! I leet loose! I ate a lot and drank a lot and laughed a lot, and I am so glad I did. I needed a break. I needed a reason to keep going! A fun and vibrant life worth living is the reason I want to be healthy in the first place. I want to work hard and do things right 80% of the time so I can be lazy and do everything wrong for the other 20%. It’s all about balance! Reward yourself for your efforts. Take breaks. Have fun. Hang your guilt and remorse for all your bad choices at the door and join the party every once in a while. Life is for living!

I haven’t heard from “Self Control” yet today but I’m sure she’ll be back tomorrow. She probably got drunk and had a one night stand with “Responsibility.” As for those other motley characters “Procrastination” “Laziness” “Take-Out” and “Rationalization”….they’re packing their bags and leaving tonight. I’m sure they’ll be back as well, but for now they’ve overstayed their welcome. I can only handle them in small doses. Besides, they’re loud, they leave a mess, and they make my house smell like sammidges and failure. Good Riddance!