Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Who’s in Your Hive?

Posted: July 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

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There’s this town I live in. Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Find it on a map. Mark it with a big x, or a heart, or a red pushpin, whatever.  Someday, I want you to bring your daughters here and tell them, “Honey, this is where the strong women are.”

I own a business on Main Street of this town.  Our population is about 3000 people… Pretty small! Northeast Saskatchewan small town for ya, yep.  But there is something spectacular going on here. It’s been a secret for far too long. This town, known for its canola crops, honey production, and huge Bee statue is also home to a hive full of killer Queen Bees.

This town has an unprecedented network of strong, hardworking women busting ass everyday. On Main Street alone, there are at least 14 businesses that are OWNED and operated by women. Not to mention the many females employed at these and other business. These are women who also have families and small children, who not only have sports and activities and school events to participate in but also volunteer their time to community events and programs.  These women are warriors.  But why do they do it? For their families, for their businesses, for their communities, for themselves. They do it for the money! Go get those dollar bills, ladies! They do it for the feeling of personal accomplishment! They do it for inner fulfillment and a creative outlet!  They do it because they can!

The natural question to ask is, How Do They Do It? Well, they do it with a smile, with God-given perseverance and often, with other responsibilities and obligations tugging at them from all angles.  They get up everyday and work hard.  If they’re sick, they work. If they’re tired, they work. If they’re sad, mad, or discouraged, they still work.  They wake up and get their families ready for the day, and then they take on their own day full of challenges, setbacks, annoyances and frustrations, sprinkled with just enough small triumphs and laughs to keep them coming back the next day. But here’s the real secret to the success of these incredible women…

The Hive.

This hive is absolutely BUZZING with Queen Bees focused on production and armed with beautiful stripes and sharp stingers.  It’s a community of its own; a complicated, interconnected support system of women of all ages and skill sets, motivated and driven by an inner strength that a lot of people don’t understand. But these women get it. They get each other. They support newly opened businesses. They advertise for each other and collaborate together.  They buy from each other and sell to each other. They encourage each other through hard times and celebrate with each other when business is good. They share ideas and suggestions. It’s a beautiful thing.

So I had this idea. We need to celebrate the working woman. The inner strength of women who do for others, day after day after day. Women who know what it takes, and do whatever it takes, to be successful. I rallied the Hive.

I asked these women to do something brave and daring.  I asked them to pose for a series of Pinup style photoshoots with the theme “The Evolution of The Female Boss”.  Pinup!! Whoa you should have heard the hive buzzing!!  The idea behind this concept is to highlight the strength of women in the business community and to celebrate the inner beauty of the strong women who make the wheels of this community turn. Without faltering, most of them readily and instantly accepted the challenge. These Bees are making a pinup calendar, and have generously agreed to donate all calendar sales to our local women’s shelter, the NEOSS House of Hope in Melfort, SK.

I couldn’t be more proud of my hive.

Stay tuned! You can bet I will be sharing some honey!

 

 

 

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Ahhh, summer. What comes to mind when you hear those words? Hot lazy beach days? Ice cold beers? Melting ice cream and happy, care free children? Me too!

And also, skin. Tons of skin. Shorts, tank tops, bathing suits. All the things I fear, because I am a woman who happens to have insecurities about my body. Isn’t that crazy? The idea that in spite of all of those wonderful things to look forward to about summertime, one of the foremost thoughts on my mind is how I’m going to look in my shorts?

I know this isn’t a new revelation. There have been many blogs and articles written, tears shed and conversations over wine about woman’s  love/hate relationship with summertime and body image.  Women have been hating and hiding their bodies for a long time. I feel like there is a major push/pull relationship between the Body Acceptance movement and the Health and Fitness platform. Like really, what is the message we should be getting? Should we be happy with our bodies the way they are, or should we be working our asses off to make it better, whatever that means?  I feel it everyday in my own life. I wake up in the morning and instantly start thinking about my weight. I set my alarm early with the hope that I’ll wake up ready and willing to fit in some kind of “work out” and then hit snooze because frankly I’d rather sleep. I finally get up and begin my day already with the seed of defeat planted in my mind because I’ve already lost the first battle.  As I shower, I glance at my belly and think about how it would be smaller if I could actually get out of bed to exercise in the morning.  I make a cup of coffee and head upstairs to get dressed. Will I find something to wear today that fits and looks half decent?  Some days the thoughts are more derogatory than others, but recently after a bit of a weight gain, the thoughts have been decidedly more negative.  Not much in my closet still fits like it used to.  The tight fit of my clothes remind me what a failure I’ve been at trying to eat healthier and get in shape.  So generally I wake up everyday and start preparing for the day by telling myself how crappy I look and what a failure I am because of it. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Soooooo, in the interest of trying to make a change in my life, I decided to try and look at this problem from another angle.  I do like to exercise and I know I feel better when I do it, but I also sometimes would rather sit on the couch and watch the Jays game and drink a beer. So there has to be some kind of happy medium in between the relentless tug of war between accepting my body and trying to make it better. I know I can’t lose my spare tire overnight. But you know what I can lose? My shitty attitude.

I made a decision. Last year, I dreaded hot summer days and prayed for rain. I suffered through an entire summer with only one ugly pair of shorts that fit because I refused to go and buy a bigger pair. I wasn’t going to give in! I was going to lose that weight and get back into my fashionable clothes and they will fit me like they should! If I buy bigger shorts, where’s the motivation to lose the weight? Well guess what? One year later, I didn’t buy bigger shorts AND I didn’t lose the weight. The only thing I accomplished with that genius game plan was a definite feeling of failure and a closet full of dusty, out of style clothes. I decided that this year would be different. I went shopping.

I bought clothes that fit. They fit my bigger body. I bought a bigger size of shorts. I expected to feel like a failure again. I expected defeat, self disgust. Sadness.

You know what I actually felt?

Comfortable. My shorts fit. I looked fine. My waistband didn’t dig into my skin. My shorts didn’t crawl up my arse. They fit, and they felt good.  The next time I went to get dressed in the morning I knew I would have something to wear that looked good, and kept my skin cool on a hot day. Whether I was taking a walk to the park with my kids on a hot day, or sitting on the couch with a beer cheering on the Jays, I was comfortable. In my shorts. In my skin. I went to the lake and walked around in short shorts and nobody stared at me and pointed and laughed. You know why? Because nobody cares! They care about their melting ice cream, their cold beers, and their happy, carefree children. They actually don’t care about my thighs!

I haven’t gotten rid of my old clothes. I’m human, I still have hope! I might keep hitting that snooze button, I might get my act together. Who knows! But in the meantime, I’m going to welcome the sunshine this summer. I will enjoy the ice cream, and the pool with my kids, and the warm summer breeze on my legs and bare arms. And the ice-cold beer. Bring on the beer!

Taking Care of Business

Posted: June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

Hi, it’s me. It’s been 3 years since my last confession. I used to blog. I used to stay at home with my kids and make some cakes for money on the side. I used to have time to work out a…

Source: Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business

Posted: June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Hi, it’s me.

It’s been 3 years since my last confession.

I used to blog. I used to stay at home with my kids and make some cakes for money on the side. I used to have time to work out all morning and bake all afternoon, and do my hair, and worry about dumb shit, and blog. I used to have time.

In 3 years, I’ve been getting a lot of bang for my buck. I’ve been doing things. I’ve been raising 3 kids. I got married in Mexico.  I started a business – an exhausting, frustration filled new exciting business that I love.  I’ve gained and lost and gained weight. I’ve developed a heart condition.  I’ve been doing things.  My world keeps turning. But I haven’t been blogging!

I put off doing things because I don’t have time.  I’m an adult. I have RESPONSIBILITIES. I have kids and kids activities, I have bills, I have a business to build and employees to pay. I have a marriage to maintain. I have friendships and family relationships to nurture. I have laundry to fold.  The list goes on. What I don’t have is time. Or sanity.So I’m trying to gain back some sanity. I’ve avoided blogging because I didn’t have time. I’ve put off doing things with my kids because I didn’t have time. I’ve skipped mannnnnyyyy workouts because I didn’t have time. I traded in reading in the evenings for falling asleep on the couch in front of the t.v. I ignored a lot of glaringly obvious health warning symptoms because I couldn’t find time to go in for a checkup.  I gave up many things that are important to me because I thought I didn’t have time. I was living my life in crisis mode, putting out fires based on a priority system of which ones were biggest and hottest at the time.  And then I ended up in the back of an ambulance with a racing, irregular heartbeat and got a little bit of a wakeup call.

I’m 36 years old. I spent the night in a city hospital in the cardiac ward with a bunch of 80 year olds.  The nurse admitting me was asking me perfunctory admission questions like, “Do you have stairs in your home? Do you regularly need help getting to the washroom?”.  We had a good laugh when she pulled off my heart monitor stickers and it also removed my spray tan. Not something she sees everyday up there in Cardio I guess? 🙂

So my little road trip got me thinking. I was lying in my hospital bed, thinking about what a relaxing vacation I was having and feeling really guilt about it. I had so many things I should be doing! Who was going to do them while I was leisurely lying there reading the newspaper? Where would my kids go after school? Who would call the supply order in at work?  Who was going to do the bank deposits and pay the power bill on time?

And then I realized, somebody else would have to do it. Just like somebody else would have to do it if my heart took the day off too. My 87 year old Grandpa called me after I got home from the hospital to check up on me.  He offered me some advice. He said, “I know you have a lot of goals and things you want to do. Maybe you just need to take an extra year to do them.” OK. Good advice. Might need to adjust the 5 year plan. So here I am. I blog because relating to people makes my heart happy.  I want to share what I’m learning from my hard lesson, and my Grandpa’s advice. Take the time. Enjoy your life! Deal with things! I’m no wise-sage genius but I’ve done some living and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’m willing to pass this wisdom on for free!

I  drove my vehicle for 2 years without air conditioning because I thought I didn’t have the time to get it fixed. Yesterday, I got it fixed. It took 20 minutes and cost $40. Imagine the suffering I could have avoided if I had just taken the time 2 years ago to take care of business. So that’s what I’m doing now. And if you’d like to come along for the ride, by all means, keep reading!

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Does this look familiar to any of you?

This used to be me, a slave to the scale. I’d get on it in the morning. (Then I’d take a dump and get on it again…..still the same! What the hell? ha ha…..oh come on I know I’m not the only one who’s done this.) Then again after a workout. Then again before bed, because you know that’s when you’re at your heaviest and you’ll feel better the next morning when you’re a pound or two lighter! It was a vicious cycle. As a woman you also begin to learn ways to fool yourself into thinking that you’re lighter, just like Vera here. Weigh naked! Weigh hungry! Weigh after Sweating Profusely! And my personal favorite… Weigh HungOver!!!! All that alcohol dehydration really works wonders for the number on the scale. You may be feeling like someone beat you over the head with a 2×4, but Hallelujear, you’re SKINNY!

The trouble with all this weighing in is that you begin to form a love/hate relationship with not only the scale but also your body. You begin to question everything you ever knew about the science of metabolism, calories in and calories out, and just plain common sense. Tell me if this has happened to you: You work out like a crazed lunatic, or you meticulously cut back your calorie intake, or both. You’re feeling good! Pretty sure you notice a change! You’re excited to get on the scale…this should be good! Just the type of motivation you need! Then you step on, and……nothing. Maybe 1 pound. You step off and try again, thinking there must be some mistake. Nope, same results. Maybe even a pound heavier this time! You pinch your belly fat in disgust, shake your head in disbelief, and hate your body for betraying you. And then 9 times out of 10, you throw your hands up in frustration and abandon your efforts because clearly it was a colossal waste of time!

If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser, you may have noticed the alarming trend of the dreaded “Week 3 Plateau”. The contestants totally bust their asses and pull out amazing weight loss numbers for the first 2 weeks, we’re talking like 10-20 lbs per person per week! And then week 3 hits, and despite working out as hard as ever and watching their diets, almost all of them experience little to no weight loss. You wonder, how can this be possible? You feel crushed for these people, standing there on this huge industrial scale baring it all in front of millions of home viewers, after working harder than they ever have in their entire lives, and seeing no results. Feeling defeated. Feeling betrayed by their bodies, just like you, and me, and every other person stepping on a scale at one time or another.

The problem is that our bodies are not built to measure our self-worth, physical effort, or personal sacrifice as a number on the scale. Our bodies go about their daily business of performing millions of essential tasks that keep us alive and functioning. Our bodies work in ways we don’t always understand; storing fat when it senses a famine, raising metabolism at whim, or my personal favorite, converting fat into muscle and showing absolutely no change on the scale. Nature’s Greatest Illusionist, the human body. Showing us one thing on the outside when something totally different may be going on inside, for better or for worse.

My scale broke just before Christmas. Well, maybe it’s broken or maybe it just needs a new battery, but whatever the reason, it doesn’t work. (I once hung clothes outside to dry for over a year because I was too lazy to call a repairman for my broken dryer. It turned out to be a $10 fuse that took 2 seconds to replace.) The day I stepped on that scale and no number popped up was one of the most liberating days of my life. Since that day, I no longer obsess about the number on the scale, because I have no choice! I have to resort to the tried and true method of observing how my clothes are fitting, which happens to be much more satisfying and accurate for measuring progress anyway. I decide how much I am going to eat based on how hungry I am! What a crazy idea! I pay attention to what my body seems to want to eat, and I eat it! I no longer wait for the scale to tell me what kind of mood I am going to be in today. When I wake up and I wonder if I’m making any progress, I go do a workout and I can feel that I am. I don’t let the scale tell me if I’m good enough… and I sure as hell don’t let it tell me if I can have any more peanut butter!

I do believe that weighing yourself periodically is still a good idea in order to gauge your long-term progress. It can be a great way to celebrate reaching big milestones and goals you have set for yourself. But if you find yourself reacting like this each time you step on the scale:

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The scale is not your friend!

I know people (I was one of them) who measure their success by comparing daily fluctuations on the scale. But you must ask yourself, if you’re a pound heavier today than yesterday but 3 pounds lighter than the day before that, are you a success or a failure? Stop the Madness! Is it really worth the daily anxiety?

No Weigh, Man!!!