Saturday, December 21, 2013

Me and myself and my eating.

The summer of 2012 I had moved in to a friend's apartment after the night I left my ex.  I was completely devastated, elated, excited, scared and hopeful.  While there are many things to write about this specific time in my life I want to share my thoughts particularly around the food I ate.
You know how people sometimes say "I am so excited, I can't eat." and "I totally just lost my appetite, bleeh." especially when you talk about something that was apparently not 'table talk approved' like the time you stepped on a blood filled wood tick and you thought you stepped on strawberry jam?? Apparently this happens to people!  Who knew!  Before that summer, I had no idea what they were talking about.  Not eating?  Involuntary?  Why would you choose to do that?Just eat it.  It tastes good, c'mon!  I never 'lost my appetite'. 

But I did lose my appetite that summer.  I remember, in the beginning, being completely unaware that I sometimes just did not eat anything and then I would come home and eat an apple and almond butter.  Or, almond butter by the spoon.  I was too busy, too worried, too frightened.  I needed money, I needed to finish the semester of school, I needed to figure shit out.  

"I was too busy, too worried, too frightened.  I needed money, I needed to finish the semester of school, I needed to figure shit out."

I didn't have time for food.  Food that was once a family (of two) event; preparing breakfast for the day, eating lunch after church on a Sunday, preparing dinner throughout the week - had become a solo adventure.  It was just me.  And I didn't have time for that.

A few weeks in I ate, what I will call now, The Summer of 2012 Dinner at least three times a week.

This consists of:

  • 1 bag of Old Dutch Ketchup Chips
  • 1 package of Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate
  • 1 package of Jolly Rancher Bites Sour Chewy Candy

Add in a few apples with almond butter and bags of frozen organic raspberries you will have my diet that I ate that whole summer.

I remember going back to the apartment I had shared with him to collect a few things.  I sat on the couch and ate a bag of chips on the couch, contemplating what had become of my life.

"I remember going back to the apartment I had shared with him to collect a few things.  I sat on the couch and ate a bag of chips on the couch, contemplating what had become of my life."

Eventually I started preparing more meals myself.  As a couple we had consumed 'effin rice at every 'effin meal possible!  I chose not to eat it (and I haven't bought a bag of rice yet!).  I wanted to buy the expensive chicken breasts - so I did.  I bought organic oatmeal and frozen raspberries.  I made meals that consisted of only beef steak strips and broccoli.  I planned every meal for myself and I relished in every opportunity to try something new.  I bought the premixed Clubhouse spices. I ate burritos, Vietnamese noodles and went to the sushi place that "We will go on a date there, someday." but never did.

Eating can be a symbol of your relationship with someone.  The food you eat are somehow intertwined with the people you eat them with.  At first, I didn't know what to do with my solo eating so I consumed what I knew would satisfy me in the urgency and immediacy of every meal when I knew that the next day, and the next would be filled with the same intense emotions: freedom, panic, anxiety.

When I eventually started taking care of myself, it reflected in my eating habits.

Me and myself and my eating.  A solo adventure.  While I have now invited someone into my life to share in what I eat - I will always hold a bag of ketchup chips (figuratively) to my heart to remember my Summer of 2012 Dinner.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It is heavy.


I have a vivid memory of my childhood kitchen table broken - on the ground somehow, tipped over.  It was large, brown and oval.  I remember it had something to do with my parents.  Did they fight over something?  Did one of them tip it over?  Maybe it was the same night - or a different night - but I also remember seeing strangers, police officers, in my house.  Why were they there?  Who are they?


I would lay on my side on the bed, squishing my belly fat.  I wondered if weight just accumulated over the years until eventually you became big and fat like the big and fat people I would sometimes see. 

Not that long ago

I lay down on the ground, sobbing, by my chemistry books.  My ears are ringing from screaming, my throat is coarse.  Fighting, screaming with my ex-husband.  I had the philosophy of 'if you hurt me, I will show you how much you hurt me by hurting you' and he had the philosophy of 'I can say the worst things to you, but without screaming them - you will be considered the bad guy'.  It didn't work.


I rest the barbell on the front of my shoulders, elbows up, and a few fingers balancing it and keeping it pressed against my neck, over my center of gravity.  I am ready to front squat.  I walk the bar out - my hips and spinal cord carrying the full weight of it.  My abs are braced, my glutes are ready.  It's heavy. 

As I lower the weight down - it reminds me of all the weight that a person can carry in their day. Their children, spouses, issues.  It is heavy.  My legs are strong and I do not falter. 

The weight is delicately balanced, with a few fingers holding on to it.  At any moment I could let it go - let it tip forwards.  

With balance, coordination, and strength I lift it up.  It is heavy - and I will eventually go heavier. But, at this moment - this is my 'one rep max' and it is the heaviest thing I can lift.  Nothing outside the gym weighs any heavier than this.  It is heavy - but I am strong.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Negative Nancy

The other day at the gym my training partner and I finished up our set of front squats (his poor wrists and shoulders unfortunately don't have the flexibility - Eric - stretch!) and while he moved on to step ups I stayed in the rack and did some overhead presses.

A guy doing some ab work - from here on in I will call him (Negative) Nancy - gave me some dirty looks.  And continued to give me dirty looks and bad vibes while he waited for the rack next to me to open.  

This is a classic scenario at the gym.  Nancy had asked my partner if I was done with the rack, and was pissed at me that I wasn't.  He later went up to my partner and said:
"Not to sound like a jerk, but your girl doesn't need to do overhead presses in the squat rack.  You would think that a personal trainer would have more gym etiquette than that."
So Nancy apparently did have a reason to be mad at me!  And he really was giving me bad vibes!
(Not to say everyone who is being a whiny bitch actually has a legit reason, we shall not be paranoid folks.)

I was pissed.  Overhead presses, in the squat rack, is a legitimate place to do the exercise.  If you are pressing 100lbs or so (which I am not currently, but some day!) you don't want to be cleaning it up every time you want to press it.  But c'mon folks - I don't really have to argue my position, do I?

Afterwards, while stretching, I was contemplating my sweet revenge (just kidding!) and thought...

This guy thinks I am a personal trainer! 

And it seriously made my day.

Granted, he probably thought I was a personal trainer because I am only one of a handle of women in this particular gym that actually do anything with a barbell, and his wheenie little brain probably can't comprehend a girl wanting to get strong for pure physical and psychological enjoyment...but I digress.  He noticed me either way.  He noticed what I was doing, my actions, and my confidence.  It means other people are noticing too!

But, besides from wanting to rant about Negative Nancy at the gym (and it does give me some satisfaction calling him a girl's name) I wanted to share with you my advice on being confident in the gym and staying positive there and elsewhere.

1. Have a plan.  

I usually never do an exercise without methodically researching it.  When I don't use an already made workout program, I research how to make my own.  Gain enough knowledge as possible about what you are about to do, and you will find confidence in knowing you have prepared yourself to the best of your abilities.  Have a plan when it comes to making decisions inside, and outside the gym.  Knowledge is power.

2. Realize that everyone will stare at you - in the gym and elsewhere.

At least, that is what you will think they are doing.  People stare at the gym.  They want to know what other people are doing.  Realize that everyone is going to stare at you, and you can stare right back - it's ok.  Eventually this will go away, and you will come to accept it.  Stand tall, walk proud, and eventually this will carry over in to other aspects of your life.  Practice taking the heat momentarily in the gym, so you can apply it to other parts of your life.

3. Recognize that being positive is something you do, not something that is done to you.

Okay, let me explain.

Being positive means that you are positive when things could be negative.  It is not something that happens to you.  It is what you do besides the negativity that might be happening to you. It is a conscious decision and it is worth the effort.

4. Let it go, let it go, let it go.

Negative-Nancy-Mean-Pants up above was being a loser - let it go.
You can't get chin ups today - try again - and let the frustration go.
Your plan didn't work out - let it go and learn from it.
You can't get to the gym, so go tomorrow instead - and let it go.
Let go of the negativity.
Let go of the stress.
Release it.
Let it go.

That's what I was telling myself when I walked out of the gym that day with (Negative) Nancy's bad vibes oozing on me, stuck in the forming cobwebs of my mind.  I shook it off, I made a conscious effort not to let it effect me - and I moved on.

Much love and peace,


Monday, April 8, 2013

Mind, body, breath.

Besides following a Beautiful Badass program of lifting heavy and smashing weights, I've been practicing yoga.

Yoga is by far the hardest thing I've ever done.  Child's pose is hard.  CHILD'S POSE.  

And this pose over here.
My leg is supposed to be straight.
And straight line from knee to elbow.
And maybe not in jeans.
Let's just say I have a lot to work on.

But I have been enjoying it immensely.  I even woke up today at 6am to do a 25 minutes of beginner yoga to start my day.  That's how much I like it!

It is strength of mind and body, stability, coordination and mobility.  It's patience and practice.  It's everything that is awesome.  Basically.

This is what I was trying to do:

I have a lot to work on, but I'm excited for the journey.

Yoga resources for you:

And this video basically encompasses everything I want to learn in yoga, like, right now.

In life, anything goes.


Thursday, March 14, 2013



Squat x6
Lunge Left x6
Lunge Right x6
Push-up x6
Push Press or OHP x6


Deload week. 

Finish with:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I recently have started reading ebooks on my cell phone.  I never thought I would like it as I do enjoy the feel and smell of a book but I've so far read two books in the past week or so, and that's more non-school books I've read this year.  It's awesome being able to read it whenever I want to, and I've also been able to download books from the Halifax public library.  I'm the type of person that spends too much money on books I never get around to reading, so being able to satisfy book lust with a quick download is right up my alley.

The first one I read was "Our Daily Bread" by Lauren B. Davis.  Davis lived in Nova Scotia in the '70s when news of the Goler clan surfaced.  They were (are?) a family that lived in a small rural community in Nova Scotia and most of the adults were charged with abuse, including sexual, of most of the children - for multiple generations.  The thing is - most of the people in the surrounding community new something about it - whether gossip or truth.  But, they were considered 'them' and 'those people' and essentially - outsiders.  Not to be talked about or discussed and left alone to whatever it was they wanted to do, as long as it didn't invade on 'our' land.  The book is fiction and the author makes it clear that the story could happen anywhere.

I also just finished reading "We Have Always Lived in the Castle" by Shirley Jackson.  This story is dark and creepy and I don't recommend reading it in the dark with only the glow of your screen's back light to keep you company.  I may have had nightmares the nights I've read this one.

Merricat, the narrator, lives with her sister and her ailing Uncle in a castle that only Merricat leaves and barely anyone comes and visits.  When she does leave, she is whispered at, pointed at, and talked about in the village not far from her home.  Her Uncle is writing a memoir of sorts, and through him talking about it, you can piece together that the sister, Constance, was acquitted of murdering other family members and that is why the village doesn't like them anymore and shuns them.

Both books are about being an outsider.  When reading Davis' novel you can't help but think of someone, or some situation that you wished you helped more or wish you done something about - but you justified it in your head, but to what cost?

When reading Jackson's novel I just couldn't help but think about how creepy it was.

I do recommend both.

Friday, March 1, 2013

You've probably already seen these...

.... but I still think they are funny and/or interesting.

1. Guacamole.  Dice. Pin Cushion. Avocado grenade. Very cool.

2. They are goats.  They also scream like humans.

3.  Pink is a classic (in a good way).  One of my favorite songs of the moment.

4. Impressive.

5. And... you probably already seen this one, but it's pretty cute.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This shit is complex.

I've been really obsessed with barbell complexes recently.  Most of the time, I follow a gym program that describes my days, weeks, and months in the gym.  But a few times I like to just lift heavy stuff more quickly while blasting K'naan in my ears.  (Probably a little bit too loud... yikes....)

I've been calling all my complexes 'Bear' complexes because I thought if it was 6 sets of 6 reps it was a bear.  But apparently there is a legit complex called 'the Bear Complex' and no other complex is supposed to hold this title.  I've never done this complex.  But here it is:

But, from what I've read here is how I program mine:
-6 sets of 6 reps of 6 exercises
-choose 1 to 2 lower body exercises, preferably one for hamstrings/butt, and one for quads -front squat, back squat, deadlift, or RDL
-choose a vertical press - like push press or over head press
-choose a horizontal push - pushups
-choose a back exercise - rows

They usually take 20-30 minutes to finish.

Here are more examples!

This guy is intense.

And another linky link to click.

And a video of a guy throwing up, for your enjoyment.