Why you should say yes to saying no

just dont do it

This week’s InfoNews column is up and it’s all about screaming “NO” like a two-year-old when you don’t want to do something. And why that’s totally OK. If that sounds like something you need to hear, you can read it by clicking THIS.

Also, after almost 4 years of blogging I just decided to join bloglovin . . . so if that’s your thing, you can click the drawing of the naked girl in the right hand column.

XOYW1

Why Tumblr is good for your glutes

Listen to your body

Going on a month-long holiday right before bikini season is a horrible idea. Because let’s face it — the definition of holiday is “where are we eating next & what will we be drinking and why aren’t we already?”

I figured travelling with my 90-year-old grandmother would be safe. Maybe I’ll even lose a few I thought naively.

Unfortunately for me, Grandma likes to have dessert after every meal and when you’re overseas eating whole pizzas to yourself is just standard practice. So I didn’t come home skinnier. I didn’t come home unable to zip up my pants or anything, but let’s just say . . . no one’s going to be using me for fitspiration any time soon. My boobs are bigger, though, so there’s that.

On one hand, I’ve been really lucky in love with myself because the “hate” part of the love/hate relationship that is my body and I has only really existed in my twenties. My high school body was fine with me. My freshman fifteen body was fine with me. It wasn’t until I turned twenty that I realized my body had so much more potential — and as soon as you realize you aren’t quite up to your own snuff you start to get hard on yourself. Remember that time I did the cat daddy in a bikini to try and be like Kate Upton? Yeah.

So I came home from England and started doing what any twenty-something with a weight complex would do. I started a tumblr dedicated to making me want to work out. I looked at it for a solid four hours before I decided to actually work out.

And you know what? When I finally did, it wasn’t the worst.

I mean, it didn’t make a difference and I still ate a pizza to myself last night, but I didn’t mind it. I felt like I was doing the right thing, you know, for my body. Like, I would have been way worse off if I had eaten the pizza and not worked out, you know?

It’s funny, because even though I still have MAJOR TITS right now and as I’m typing this my thighs are mushed together as well as sticking to the leather couch and I wouldn’t want to be on a boat in a bikini getting photos taken with Iggy Azalea or anything I actually feel great. Better than I did before I got off my ass.

So I wrote a manifesto and put it on my top-secret fitness Tumblr. Because manifestos are where that shit’s at. It goes like this:

I believe that beautiful comes in every shape and size. I believe in trusting your intuition. I believe everyone knows what happiness feels like. I believe in the great outdoors, in throwing your hands out the window, in exploring new terrain, & in smiling showing all your teeth. I believe that being the best you is the only way to experience everything life has to offer, & I believe that everyone has the ability to change in an instant.

So . . . thanks Tumblr . . . for that last 5K.

what motivates you

What motivates you to get off your butt? Besides looking hot. Because we’re already all damn fine.

xo & yw

How To Exercise Without Exercising

 

dance party 1

I don’t work out. You know this based on my posts like THIS. & because I just wrote a column defending the muffin top.

Yes, I am fully aware of how Mean Girls that makes me sound. I’m also aware of my heart’s health (or non-health?), and my non-six pack. It’s just that I really hate it — it’s boring and you can’t do it in heels. Those are pretty much the only two conditions I have for my life. If it’s boring and I can’t do it in heels, I’m out.

I run sometimes. Mostly as an excuse to wear Lulu lemons and listen to Eddie Money really loud on repeat.

And yeah, you know me, lots of times I go through these fit-spurts where I’m all “YEAH, GREEN JUICE AND SQUATS MOTHER FUCKER!” but that only lasts until someone puts a wheel of Brie in front of me and that person is usually me and it’s usually only one day after I’ve decided to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon.

So, a month ago when I told a friend I’d run this hometown 10k on the 27th of April, I was obviously on Day Zero of a fit-spurt. Since then, I’ve been eating a lot of brie and worrying about how I’m going to not die when the 27th rolls around.

This morning, in a moment of delusion, I decided to test the waters. The last time I ran 10k was this time last year — since then I’ve probably jogged 12 times.

(What’s that? Once a month? That’s pretty good, right?!)

Anyway, I went for a run. And you know what? I ran 6 clicks like it wasn’t no thang.

WTF, right? I wasn’t even panting. I was just all “IF I COULD WALK ON WATER, IF I COULD FIND SOME WAAAAY TO PROOOOVE …

It was bizarre. Until I put two and two together and realized I actually have been exercising this entire time, I just didn’t look at it that way.

You see, I am a vigorous living-room-dance-party haver. Especially when I have other things I should be doing. & I don’t mean I have dance parties like … romantic comedy cute, either. I mean go all out flailing and stuff to “Bette Davis Eyes.” My heart rate gets UP.

I made a GIF to prove it. (Yes, obviously I’m singing into an empty bottle of wine.)

http___makeagif.com__media_4-15-2014_zLdjiY

I guess what I’m trying to say is . . . all you need to do to get in shape is a couple hundred hair flips to some really hardcore 80’s songs. And I didn’t want to keep that information to myself.

Suns out, guns out amiright?!

Kisses, Hugs & You’re Welcome (xo & yw)

 

 

If Your Ass is Currently Getting Kicked, You’re Not Alone

Enjoy Today

On Monday I decided to start the Paleo diet.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the recent Paleo craze, basically, you can eat anything you want so long as cavemen ate it.

Which, in my case, is not anything I want at all.

Did you know that cavemen didn’t eat cake or cheese? Right? They should tell you that before you sign up.

Anyway, here I am, eating chicken on top of stupid spinach 1700 times a day and complaining.

Now — I go gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, alcohol free, food free enough that this shouldn’t really be bothering me as much as it is. Normally I just Google pictures of Jessica Simpson circa Dukes of Hazzard and I’m gung-ho to pass on the long john with rainbow sprinkles, but not this time.

This time the bikini-prep is irking me.

It’s not just the bikini-prep though — I can handle a doughnut and Gouda craving — It’s everything. Everything is irking me. Everything has been irking me for the last week (or three.) And yeah, I feel like if I could eat a whole wheel of brie smothered in red chilli jam and drink half a bottle (OK, a full bottle) of red wine that things would be better. So what.

That’s not the point of this post, though. I’m not venting.

(OK, I was originally going to vent.)

You see, in the midst of this irky, moody, pathetic, anxious, mopey, stressed out slump (wait . . . weren’t those the names of Snow White’s . . . nevermind) I’m in, I started to seek out inspiration from my favorite blogging heroines. You know, the personal go-to’s we all keep on our toolbar who so often tell us things we already knew but still needed to hear.

And that’s when I realized that it isn’t just me. My entire blogging world is equally as hunched over right now.

Some people are blaming the bizarre and long winter we’ve had, some people are blaming the planets and others still are blaming the stars. Some people are even blaming the fact that 2013 was just so amazing that we are all failing to accept the disappointment of a fresh new year. I don’t know, I don’t know what it is. But I like the fact that I’m not alone.

So we read Gretchen Rubin’s (originally I had Gretchen Wilson’s name here. Because . . . Country music apparently is always on my mind) The Happiness Project, we write out things we’re thankful for, we search for “happiness quotes” on Pinterest . . .

We understand gravity (er‚ the basics anyway) and that what goes up must come down — we just wish we were told when. But that part isn’t up to us.

What’s up to us is the way we act despite our slump.

There are always going to be mornings where it’s easier to stay in bed than get out. Heck, I had a vivid nightmare last night that I had to change the diaper of a baby bear and I still didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.

These days (weeks/months/years) come whether we’re ready for them or not. The best we can do is recognize we’re in it together — because we are in it together — and focus on the little things.

Tell me your little things,

(& then tweet me and convince me to cheat and have that long john . . . J/K, I already ate a cookie today.)

xx

The Importance of Being Selfless When You’re Selfish

ocean light blue

One of the results of living so deeply involved in the self-help age is the idea that selfishness is something we are not only permitted, but entitled to.

I whole-heartedly accept this consolation as justification. In fact, I’ve worked extremely hard toward it. I’ve been intentionally selfish for a very long time because I’ve been told that in order to succeed, selfishness is a key ingredient.

It sounds harsh when spit out like that — but I don’t believe that selfishness is a bad thing. I believe that people waste far too many days of their limited number worrying only about what other people think/do/feel/see.

Being selfish doesn’t mean never picking up the cheque or neglecting to send birthday cards. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, it just means that your priority — for the time being — is yourself. And let’s face it, as a twenty-something in a fast paced world, the priority kind of has to land on you at some point or you’re going to end up SOL.

So we wrap our minds around the fact that selfishness will act as a catalyst for success, for innovation, for happiness and we cancel our plans for the night at the last minute because what we really need is a three hour bubble bath and a soundtrack by Ella Fitzgerald.

We do this all the time — and for the most part, it works. Opportunity comes our way, we feel happy, we feel like we’re moving on up. We credit our inner Madonna and say “yeah, whatever, I’m a bitch, but I’m busy becoming great.”

But, as life is prone to do, monkey wrenches have a funny way of hurling themselves into our selfish existences prompting us to use a different playing card.

Love.

It’s the one thing on earth that has a zero per cent success rate when selfishness is applied.

Love — for all mankind, for family, for friends, even for oneself — does not flourish in an environment of me. In fact, it flounders.

The word “unconditional” is one the selfish person (me) dreads. It encompasses the idea that no matter your whims — your personal needs, your desires — that someone else possess the right to veto them. This fear of the unconditional is merely an extension of the selfishness I have created my current life around. Love isn’t about ownership — it’s about partnership.

But I have never been a team player.

So how does one enter into a loving relationship with anyone — be them a stranger on the street who needs a smile, a family member in ill health, or a significant other — without giving up all the values of self that enable us to feel whole, successful, and driven? Because that’s what we want isn’t it? To feel independent and self-assured and “free” but to also feel respected, needed, appreciated, adored, loved.

It’s a hard question. It’s a question I can’t answer. It’s a question I most certainly cannot answer fast enough to affect change on my life this very moment, no matter how desperately I want to be the woman who puts others before herself.

But I’ve been trying — and here’s the theory I’ve developed for myself.

What we want when we take on selfishness as a face is to feel respected, needed, appreciated, adored, and loved. That’s why we do it. We want to feel good so we take on the responsibility ourselves. But what if we trusted love the way we’re meant to and accepted that our only job was to bestow those feelings upon the people we cared about, and that love — this all encompassing, all accepting, unconditional being — would, in return, bestow the same upon us?

Life would be simpler. People would be happier.

It’s just a theory.

The other night I sat down to watch a movie with The Reporter — it was Field of Dreams, a childhood favorite of his. I had never seen the movie before, nor did I have any great desire to, but I did it because his eyes sparkled when he realized it was on On Demand.

There’s this great series of scenes near the beginning in which sexy Kevin Costner starts hearing voices that tell him to build a baseball field, so three minutes later he’s building one.

His wife and daughter look at him like he’s crazy, but they help him clear the corn.

I was in one of my selfish moods — probably thinking about how I wished he kept popcorn in his apartment or something — and I said, “It’s so ridiculous that his wife doesn’t even blink an eye. There’s no explanation for what or why he’s feeling or hearing these things — she just goes along with it.”

Not even a second passed before he responded.

“Yeah,” he said. “That’s love.”

That’s love, he said. It’s safe, he said.

It’s OK for me to put my trust in something other than myself.

Selflessness has the same outcome.

xx

Why You Should Listen To Your Whims

Back in September I wrote a blog post about how I was deciding to live minimally and refusing to buy a couch.

When I say I was refusing to buy a couch, what I really meant was I preferred to eat as opposed to have something squishy to sit on while I ate. Money isn’t really one of my playing cards these days.

So, I made the best of it. I set up a corner of my living room that was dedicated to having a permanent floor bed and I rejoiced in the idea that — one day — when I was a mother of three and financially responsible enough to own Anthropolgie furniture while at the same time still able to afford lunch meat, I could give my kids epic story times.

“I remember when I was so poor I had to use my carpet as a couch and eat rice noodles and soya sauce four nights a week!”

And they’d be all “Mom! You own, like, forty pairs of Louboutins. That did NOT happen.”

But that day dream got boring REAL quick, seeing as I don’t plan on having kids for another . . . very long time.

So, still being poor, I added an extra activity to my morning routine. After I had coffee and planned my imaginary life for 20 minutes on Pinterest, I would scour the less-than-$100 couch section of Kijiji.

I have been scouring the less-that-$100 couch section on Kijiji since November — that’s how shitty the less-than-$100 couch section on the Kamloops, British Columbia Kijiji is.

My apartment started to make me angry because all it housed was 1000 books and 100 pairs of heels. And a cat (who, if you can’t tell from the above picture, is about the size of my entire apartment #fat).

My productivity dwindled down to nothing when I was at home because I was just so much more tempted to look up “how to make an empty apartment look full” as opposed to writing papers on the chivalric code.

I realized that — whether I was a fake minimalist or not (not)— in order to be “happy” at home, home had to feel like home. And — whether I liked it or not (not) — deep in my heart I knew that my home needed a couch.

That’s why, four days ago, when I saw the most perfectly hideous, but also totally presh couch and chair set for sale by the cutest old couple ever I chose not to pay my phone bill, and why I am now currently being productive on my brand new-old floral print couch.

I feel like a new woman.

And no, not because I’m sitting on the most hipster couch ever.

I feel like a new woman because I allowed myself to listen to what it was I felt I really needed, despite how trivial it seemed.

It’s my experience that we have a hard time doing that for ourselves. We tell ourselves that we are going to remain minimalistic, because it’s practical. We tell ourselves to only get an Americano as opposed to a white chocolate mocha, because who really needs to drink 500 calories when you can drink 0 and still get a buzz.

It goes back to that old parental statement I got all the time growing up — you don’t NEED it, Andria. You WANT it.

Maybe. Maybe I didn’t need a couch, because my carpet was perfectly functional. Maybe I did just wantone.

But what’s the difference if what you want makes positive changes in your life?

Waking up this morning and walking into my living room that now appears to actually be a living room, I knew I had fixed something that had been irking me since I moved in. It wasn’t that I wanted a couch, I simply needed a home.

Sometimes our whims are the best indication of what it is that’s really eating us.

So, if I was you, I’d just get the white chocolate mocha already and see what happens.

xx