You, too, can be a supermodel…in 37 seconds

Somewhere, right this very second, a little girl is wishing that she was a model. Back in 1997, that little girl was probably me. I just knew that I would grow up to be Kate Moss. I KNEW IT.

I would be 5’10”
I’d weigh about 107 pounds (112 if I was bloated)
Wear a AAA cup bra
My hips would be a perfect 29″
I’d be the perfect sample size 0

Never mind that genetics were against me. I was going to be Kate Moss, dammit. She was perfect.

Genetics was NOT dealing with me and my model dream.

Literally the next year (fifth grade!!!), I hit 5’0” and stopped growing. I got boobs that year, too. I walked across the elementary school graduation stage in a Playtex Just-my-size almost B cup bra (come on, ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ about). 

I’m pretty sure that’s when the self talk started. I was not pretty because I was not a model and I wasn’t going to be a model. 
Mama Nancy told me I was pretty all the time. She always said that I was beautiful. 
Know how I responded?
“You’re required to say that, you’re my mama.”

As I got older (and started crushing on boys), my list of idols grew. 
And grew. 
And grew.
And grew.

I spent a lot of time in high school saying things like, “I wish I looked like ____(insert celebrity name here)___” and “why can’t I just have her ____(insert perfect attribute here)___?”

2010. Pretty far from the “sample size 0″. And I’m also fairly sure my hips were around 45”.

Now that I’m a grown up and I’ve entered into this fitness thing, I realize that I spend a lot of time discounting my own hardwork. 
“My butt’s looking nice…but it’s not like Jennifer Lopez’s”
“My waist is thinning out…but it’s not as slim as Eva Longoria’s.”
“I wish my face would slim down to look like Beyonce’s.”
“Why can’t I be married to Ryan Reynolds?!” (okay, this is not at all related to body image, it’s just a question that needs to be answered)

Thanks to the miracle that is the interwebz, this video was posted today:

The first thing I thought? 
“well, shit. With PhotoShop, I can be a model now, too!”

The second thing?
“what if little girls really think people look like this?”

Both thoughts are true. Obviously, I too, can be a model through the power of photoshop and didn’t I think all those celebrities really looked like that when I was little? Weren’t those the images I was basing all my personal fitness success on?

It has to stop. 
Photoshop is not real life.

This is me.
I am not perfect. 
My beauty and my life have flaws.
I make mistakes.
I have cellulite.
I love to eat a lot of chocolate when Aunt Flo comes to visit.
I hate the way my back looks, but I love my shoulders. 
I have a freckle between my first two toes on my left foot.
I have a birthmark that even my Mama didn’t know existed until 2 years ago.
I sweat when I do…pretty much anything.
I can never put on eyeliner right.
My concealer (when I wear it) always creases beneath my eyes.
I have scars because I like to play rough.
I have tattoos. And they’re cool.
I have a belly somedays and other days I don’t. 
When I don’t feel good, I like my dog to take care of me.
I get lettuce stuck in my teeth all the time.
I get zits. And I WILL pop them.
I make a ton of mistakes and only hope (and pray!) that I can recover from them and learn the lesson.
I have boobs that photobomb every picture I take and make buying shirts really difficult. 
I have teeny feet. 
My hips are still 40″ around. 
But that’s who I am. 
Those things are why my mama thinks I’m pretty.

I am flawed but funny.
I like to laugh and have a good time.
I think it’s more important to live in the moment and eat the damn cupcake than skip the cupcake and miss the moment.
I am a hard worker because I want to set a good example.
I want to work hard now so that I can play hard later.
I like to do nice things for people because it’s a nice thing to do.
I am a good friend.
I am not photoshop.
I am not a model.
Or a celebrity.
But I am beautiful.

And so are you. 

Fitness Shaming

A few weeks ago, the CrossFit main site posted this photo:

Lee Ann Ellison. Photo by Nick Stern

I didn’t think anything of it except, “Man, when/if I get pregnant, I hope I can do that!” I wrote a comment under the photo that said something to the effect of “you go, mama!”

I was shocked 3 hours later when my FaceBook was bombarded with notifications from this photo. Users called her “selfish” and a “bad mom”. They said she was “putting her child’s life at risk all to look good.” One of them said “I guess killing your baby is worth it to have washboard abs.” 

Appalled would be the correct word to describe how I felt. Appalled that people could not only be so ignorant and misinformed but also so hurtful to someone they don’t even know. An interview with Lee Ann later described her fitness journey: This is her third pregnancy. She has been an avid crossfitter for a number of years and she was cleared by the doctor to continue any exercises that she had participated in prior to pregnancy with modifications as needed. Lee Ann said, “this is the way I’m able to maintain my sanity. My sense of normal.” Because, let’s face it, it’s not everyday that you grow a human. 

After I finished feeling appalled, I felt angry. So people were really going to troll this woman and berate her for her own personal fitness choices, but not say anything about the people eating 15 double cheeseburgers at McDonalds? They’re going to assassinate her character for wanting to stay in a good physical condition? Seriously?

A few weeks later, this photo hit my FB News Feed:

Once again, I saw it and was inspired. I thought to myself, “Man. I know I work full time and am a student, but I’m not responsible for 3 whole lives, a husband, a household, a full time job, AND making sure I work out. She’s right. I shouldn’t make excuses.”

And again, I was shocked hours later when I saw that people had been attacking this woman. Accusing her of “fat-shaming” and “bullying”. They called her all kinds of derogatory names. They attacked her character. 

For the second time in less than a month, I was appalled. I was angry. Really angry. I felt terrible for Maria Kang. All she was trying to do was motivate people and now these ridiculous people were taking shots at her as a mom, a wife, a person. A HUMAN. 

Last week, I posted this picture:

In case you didn’t see it, the left is me a year ago at 175 pounds. The right is me today at 175 pounds. The only difference is how I eat and how I exercise. Why did I post it?Because I was obsessed with the scale and a lot of my friends are, too. And I wanted to show them (and myself) that the freakin’ scale doesn’t matter. 

The scale can’t show me how hard I work, how much I’m loved, how much muscle I’ve gained, how much confidence I have, or what a good person I am. 

The scale is so limited in what it can do that it can only show me my relationship with gravity. 

My friends liked my photo. The awesome people who like the Eat.Pray.WOD page liked my photo. The best part about the photo was not even seeing the change in myself. It was seeing the change through other people’s responses. There were so many “oh my gosh, this gives me hope that I’m changing, too” and “the scale wasn’t changing but I could see the change!” and “thank you for posting this, this is what I needed today.” 

And then the trolls showed up. People started sharing my photo calling ME names. 
A bully. 
A fat-shamer. 
Saying that my only goal was to diminish other people’s self esteem. 
That I should “put some clothes on because I’m not as hot as I think I am”. 
One girl went so far as to say that I’m a liar. She said, “she probably had surgery because there’s no way she could do that in a year.” 


These people literally are going out of their way to shame people who make changes with their lives.

This time, I’m not appalled. I’m not even angry. 
I’m sad for them. 
I’m sad because if these fitness-shamers spend half the time they spend shaming others on things that would make their lives better, they’d be better people. 
I’m sad that they have to hide behind computer screens to say ugly things to people that they don’t even know.
I’m sad that they feel entitled to opinions about things that don’t concern them.
I’m sad that they blame their lack of self-esteem on anyone but themselves and manifest it by saying hurtful things about others. 

But I’m proud of me. 
I’m proud that I realize that these people and their opinions really don’t matter.
I’m really proud that I’m making my own lifestyle changes and increasing my own self-esteem.
I’m super proud that I took a freakin’ photo in a sports bra and posted it online for God and everybody to see.

I work hard.
I play hard.
I have fun.
I screw up.
I get back on track.
I work out.
I work out more.
And I’m happy.
So sorry, not sorry, fitness-shamers. Better luck next time at finding someone who cares. 


So I’m just at home the other night, being a good grad student and analyzing case studies like this:

Just kidding. I usually look like this:

This is confusion, people! Excuse my bra strap photo bomb.

And so I did what I always do when my schoolwork confuses me: get on facebook.

And my head coach’s awesome wife, Mama Melissa, posts this article about…(dun, dun, DUNNNN!) cellulite. Specifically, female athlete cellulite.

And I’m all like, “ew, Mel, it’s bad enough that I have to look at my own freakin’ cellulite, I don’t wanna read about someone else’s.” 

But being the sick individual that I am, I’m like, “well, I guess it’ll make me feel better about my own if I read about someone else’s so let’s do that shiz.” 

So I did. And I’m so glad I did. 
You can read the really awesome and enlightening article HERE.

Know what’s funny? I really beat myself up about cellulite. I’m all analyzing myself in the mirror and picking out every perceived dimple or dent or whatever I can find to beat myself up about. But I NEVER notice it on other women. Like, ever. When I look at other girls working out with me or other women in general, I always find their best characteristics. And it always shocks me when they mention how insecure with their bodies they are. 

They’re all like, “I hate my thunder thighs, I have all this cellulite…”
And I’m like, “are you kidding me? Your legs are awesome!” 

I think this article really helped me realize four very important things:
A) everyone has cellulite. Literally. Everyone. It’s just natural.
B) I really am my own worst enemy. Everyone doesn’t seek out all my flaws just like I don’t seek out their flaws.
C) Based on the comments in on that awesome article, guys don’t give a shit about cellulite. As one spot-on guy put it, “‘that girl’s really hot…but she has cellulite, said no guy ever.'”
D) As Mama Melissa said, we live in Louisiana and it’s too damn hot to wear workout pants. So embrace your legs and wear some booty shorts!

And sometimes, the workout is bad

I had a bad workout yesterday.
I DNF for the first time ever.
I puked.
It was bad.

After I was finished, I laid on the floor for about 10 minutes afterward and I bitched myself out. I probably said every awful thing I could possibly say to myself.

“you should have pushed harder”
“you should have moved faster”
“I can’t believe you didn’t finish”
“you shouldn’t have rested so long”
Despite my coaches all coming to tell me good job.
Despite Jess yelling and cheering me on.
Despite my boxmates telling me I really worked hard.
I really gave myself hell.

I probably talked to myself like that all the way to class last night. When I pulled into my parking spot, I told myself to shut up. 

I pushed hard yesterday afternoon. 
Even though double unders are one of my incredible weaknesses, I pushed myself to do them. 
Even when I had to do double-single-double. When 65# got heavy, I kept doing it. 
Despite realizing that I couldn’t finish within the timecap, I pushed hard till the very last second. 
I worked hard.

And it seemed like my coaches and my boxmates all saw that but I couldn’t get it through my thick skull. Until I made myself shut up.

I am better today than yesterday and I’ll be better tomorrow than today. 
Sometimes that little voice inside’s got some nasty things to say…guess I’ll have to shut her up with some heavy lifting. 

This ain’t yo’ grandma’s lifestyle

This is probably going to be a really weird post, but I’ve GOT to talk about it.

I am busy. I have a ton of shiz to do everyday. I have a full time job, I have about a million on the side money making schemes, I run this blog, make times for friends and family, find time to support my kiddos (students), find time to lesson plan, grade at least 184 papers, cook, clean, get my grad school shiz together, pick up a second job and I train for CrossFit. (reading this all written down just exhausted me)

I have a crazy schedule. Seriously. A friend of mine just told me today that I’m the “queen of multitasking”. 

My schedule usually goes something like this:
3 am: wake up
3-445 am: cook and package all my food for the day, get dressed for workouts, pack my bag with clothes for actual work, make sure I have everything (I always have to check twice…mainly because I’m forgetful)
445-455 am: drive to Red Stick CrossFit 
5-6 am: WOD
6-615 am: Get ready for work in the RSCF bathroom.
615-630 am: Drive to work
630 am-245 pm: Educate kiddos ‘n’ shiz
245-300 pm: Drive back to Red Stick CrossFit
300-500 pm: Strength workout or work on shiz I suck at.
500-515 pm: head home
515-545 pm: Cook and eat dinner
545-730 pm: work on whatever the hell else I’ve gotta get done that day
No later than 8 pm: BED. 

And I try to fit everything on my to do list in during the day. And sometimes, my to do list is LONG. Don’t get me wrong, I make time for friends and all that, but I gotta make sure I get the things I need to get done, done.

I said all that to say this: this is my schedule because I want it to be. 

Do I have to workout at 5 am? No. Do I have to package all my food? No. Do I have to go to bed ass early to be up early? No. I do it because I WANT to. Just like I want to be fit, I want to be healthy, I want to be happy, and I want to be the best me I can be. Yes, this schedule is hectic and crazy, but I love it. I get to do shiz that I love all day (minus grading papers. I hate that).

Things I don’t like: 
When people bust my balls about my schedule. I have a limited window of time to hang out with people and I will hang out when I have time. But don’t bust my balls because I’d rather be sleeping when you want to go out drinking. I don’t drink anyway (with the exception of special occasions. Or a long day at work. Or students that drive me to drink.)

When people try to call me a “granny” or “grandma” because I go to bed early and need my rest. Chances are, your granny doesn’t deadlift 250#. *unless she does, in which case, your granny’s a badass.* I’ve literally had 4 people call me some form of “granny” in the past 4 days. I get sleep because I need it. I have to rest my body because I need to prepare myself for a long day of extreme hyperactivity. (if you’ve ever seen me at 5 am workouts, you know exactly how hyper I can get) Forgive me if I’d rather sleep than go out drinking and have random guys air hump me and call it dancing. I’m honest. I will tell you when I can hang out and I’ll tell you when I need sleep. Trust me, you don’t want to hang out with me if I’m tired anyway. I get really cranky.

When people tell me what should be important to me. This is the one that I struggle with the most. I have always been a people pleaser. I like to make others happy–and a lot of times, its to a fault. I used to literally sacrifice the things that I wanted to do, goals that I had, and things that would make me happy, to do things for other people. I made a resolution earlier this year that I would be more selfish (you can read about that here). Long story short: I would stop letting people dictate what I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it. I will do the things that it takes to reach my own goals and make me happy. By any means necessary.

I have finally gotten to a point where I really love my life. I really love what I’m doing, what I’m going to do, and the goals/dreams I’ve set for myself. The last thing I appreciate is people trying to throw me off that track. 

Because of this journey, I am a better, happier person. My friends and family have noticed. I’ve never been as happy as I am when I’m running through this crazy schedule everyday. I may sometimes be exhausted. I may be overwhelmed. I may feel like I can never do everything I need to do. But I have a genuine smile on my face. I wouldn’t trade this psychotic, overwhelming schedule for anything and I only want people with me who want to keep that smile just that: genuine.

See that? That’s genuine. I wanna keep that!