Monthly Archives: November 2012

Read, and repeat.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends.”

― Mark Twain

Jiggle all the way

That’s what I usually think to myself when I’m doing a Body Attack class at my gym. No lie, I’m usually one of the bigger grrrls in the class, but wow, I love that I can actually survive that 55 minutes (and still walk the next day).

Tonight I came across this link: Fat Acceptance at the Gym Burns More Than Calories, an essay that’s all about what it means to be fat at a gym.  I resonated with a lot of what this essay said (along with the Jezebel article that pointed me in its direction). I know what it’s like to be the red-faced, sweaty big girl working out next to the slender girl in her Lululemons. And, despite the fact I’m active — playing on a soccer team for the fourth season in a row, working out with a personal trainer, and on track to run a 10k in the spring — I so often feel out of place and really low in the self-esteem department when it comes to looking around me.

And you know, I shouldn’t.  I can flex now and feel muscles moving in places that weren’t there before. And while the scale may not be doing down, I see my body in a stronger light.  I sleep better, and I’m setting an example for my daughter on why it’s important to schedule in time for yourself at the gym.

But that’s my brain talking — and it’s easy to talk yourself up when you’re not having to stare at your mirrored profile while doing insane amounts of lunges and squats.

It’s been a lifelong struggle for me, and if I’m honest, I’m not looking forward to the day when Emma begins to struggle with her self-esteem. So I know, not only for my sake, but for hers, I need to kick this negative body image thing I’ve got going to the curb. I don’t want her thinking it’s okay to think less of herself because she doesn’t measure up to a (unattainable?) standard of beauty that’s been imposed on her from the outside.

I don’t think I will ever be the cute skinny girl in Lulus (for one I don’t think I could ever bring myself to spend $100 on yoga pants) — but I think I could be the cute big girl in generic yoga pants who’s proud of who she is, and the steps she’s taking to be healthy.

The more things change…

Today Emma showed me how loose one of her lower front teeth is — and I’m embarrassed to admit that I cried a little bit.

Maybe it was because today has been a pretty crummy day, maybe it was because I didn’t have much sleep last night, maybe it’s because I’m getting sick and I’m feeling sorry for myself, maybe it’s because of the sentimental time of the year … regardless, I felt sad at the fact that my little girl is growing up. Fast.

Thing is, I remember when she first had that particular loose tooth of her’s pop up. In fact, I can still remember all of the toothless grins and giggles that she had for the first 13 months of her life. And now — she’s on the verge of losing that tooth, to be replaced by a permanent adult tooth. It’s a noteworthy milestone, and one that I need to stop and reflect on.

I know that everyday Emma is changing — whether it’s her newfound love of reading and math, her conversation skills (oh that girl can talk), or her ever-growing-out-of-her-clothes stage (how did I produce such a tall child?!) — but lately it’s been difficult for me to keep up with who Emma is becoming. It seems like just when I think I’ve got her figured out, something new enters into the equation, and I’m left having to adjust my understanding of the person she is becoming.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is a bad thing! Change is important. But change can be difficult, too.

I suppose what I want the most for myself is to be the kind of mama who is open to accepting all the changes Emmalee will go through — physical, mental, and even spiritual. I don’t ever want her to feel trapped thinking she needs to be who the person her mom thinks she should be (or thinks she is).

It’s funny, I often tease her at times by pleading with her “stop growing!” She usually responds to me: “no, mama. I’m growing!”  Yet the other day after I teased her about how fast she’s growing, she got all reflective and philosophical on me (those traits come from her daddy).  After I play-pleaded with her to stop growing, she looked at me and said: “No, mama. If I stop growing, I’ll die.

Of course, following that moment she giggled and went onto being her usual playful 5-year-old self, but what she said has stayed with me.

There are ways of dying on the inside, especially when people don’t accept you for who you are or the choices you make.  I hope that I can have the kind of relationship with my daughter where she will never feel like she’s stuck living up to who I had gotten used to her being. Not only that, but I also hope to be just as flexible and accepting of my friends and colleagues, as they change to become more of who they really are.

 

grrrl meets local media

The article featuring me and the group I help run, Café Apostate, is now out on newsstands — Verb issue S17.

If you’re interested in reading it, pick up a copy on newsstands, or click here to read part 1 and part 2.

How to make my Friday:

Despite waking up with a wicked sore throat, here are some things that are making my day so far:

  • breakfast with my little family of 3
  • discovering that my new-found love of PB2 (powdered peanut butter) now comes with chocolate!
  • ordering presents for people I love from Surly-Ramics
  • an afternoon parent-teacher conference with Emma’s teacher, who I sorta adore (and am so grateful Emma will have had for THREE years!)
  • discovering there’s a showing of JC Superstar with Tim Minchin as Judas at the Galaxy in 2 weeks! (I am so there)
  • a decorated Christmas tree waiting for me at home
  • Winterscapes radio in my office

Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to make my day.

oh, and I didn’t blog yesterday, because I was watching this (in person, for the 2nd! time)

Thanksfull.

Happy Thanksgiving-eve! Even after 10 years, it still feels weird to have Thanksgiving in October. Unfortunately for me, November is the most insane time of the year for the school term, so there will be no free-range turkey in store for me tomorrow.

It’s funny, even though there’s still a Thanksgiving holiday up here, it’s still not quite the same big-of-a-deal as it was for me growing up back home.

It’s true what they say — Thanksgiving is a bigger deal in the States than it is here in Canada. For one, it’s the busiest travel day of the year.  For me, I have memories of “Turkey Day” MST3K marathons, my dad having a stuffing sandwich (yes, a bread-bread sandwich), and lots of family time.

These days my family is spread across the country, so it’s getting harder than ever to celebrate holidays and special occasions. Still, these memories of old are fun ones to recall.

My life has given me many reasons to be thankful — both from the life I had growing up, and the life I have living now.