Saturday, November 29, 2014


I suspect you're with me on this: when someone tells you to smile, you want to punch their stupid face.

If you're not with me, get on board with the anger! Raise that fist!

Okay, so this person probably has their heart in the right place: trying to cheer you up, because you look sad or cranky. But when have you ever snapped out of your sadness or crankiness just because someone TOLD you to? If it was that easy, why would you ever be sad or cranky? "My puppy got run over yesterday, and I'm just shattered by it, but gee, since you told me to smile, random coworker, I'm not sad anymore! Thanks so much!!"

And sometimes you're not unhappy, you're just busy working, deep in thought, fighting with a spreadsheet, whatever. There simply IS no emotion to be had,'re supposed to be smiling while you do it? Should you be smiling while you do everything? What the fuck is THAT about?

I'll tell you: it's full-blown sexist bullshit. I would bet my toes that men get told to smile 1% of women's 99%. WOMEN get told to smile because we are supposed to be pleasant to look at. Ornaments. Me like pretty, give it to me.

I don't know about you, but I am not here to be an ornament in someone else's world. Fuck them. If my brow is furrowed in confusion, if my dead puppy makes me cry, if I AM happy and smiling, it has nothing to do with them at all. You want pretty? Go stare at a tree, not me.

I don't yet have a good response to "Smile!" I don't know how to politely tell these people that their well-meaning prompt makes me want to punch their stupid sexist faces. But it does. 

Don't be one of these people.

Friday, November 28, 2014

You Are Not Your Physique

I've shared several posts already about appearance, but I think it bears repeating, over and over AND OVER: 

No one cares how you look. 

If they do, they can fuck off. 

Your loved ones should care how you FEEL. You are not meant to be a pretty ornament in their world. 

Again, if you are: they can fuck off.

Nia Shanks puts these thoughts together in a much kinder, gentler fashion - go read her:
Allow me to be blunt: I don’t give a dang how you look. I don’t care how you look in a bikini. I’m not overly concerned with how much body fat or muscle definition you have (within reason, obviously, for overall health). I’m more concerned with what’s going on inside your mind. Are you happy? Confident? Are you building the body you want? Is this health and fitness journey ENHANCING your life, or dominating it?
Read read read:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Letting Go

My wise friend shared this link, and it's not just a nice "a ha" kind of article; it's got concrete advice.

Letting Go of Frustrations & Stress

Here’s the thing that will help us in the letting go process: it’s not really the other people or the incoming requests or the shopping or errands or messes that stress us out and frustrate us. It’s not the external circumstances — it’s our desire that relates to these circumstances.
What do I mean? Well, having errands (external circumstance) isn’t the cause of stress — it’s wanting to get all of them done by a certain time, and the worry that we won’t, that stresses us out. Having someone criticize you (external circumstance) doesn’t cause stress — it’s wanting to not be criticized that causes it. Kids making a mess (external circumstance) isn’t the cause of frustration — it’s wanting them not to make the mess that frustrates us.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mind Your Busyness

The Disease of Being Busy
What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?
How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?
I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul. 
Please take 10 minutes to read this:

Then read this, a fantastic follow-up:

And then find your schedule, cross some shit off it, and fill that blank space with...nothing. Sweet, blissful, quiet, pointless, meaningful nothingness. Better yet, exactly that, with someone or something you love.

Some of the best moments I've had lately have been cuddling up next to my dog on the floor, hugging him, rubbing his soft brown ears, and telling him that he's the best doggy in the whole wide world.

Meanwhile my house gets dirtier, the dishes get crustier, recorded TV shows don't get watched, and my favorite podcasts stack up. It sounds like a giant waste of time to sit there with my pooch, right?

My friend, it is the perfect waste of time.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Jill Coleman has a great post on Nia's website.

A man walks into a convenience store, and while he’s at the back grabbing a soda out of the cooler, the store gets robbed. The clerk is held up at gunpoint and shots go off around the store in the ensuing scuffle. The man getting the soda drops to the ground and he, along with the other patrons, don’t get hurt. The gunman runs out and ends up being chased and apprehended by nearby cops.
After this event, the man who was buying the soda comes out and people have gathered. One passerby approaches him and says, “Man, what bad luck you had being in the store at the exact time it was held up! What are the chances! Life’s a bitch!” And the man stands there, thinking on the comment for a moment and then says, “I don’t know, I’m just grateful that I got out without a gun shot wound and everyone is safe.”
Same scene. Two perspectives.
Which one serves the man more? The “life’s a bitch” perception or the attitude of gratitude? Which one will keep him small, scared, and insecure? And which one will help him be resilient, risk-taking and confident?

Read it. Absorb it. Try it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.
Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes. 


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are My Muscles Feminine Enough For You?

For the past month or so, I've really been noticing my upper body muscles. Admiring their increasing size, their increasing definition, flexing to see just how much striation I can produce. Getting hulky. I am LOVING my strength with every fiber of my being.

After spending my entire life feeling like a weak, pathetic, little wimp of a girl, and feeling as though I'm expected to be a delicate ladylike flower, it's an amazing, life-changing difference to feel STRONG. Powerful. Confident. Badass. Ready for life.

And yet ... somewhere around two weeks ago, I started to wonder what others think of my upper body. My shoulders and biceps are decidedly not feminine. If I presented you with a cropped picture of me flexing them, I suspect you'd first assume it's a man's arms. I'm nowhere near the impressive definition of fitness models, but my addiction to pull-ups and benching has produced some serious muscle.

Yet society's preference for females is that we be lean & thin with only light muscle definition. Which I will never be. I'm way beyond light muscle, and don't intend to make myself weaker in order to shrink these unladylike muscles down. And lean & thin, regardless of my muscle size, takes a level of effort - & unhappiness - that I'm simply not willing to trade anymore. So I started to get a little down as it sank in: I just can't win at this game.

Or can I?

Because who says I even have to play that game? Why the fuck should I care what society deems attractive? Do I exist solely to present an appealing image to others? Is that my purpose on Earth?

Abso-fucking-lutely NOT.

I do not lift weights to look good. I lift weights to BE strong.

I do not run to look good. I run to FEEL amazing.

Because when I am strong, I am happy. Because when running is fun, I am happy. And if I am happy, then I am winning at the game of life. Period.

I don't need society's stupid pointless games; I'm too busy enjoying my life. Now, please excuse me while I go bench-press some humans.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Start Living

I love everything this genius woman writes. I hope that you will, too. Here's her latest:

Here's just a little dose of why to love her:
  • How much can you squat/bench press/deadlift?
    • Not enough, ever.
  • Why do you have to cuss so much? Isn’t there a way to make your point without profanity? Don’t you consider yourself a role model? Think of the children!  
    • Because it’s my site and I can. (See Dictatorship, benevolent.)
    • Isn’t there a way to eat food without flavour? Sure, but why? The Anglo-Saxons and Normans brought English the gift of short, zesty linguistic punctuation. Don’t be a re-gifter.
    • I weep for a world in which athletes are “role models” and a woman who likes lifting heavy things is expected to act like a debutante. And you wonder why we’re so screwed up.
    • Fuck off. 

Seriously, go fall in love:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cost of Success

Everything you choose to do has opportunity costs - something you have to NOT do in order to do the thing you have chosen. It may mean less time with your TV to get in that workout. It may mean less time for your workout to spend time with your kids. It may mean you can't keep up with Facebook because you're spending time with your closest friends in real life.

You have a limited amount of time, and every minute you spend doing one thing means you have lost the chance to do another thing. Every trade-off is a sacrifice.

This post talks about making sure you have thought about the things you are sacrificing, or are willing to sacrifice, for your goals. A quick but thought-provoking read:

Whatever you determine success to be for your life, attaining it will require some kind of sacrifice; whether it be time, money, focus, etc. Nothing worthwhile in this world is created without some kind of personal sacrifice.
That is why relatively few people ever achieve what they consider “success.” The sacrifice required is often times more than they are willing to give.