On being a woman and the uphill battle with body hair….

“…Being a woman is worse than being a farmer – There is so much harvesting and crop spraying to be done: legs to be waxed, underarms shaved, eyebrows plucked, feet pumiced, skin exfoliated and moisturized, spots cleansed, roots dyed, eyelashes tinted, nails filed, cellulite massaged, stomach muscle exercised. The whole performance is so highly tuned you only need to neglect it for a few days for the whole thing to go to seed. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like if left to revert to nature – with a  full beard and handlebar mustache on each shin….”

Currently reading Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ diary and I almost died of laughter when I read that quote.

How many times have we, as women, asked ourselves the same question as Bridget? I have often felt as if I am fighting a losing battle in which my body hair holds all the winning cards. In fact, when it comes to body hair my husband and I often have these type of conversation:

Husband: “Going to the doctor?”

Me: “No, why?”

Husband: “Well, your legs are smooth and you’re all shaved and everything…”

Me looking at him intensely trying to remember why I ever married in the first place.

Husband: “These days you only shave when going to the doctor.”

Me: “That’s a lie, I shave regularly!”

Husband: “Except in Winter… Are you trying to grow your own fur?”

Me: “Oh shut up!”

“…I just can’t help but associate laser hair removal with images of a possessed Light saber angrily swinging above my precious and very private body parts….”

At that point, since I wanted to remain married I chose to ignore the man. After all, being single again would undoubtedly mean — and this time around the clock — more waxing, shaving, tweezing and plucking than ever before just to get back in the saddle as quickly as possible.

But really why is body hair okay for men and borderline disgusting for women? When you stop and think for a second, it is actually pretty twisted to want a fully grown female body to be free of all body hair?

“When I think of all the time I spent plucking out every single hair off of my body, I could have easily earn another degree”

Of course I could also go the laser hair removal route but for some reason I just can’t help but associate laser hair removal with images of a possessed lightsaber angrily swinging above my precious and very private body parts…

Whatever reasons pushed us into such behavior in the past, I am sure it’s all over now. Still most of us keep plucking away. Why do we women keep doing this to ourselves? Do we do it because we think it’ll make us more attractive? Do we do it because it has been done for so long that it has now become the norm in our society? Do we do it to fit in? God forbid we’re part of the select group of women proudly sporting a mustache on the planet (Insert shivering outcast emoji here). I am quite sure culture also play a big part in the equation…..

The mystery remains said the woman who’s about to shave her legs and many other sensitive body parts for the millionth times…..

WHY I HATE GOING TO THE DENTIST

I never feared going to  the dentist. Well, I must also say that I keep my visits to the bare minimum which is why I was in for major tuneups the last time I went.  I went in with the innocence and abandon of a sleeping baby considering my husband had been going there for a while now and he assured me she was very efficient. So I told myself if my husband can take it so can I. Wrong. The thing is dear husband has a high pain threshold. I don’t.

“…I had more traffic in my open mouth than a merging lane during rush hour.”

Mulder soft palate is drilled
“What going to the dentist feels like…”

Picture: Courtesy of: http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/Fox_Mulder%27s_abduction

So I booked an appointment and was greeted upon arrival by an extremely sweet desk clerk. Everything was going well until I stepped into the actual dentistry room. The dental assistant welcomed me in with what I thought was at first a thoughtful and considerate smile but in the aftermath I came to the realization that people on death rows must receive the exact same smile from powerless family members. Some tests were performed firsthand to determine the state of my teeth and judging by the resulting pursed lips from the dentist they were not satisfactory. The tests themselves made feel like a victim of aliens abduction, X-files style.

Now regarding the procedure itself, I always considered myself to be a delicate flower that must be treated with the utmost care but apparently in that office they did not get the memo. To put it nicely, it was fast and furious. My mouth was kept open unceremoniously with fingers and objects coming in and out of it at lightning speed. I had more traffic in my open mouth than a merging lane during rush hour. It was the longest 45 minutes of my life and the copious amounts of pain medication injected did absolutely nothing to relieve the constant drilling and pulling and scrubbing that felt like mini earthquakes. Months later, traumatized and still shocked I sometimes wonder if this dear dentist wasn’t a mechanic in a past life…which would have explained a lot of things and restored my faith in dentists all over the world (Insert Greek tragedy goddess emoji here).

“The tests themselves made me feel like a victim of aliens abduction, X-files style.”

In retrospect, I should have known because when I came in there was a little girl coming out of the dentistry room crying her heart out and to calm her down the receptionist gave her a toy. I sincerely wish they would give toys to adults too when they come out of there. Or at the very lest a hug. I know I would have appreciated one after that traumatizing experience. 

Needless to say after much deliberation I decided not to go back. I gathered a couple of suggestions from friends and family and most of them come highly recommended but I am so traumatized I can’t even bring myself to place a call for that first appointment. But I know  I have to… (Insert why me emoji here)

Are you afraid of the dentist too? Apparently it is a very common fear that I quite frankly didn’t expect to feel. Do you know of any tricks to help manage it? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Until then talk to you soon! My next post will be on December 17th. Bisoux!

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER MY HOLIER THAN THOU POST ON EXERCISE…

“…Next time you have an unplanned cheat day or week or whatever just do one thing: Pick yourself up and move on. It is as simple as this. Don’t starve yourself or sign up for a boot camp the next day. Just forget about it and move on…”

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I swear the pizza was gluten free with light cheese …

It was around 8:00 pm and I had been home for about an hour. I was hungry and tired after a long day at work. After rummaging through the fridge looking for something ready to eat and finding nothing I went and sit at the kitchen table to check out my favorite Instagram accounts. Unfortunately for me there was a jar of peanut butter sitting right  in the middle of the table staring right at me. Crunchy peanut butter is my nemesis. One of these days I am gonna have to go to therapy for it. The minute my eyes fell on it I knew I was lost.

let’s just say I went hog wild. When I came back to self dear husband was standing across from me. Naturally he was making fun of me as usual.

“Okay you’ve downed 5 Tbs of peanut butter so far…you’re doing good!”

“You’re counting?”

“Let’s see…just yesterday you talked about 5 ways to stick to an exercise program, tonight you’ve downed 5 Tbs of peanut butter in just under 5 minutes…the number  five is clearly your lucky number”

I was caught red-handed. I was still hugging the peanut butter jar like a drowning a man would a lifeboat. I had two choices I could stand my ground and down two more Tbs or I  could lift my chin offended-sausage-dog style and stomp out of the room. Unclear on the path to take I decided to be bitchy instead:

“Okaaaay…are you like the WordPress food police or something? ”

“No, of course not, just merely reminding you that you’re human…after all”.

“The minute you declare yourself a fitness warrior, new demons arises to make you eat your words…or the fridge.”

He was right and I was ashamed. As a true Libra nothing angers me more than coming face to face with my own demons. You see I sincerely believe I was sent on earth as a guide for all who are lost.  Unfortunately for me I married a guy who believes in telling it like it is even if it means weeks of nagging and retaliation.

Can you imagine my guilt? Barely one day after my perfect post on  exercise. Well, I guess I needed a break from being good. So instead of retaliating some more I decided to do the only sensible thing winners (insert shameless emoji here) do under such dire circumstances: I picked myself up and move on. So next time you have an unplanned cheat day or week or whatever just do one thing: Pick yourself up and move on. It is as simple as this. Don’t starve yourself or sign up for a boot camp the next day. Just forget about it and move on.

Naturally considering the circumstances surrounding this betrayal, I’ll wait a few days before writing another saintly post:) After all I am only a budding hypocrite, not a full-blown one!

Please soothe my conscience and help me think I am not the only who’s ever done such thing by either commenting, liking or simply sharing this article to your heart’s content. I will be back with another post on December 10th! In the meantime Gros Bisoux!

 

5 things to help you stick to an exercise program

Know your exercise personality

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Trying to rest my resting bitch face

Do you like it fast and furious or slow and steady and no I am not talking about sex. I used to think I like it fast and furious until a certain kickboxing class, well… kicked my ass. Now I’d say I like a slow build with some fast-paced intervals thrown in for good measure. The only way to know your exercise personality is to try lots of different exercise and see which ones you like most and why. Also, listen to your body at all times. 

Consider the best time for you to exercise.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? If you’re a night owl, schedule your workouts around that particular moment maybe at the end of your day when your energy is at its most. You might also want to consider your current home and work situation. Are you at your busiest now at work? How about your personal life? Then the last thing you want is the added guilt of not exercising as regularly as you would have wanted to because you overextended yourself. For me I am at my peak in the morning so I know if it doesn’t get done in the morning it probably won’t get done at all.

Start small but don’t underestimate the power of small wins over time

IMG_20171126_144756Start at the smallest unit you can perform even if all hell break lose and then build up from there.

The goal is to incorporate exercise slowly into your routine. Take for example the simple habit of drinking a green tea in the morning instead of coffee. Seems pretty simple and easy, right?  But practiced over time this small and rather insignificant action can have a ripple effect in the long run. I know for myself that when I start my morning with a nice cup of green tea it prompts me to make a better breakfast choice. A better breakfast choice in turn gives me more energy for the rest of the day and I am less likely to be tired and heavy comes lunch time. Since I am less heavy and tired at lunchtime I’ll most likely go for a quick walk. The effect continues on and on and pretty soon I am going to lunch hour walks and lifting weights in the mornings. Nothing makes me feel more accomplished and able to tackle the world than a green tea and some weightlifting afterwards.

It takes a period of 6 to 8 weeks to notice any significant change

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Most people want quick results. They want to go from living in the fridge to living at the gym. They don’t understand that if it took say a year to put on 30 pounds it’ll most likely take just as much if not more to lose the same amount of weight. So during this period of time instead of constantly hopping on the scale, monitor your energy level, your sleep, your mood, etc… And remember feeling better usually precedes looking better. Use this period of time as a frame of reference when monitoring results. Only check results every 6 to 8 weeks and use your clothing as a measuring stick.

Buy yourself a few outfits for your current size 

Try to find a way to love yourself the size you are now instead of constantly trying to fit  back into your skinny clothes. How? First thing is to buy yourself a few outfits for the size you are now. Change your make up, change your hairstyle and your hair color if need be and change your wardrobe too. People morphology tend to change when they put on a lot of weight so keep that in mind and make changes where it matters.

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When the cat thinks she’s prettier

Constantly trying to fit into your skinny clothes will only serve to remind you of how fat you’ve become. So whatever you do, don’t do that. I beg of you. As you start to lose the weight these new clothes will start to get loose which will highlight your progress and not your failure.

What about you? what are your favorite tips when it comes to sticking to an exercise program? Don’t forget to comment like or share this article! Check back December 3rd for a new post. Talk soon!

Are you afraid of being happy?

Are you afraid of being happy? I am. But it wasn’t always the case. It started about 7 years ago. I remember it as vividly as the day it happened…

It is April fool’s day, year 2010 and I am at work. I am just finishing up a call and the other line is ringing. It is close to lunchtime but I figured one last call won’t kill me. Plus it could be my sister calling with some last minute details.  Nancy is travelling with some friends to some exotic place and is sending my niece to stay with me a couple of weeks. So I pick up, very excited. It is certainly not the voices I am expecting to hear. It is a person with a very formal and cold tone of voice.

  • “Hello May I speak with Mrs Duplessy?”
  • “This is she”
  • “Well , we have your niece here with us and she would like to speak to you.”

I relax. It is my niece. She probably missed her plane and is running late. Typical. Asking my niece to catch a plane on time is like asking a mouse to catch fish. It’s against nature. I wait readying myself with a long list of “I told you so”.  The minute I hear her voice I start:

  • “Well, well, well, let me guess you missed your plane again?”

No answer at first then I hear sobbing. I am a bit shocked and embarrassed.

  • “Don’t tell me you’re crying because you missed the plane?”

More sobbing. This time louder. She is becoming a tad bit hysterical. It is only then that it hit me. She is not at the airport and something is very wrong. Impatient, I ask her: “What’s wrong?”

  • “She is dead, she answered. Nancy’s dead!”

My brain went dark. Shutting down to process the piece of information I’ve just received.

“She is dead”, she keeps repeating as if she is trying to process the information too. I hear the voice with the cold and formal tone again. Someone who’s probably hospital staff took back the phone and is trying to explain the situation……

This was April 2010. Fast forward to 2017. I finally have enough distance to realize I was preventing myself from being happy. I was afraid as soon as I’d allow myself to be happy something wrong would happen. I simply had lost faith in life.

But now I know better. I have regained my faith in life. At least a good amount of it. After all, isn’t it what being happy’s all about? Being happy is choosing to have faith in life even though we know fully well things may take a turn for the worst in the blink of an eye. It’s to accept life’s ebb and flow and realize we can’t control everything no matter how hard we try. I should know. I am a control freak masquerading as a free spirit.

Here are some of the things I tell myself when I notice myself slipping back into “I am afraid of being happy” territory:

  • You’re 40 now. Technically you could be halfway through your entire lifespan so don’t waste it by thinking about what could go wrong.
  • Life is short. This could be your last happy moment so enjoy it.
  • We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
  • Preventing yourself from enjoying this moment won’t spare you the hardship that may come.
  • You’re making memories to get you through the tough times when and if they come so embrace the moment.
  • Happiness is a matter of perspective so find a new perspective.

What about you? Are you afraid of being happy too sometimes? Do you know someone who’s afraid of being happy? How do you cope with those feelings? I think we all know at least one person.

Once again don’t forget to comment like or share this article! I’ll be back on the 25th with another article. Maybe out of sheer desperation of what to write I’ll share my food journal for the week 🙂