The cult of perfection: waiting for the perfect whatever…

Dear reader, I sincerely thought I had learned this lesson but my recent obsessions clearly show I haven’t so here I am again talking about the same thing in an effort to try and convince myself that I’ve actually learned something along the way….I sometimes feel stuck in a constant relearning cycle. Do you sometimes feel the same?

According to Shunryu Susuki, a Zen monk and teacher who helped popularized Zen Budhism in the U.S.:

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities but in the expert’s there are a few”.

Let’s take a leaf from zen budhism, let’s talk about “shoshin”. According to Wikipedia “shoshin” is a word from Zen budhism meaning beginner’s mind. It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

What would we become if we weren’t afraid of failing? If we weren’t afraid of making a fool of ourselves? If we weren’t afraid to begin? If we weren’t afraid of judgement? If we were convinced we had something to bring to the table even when we don’t even know what that is? The possibilities would be endless, wouldn’t they? Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the missed opportunities in my life, all because I have the very bad habit of waiting for everything to be perfect to even consider beginning anything. Well, except for this blog because I had my husband on my back 24/7.

This reminds me of conversations I have with my husband all the time:

Take One: We are out shopping.

Hubby: “Look at that top, honey it’s off-shoulder and would look great on you.”

Me: “Well, my shoulders are too meaty…once I lose those pesky 10 pounds yeah, most definitely…”

Hubby: “Oh, I think I get it now (with the bright face of someone who just solved a complicated puzzle)!

Me: “What? what is it? (Waiting with great anticipation)”

Hubby: “Correct me if I am wrong but your life is basically on hold until you lose those 10 pounds…right?”

Me: “(greatly annoyed because it’s the truth) You make it sound so bad the way you say it.”

Hubby: “If it sounds bad, it’s because its bad!”

Take number 2: Discussing my instagram account which I have yet to feed.

Hubby:” Why don’t you publish something…anything on your instagram account?”

Me: “As soon as I lose a couple of pounds, I will…”

Hubby: “????!!!!!!(Deep frowns…clear signs he’s struggling to grasp the concept.)”

Me:” Well, right now I look like a pregnant mouse in most of my pics…”

Hubby: “You’re kidding, right?”

There you have it! The theme song of my life: Always waiting for the perfect time, the perfect moment, the perfect day, the perfect weather, you name it! It’s a vicious circle and pretty soon you find yourself paralyzed.

Most often, we are waiting to be perfect to show up but guess what? You’re never going to be perfect. You’re never going get better until you start because you only get better by doing. The only way to get a shot at perfection, if that’s even possible, is by doing. So go do you. Maybe I should print this and keep it in my wallet as a daily reminder 🙂 I have a feeling I need this advice more than you guys, lol.

Gros bisoux and talk soon!

MY CARB OBSESSION: It’s a culture thing

Rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, yams…Dear God will I ever be free from these temptations? I think not….my very DNA is against it.

My husband and I we often have discussions about carbs, specifically my carb obsession (Rice and quinoa all day and every day: sign me up for life please). As a Haitian, it’s safe to say carbs, specifically rice is part of my DNA. For my husband it’s not the same. He’s French, his obsessions look more like cheese and french baguette and so on. Which doesn’t bother me, Lord knows I’ve sacrificed a few pair of jeans to his cheese obsession. When we got together I was long and lean, now I am more of a “chubby fit” type. The problem with being chubby fit is there’s not much “fit” into the equation: It is mostly fat.

To be perfectly honest I sometimes find his attitude towards rice quite disrespectful :). Like that time he wanted to make a rice salad with mostly salad??!!! I simply had to have a talk with him:

-Me: “What are you doing?”

– Husband: “I am rinsing the rice with cold water”.

–  Me: …???!!!! (You could actually hear system failure sounds on my side…)

– Husband: “Well, honey, it’s a rice salad so I am rinsing the rice to get rid of the starch.”

–  Me: “Ok, let me get this right: First of all you throw the rice in hot water, then you go again and splash the rice with cold water and just when the poor suffering rice was starting to recover from the abuse, you slap it into a large bowl and proceed to bury it under an insane load of veggies like…like some dirty shameful little secret. “

-Husband: “….???!!!”

-Me: “Quite frankly from where I stand, it’s as if you’re trying to make it look like the rice wasn’t even there… do you realize the rice is doing all the work with no credit?”

Husband: “..??!!! ” (I could see he was debating whether I was on my period or not…)

-Husband:  “Well, this is how a rice salad is made, so…”

-Me: “No, no, no, if there’s rice somewhere, the rice needs to be the star of the show. Period.”

He looked at me like you would someone in need of a heavy dose of sedative. I looked at him like you would a two year old who just bit his playmate: With eyes filled with compassion and a clear promise of punishment.

Although you do know it’s normal two year old behavior, you also know this cannot go unnoticed. So you bite your tongue. You resist committing murder and you walk them through normal human behavior. Which is exactly what I did for dear husband. He wasn’t entirely convinced after it all but as an intelligent individual he did realize the need to thread carefully in the presence of a high strung (read hormonally unbalanced) individual  with a carb obsession.

I must admit I get heated and unnaturally excited when rice or any type of grain comes under fire. If that continues I may have to add some sort of rice routine to our foreplay…:)

The thing is where I come from rice is the sun that never goes down. In Haiti, if you have a full pantry and you have no rice, you have nothing to eat. Your pantry is automatically considered empty.  It is a culture thing.

What about you, dear reader? Is there any food that is so ingrained in your culture it literally became part of your DNA? Let me know in the comments below! Talk soon and Bisous!

Searching for my next haircut

“Your hair can make or break an outfit. Halle Berry probably wouldn’t be Halle Berry without her famous hairdo. Naturally, talent and hardwork had nothing to do with it :)….”. Clearly, choosing a haircut is a life or death decision 🙂

I am thinking of cutting my hair..again…breaking news. Why I think people would be interested in that is beyond me. I am not sure which cut to go with. The last time I attempted to do something completely out of my comfort zone it did not exactly go according to plan. If you need a refresher on my biggest hair drama ever, you can read all about it here: (That time a hair dresser turned me into a baby dinosaur).

So here are a few styles I am looking at…here’s number One: The one and only Halle Berry.

Yours truly with the shortest hair ever. How I loved this hair…good hair day forever!

Must remember to think mother for those lips…
Successfully passing that awkward hair growing back phase…
I sometimes think I have the perfect face…I can be whoever I want to be, damn it!

And finally the famous braids…

Which do you think suits me best? Honestly I look good with all of them. But which one, which one? Decisions, decisions….Stay tuned!

The right size or the right fit: A surprise workout in a dressing room.

”The right size or the right fit?”

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my nutritionist about the benefits of fast walking for lowering stress and she insisted one of the best low impact exercise for lowering stress is a long leisurely stroll where you actually have the time to enjoy the scenery. I politely nod to demonstrate agreement while privately disagreeing. If you’ve read this Post, you know I am more of a break-a-hip type of exercise person than a breathing-practice one. Nevertheless, I decided to give the leisurely stroll a try. Plus, where I work there are plenty of clothing stores to browse from. Personally, I think there is nothing sadder than looking at things you can not afford. But then again if you’re gonna be broke for a while you might as well make peace with it and make it look like you’re one of those very, very difficult people on a mission to find that perfect “coup de coeur” (read extremely broke). And if the sales clerk tries to pester you, you tell them: «Well, I am looking for something very particular. Once I’ve found it, I’ll be sure to let you know». Naturally, saying the whole thing with a Brittish accent would certainly give you more credibility.

”You’d need to be a clothes hanger or a broom stick to fit into this size. Having pliable bones may also greatly help.”

During said leisurely stroll, my steps somehow led me to Aritzia. Naturally, I started browsing their pants section and became super excited when my eyes fell onto the most perfect pair of high-waisted pants in a slightly stretchy material. I’ve been dreaming about a pair like this for ages. So I decided today was my lucky day. Thinking I was probably a size 6, I grabbed a few colours and headed for the changing rooms. There was already a lovely sales person on location manning the dressing room with the appropriate frozen smile platered across her face. Who can blame her? Dealing all day with people who refuse to face their size all day long can be taxing.

”Sizes are not really important because our bodies change. Pursue the right fit not the right size”.

Little did I know I would get a break-a-hip type of workout in the dressing room in the form of trying to wrestle my frame into a size that claimed to be a 6. I couldn’t even get it up to my waist. For this to fit me I’d need to either be a hanger or a broom stick..or maybe have pliable bones..! There is just no other way. How can that happen? Last week at old Navy, I was a solid size 6 with end of day bloat and all!  I was crushed. After a couple of painful thoughts, I decided to ask for a size 8 thinking to myself: ”It’ll probably be too large but…”. The relief expected was not to come since surprise while I could pull it all the way up I couldn’t zip it up. And believe me, I tried. I had to take a couple of minutes to give myself time to digest that newsflash: The 8 did not fit either.

”To me, if there’s room on the fllor for double zeros, there should be room for sizes 8 and up….But then again, I suppose a size 10 would take up so much room, the whole thing would fail to look like a minimalist closet (Insert eye rolls).”

I debated if I should just get out of there comforted in the idea it was their fault, not mine. Their size 6 was clearly a double zero in denial. But then again the fighter in me (or the glutton for punishment) decided to stay and ask to try on a 10. To which I was answered by the sales clerk: ”I’ll check but you might have to order it online. Is that all right?” Naturally I nodded in approval. What else was I going to say? Your size 6 is a lie and fetch me the manager while you’re at it? Certainly not! Upon trying it, the size 10 was way too big and made me look like a sack of mashed potatoes. 

So all in all, I went into the changing room full of hope and came out in great despair. My world of medium sizes had been shattered. While thinking about the whole ordeal, I couldn’t help but notice that only what was considered small sizes were displayed on the floor. To me, if there’s room for double zeros, there should be room for sizes 8 and up.  Where is the logic in there? But then again, I suppose a size 10 would take up so much room, the whole thing would fail to look like a minimalist closet? Go figure!

Lessons learned: ”Sizes are not really important because our bodies change. Pursue the right fit not the right size”.

These pants were such workouts that I am now considering buying them as replacement for my workout dvds. You see, it wasn’t a complete disaster after all….

What about you dear readers? Have you had similar experiences? Please do share! Bisous!

 

When a study confirms your worst fear

Remember this post and this post ? Well, the results are in: Scientists have actually confirmed my greatest fear: Being in a happy relationship is making you fat.

https://theheartysoul.com/being-in-a-happy-relationship-is-making-you-fat-scientist-confirms/

“Apparently, being in a happy relationship is making you fat…I sincerely wish I had this important piece of information before marrying my awesome husband. I would have insisted on marrying my prick of an ex and being miserable and skinny for life.”

BUT. There’s always a BUT, if you happen to belong to that select group of people who are extremely vain and I am talking Kim Kardashian type of vain, there’s hope, you may be able to have your cake and eat it too. As a Libra, I do believe I have all the prerequisites to ease into that category. Funnily enough Kim is also a Libra (please correct me if I am wrong).

Lately, I have been wanting more and more to regain a healthier version of the body I used to have. Honestly, I don’t want things they way they used to be. I don’t want to go back to being single and skinny mainly because my body refuse to fit back into that old mold and also things are so so good right now. I am content. I just want to be fit at whatever weight I am at. That’s all. So right now I am trying to get back to weight lifting and eating healthy and balanced meals and not use the weekends to go on a food rampage but to reconnect with good wholesome food.

What about you dear reader? Have you noticed something similar in your relationships? Do you tend to put on weight when you’re in a happy relationship? I can’t be the only one:)

Happiness is a state of mind

“You never know how good you have it until you don’t…Happiness is a question of perspective.”

Can you remember moments in your life when you had everything to be happy but somehow you weren’t?

I myself can remember loads of moments in my life when I did have everything to be happy but I just refused to play along and be happy. I insisted on being miserable. In my life it’s always when looking back I often realized that I was indeed happy in a specific moment. Happiness is a question of perspective. My mom used to always say: No matter how hard things get they can still get worst so enjoy the bad cause it may all change for the worst before you realize it. I used to think that was so pessimistic. Whenever she would say such things, I would hurry to cut her off with the usual:” Mom you’re ruining my fun!”.  But now that I am older I am forced to realize mom may have been up to something besides trying to ruin my fun.

EXHIBIT A:

In this pic, I was at my skinniest. Probably the skinniest I’ll ever be. But still I was not ahappy.

“To get that skinny level again, I’d actually need to cut off limbs which quite frankly I am not prepared to do.”

IMAG1858

What I did: I spent most of my time stressing over things I had absolutely no control over.

What I should have done instead: Pull out all of my old clothes from my 20’s and try the hell out of them with pics to boot.

EXHIBIT B:

Take that other pic for instance with me standing holding a bag of popcorn…. (not my brightest hour, I know…).

“I looked like a snack in this pic but felt like a big bowl of mashed potatoes”

IMG_20150517_163730
“I looked like a snack but felt like a big bowl of mashed potatoes”

In retrospect, I look damn well perfect but believe me I still wasn’t happy  with my size.  I thought I was fat. I remember agonizing over wearing that pair short thinking to myself I had gained way too much weight. I can’t believe I thought I was fat. If that’s not insanity,  I don’t know what is.

But then again it’s not just with my weight I do that, I also do that with plenty of areas in my life, always waiting for that future when I’ll finally be perfect and have everything I have ever wanted, forgetting in the process that I, not too long ago, was very much wishing and praying for what I do have now. I can’t promise I’ll change overnight but it is definitely an uphill battle I am willing to fight:).

What about you dear readers? I am sure I am not alone in this, feel free to share:)

The importance of being nagged: The key to motivation

“Finding your passion is not enough, you’re also gonna need someone to nag the hell out of you when you try to quit”.

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was noticing how constant I have been with publishing on the blog lately. After thanking her profusely and gobbling down the compliment I was forced to come clean and admit it had more to do with the constant nagging of my husband rather than any new found sense of purpose on my part.

Thinking back I now curse that day I jumped the man’s back and accused him of not helping me accomplish my “purpose” (here’s that word again, a favorite of tortured artists the world over…). I accused him of not supporting me in setting up the blog you guys now know as the FFliles. And supporting me he did. I am still paying for that moment of temporary insanity. My husband nags me day and night about producing blog posts.

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily. “ Zig Ziglar

I am at a stage now where I can’t even go home without being interrogated about the state of my ambition and discipline.  Napping on weekends is out of the question since that time could obviously be used to get a head start on future blog posts. It’s like living with my parents all over again except this time I have no hope of ever getting out. That is unless, of course I am willing to go back on e-harmony and recruit another husband. Which quite frankly I don’t want to do. So I am left with  the only option of producing content under inhumane threats. The latest of those threats: No new blog post, no brunching at Mirazu. If you read my post on Mirazu, you can gauge how cruel that was! Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to say a little prayer for me lol.

The second cruelest thing he did to me was every single time I try to give him advice about his career, he asks me about the publication date of my next blog post. This is the cruelest thing you can do to a Libra person considering giving unwanted advice to loved ones is one of our favorite sport.

On Saturdays, I used to go to one of my favorite coffee shop and pretend that I am working on my current “project” which usually involves spending the entire day jumping from one idea to the next like a rabbit with a serious attention deficit; well, no more of that.  My husband simply won’t have it. Now, if I don’t text him to confirm a blog post has been published before leaving said coffee shop, my weekend is ruined.

Lately, he’s been inquiring about the book I am “supposedly writing” (his exact words) and trying to give me deadlines and such. I can now say without reserve this may be the cause of my recent night sweats. Although I consider myself a very strong person, I don’t think I can survive being nagged for both the blog and the draft of my book. Of course, another option would be to do what I promised myself I would do as part of my “revamping my life” effort at the beginning of the year. Which is what I’ve been trying to do lately.

And to think all this time I was paying a coach while all I had to do was getting my husband on my case by accusing him of “not supporting my dreams.” Who would have thought? Incredible but true…..

Thank you for passing by and Bisous!