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!

 

A GOOD SELFIE CAN SAVE LIVES: IN DEFENSE OF THE SELFIE

“There is nothing a good selfie can’t cure including a shitty day!”

Picture this: You’re in a restaurant, your food is getting cold, your husband is this close to murder you, neighboring tables are starting to give you the look usually reserved for unaccompanied children but yet, here you are, still trying to take that perfect selfie. This has been a constant dilemma of mine: Should I capture this moment or enjoy it? (Go ahead and say a little prayer for me, I’ll wait…). I can not tell you how many times I agonized over this or should I say my poor husband agonized while watching me try out every corner of our home, phone in hand, in search of perfect lighting.

Actually, there is only one living being in our household that seems to always get good lighting: Our cat, Cleo 🙂

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“Cleo, our lighting expert, doing what she does best which is nothing”

It’s not unusual for me to go to my selfie folder when I am depressed or low in search of pick-me-up. It brightens my mood right away. When I recently changed my phone I had only one requirement: It has to be able to take good selfies. That was my only requirement. 

“It’s the silly stuff, moments of unguarded happiness that usually bring the most joy.”

A good selfie can literally save lives. I don’t know about you but when I am having a shitty day and somehow manage to take a good selfie it certainly makes me feel like the day is not entirely lost. Below is a few selfies that never fail to crack me up 🙂

Pic 1: Me trying to act sexy…epic fail…I look more like a drunk pervert:)

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“Me trying to look sexy but looking more like a drunk pervert”

Pic 2: Cleo overstepping her boundaries as usual thinking she is the queen of the household and as such deserves to be in every picture!

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“When Cleo decides it’s her turn to shine”

Pic 3: Cleo trying to play dead so we can rush to rub her belly. In my next life I want to come back as her, obviously. And next time I want a belly rub, I think I’ll do the same:)

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“How to get a belly rub: Play dead with your belly up”

What about you guys? Do you have favorite selfies? Do you use your selfies to lift your mood? Feel free to share! Gros bisous!

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!

What is your workout personality?

Back in the days when I was young, I used to insist on suffering through grueling workouts thinking the most important thing was to get result. I would love to report that with age I’ve finally realized the nonsense of it all but no, I am still the same, hence, this previous post: Workout that delivers: 30 min hit.

“In fact, there’s nothing I hate more than wasting an hour at the gym moving around like a chicken in labor.”

My husband is the contrary. As proof, one of our many, annoying “discussions” on the subject:

Me: “Well, honey have you joined the gym class you were talking about?”

Hubby: “No, I have a couple of friends who want to join so I am waiting for them?”

Me: “Why? You don’t have to wait for your friends. Go ahead and enroll. They can join later if they want.”

He looked at me like you would a vicious water snake.

Hubby: “No, it is more fun in group!”

Me: “This is exercise. Not a summer picnic!”

He chose not to answer. Naturally, nothing gets me going more than hubby not answering. So I pressed on, thinking falsely that victory is near.

Me: “Plus, when you go with people you have to be nice, you have to make conversations, say hi and bye and inquire about them even if you don’t give a damn. And then when you’re done you can’t just disappear you have to let them know even at the risk of having some of them follow you all the way to the bus station just because they’re going the same direction.” (Insert rolled eyes emoji here).

This time he sincerely looked puzzled. I could actually hear his brains cells trying to process that last piece of info. Had I said the same thing on a first date, I probably would have never heard from him ever again. The last time he was this shocked was when he realized house chores were not my forte.

When he finally answered. It looked like this:

Hubby: “I see…when was the last time you showed up at your “favorite” kickboxing class?”

The double-headed snake!!! Trying to get back at me for helping him get results. I felt betrayed and vindicated because, well, he was right! I couldn’t even begin to answer that question even if I wanted because truth is, it is been a long, long time I have set foot in that class. It was clear I wasn’t going to win round.

Me: “Well, for your information, I am planning on going back next week…..(insert head in sand emoji here).”

Hubby: “I see…but wait! Didn’t you say the same thing last week?”

Most people would have taken this as a sign they lost the battle but not me. Being a Libra, I am predisposed to ignore signs of danger in the pursuit of enlightening others. It ain’t over until I make a fool of myself. Please, don’t judge me. Some would call me a sore loser. Well, one person did. It was dear husband.

Me: “Touche! Well, you do whatever you want. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

This sentence must have been uttered by every sore loser on the planet while they are lamely scurrying away for cover. While I was trying to digest my burning defeat, the cold-hearted man finished me with that last sentence.

Hubby: “Well, I have no interest in self-torture so if you’ll excuse me I’ll go and play some video game.”

As you can see if dear husband is not having a lot of fun while exercising and I mean a whole lot of it, he won’t do it. Which brings me to workout personality. I know for myself when it comes to working out, if I am not suffering, I am not happy. I don’t feel like I am working out if I am not sweating like a pig. If I am not bitching before a training session, I am not happy either. In fact, there is nothing I hate more than wasting an hour at the gym moving around like a chicken in labor.

Of course, the downside of that is I don’t show up if I don’t feel like 100 percent, which would explain why I’ve been missing in action at the gym for weeks now. Not good. Not good at all. There may be a grain of truth in what the man is saying after all….

What about you dear readers? What’s your workout personality? How does it differ from people around you?

Don’t forget to share, like and comment this article to your heart content and talk soon!

LOOKING UGLY IN PHOTOS: THE CAMERA DOESN’T JUST ADD 10 POUNDS

This week in first-world problems: The camera adds 10 pounds…

“…The camera is like that bitch of a friend who’s always the first one to tell you you’ve gained weight and the last one to wish you a happy birthday…”

Picture this: It is Saturday morning and I am meeting with my photographer in 2 hours which leaves me with about one hour tops to get ready. But no matter how in a hurry I am, I somehow always have time for a quick 5 minutes dance session (insert John Travolta emoji here) followed by a quick 2 minutes face check (to make sure I haven’t morphed into Cinderella’s famously ugly stepsisters overnight). By the time I am done with these two “essential” activities I have already lost a good 15 minutes which puts me into overdrive for the remaining 45 minutes. Fast forward an hour later and I am miraculously done, with perfect make up and outfits for photo shoot in tow. Now comes the most important step in my entire morning routine: The mirror checks.

 

“…In my case, the camera usually doubles my butt, triples my belly, adds a double chin and remove a breast size….”

First thing first, the bathroom mirror check and the verdict is: “Hello beautiful”. Second, my hand mirror, the verdict is still the same : “Hello beautiful”. Walk to the bus stop and take a selfie (I obviously take this very seriously), verdict is even better: “spectacular”.   I then arrive at said photo shoot location late but with a glow that not even the best filter can match and get compliments from hot buff guy in construction uniform (go ahead and use your unbridled imagination here). At this point, my ego is abundantly flowing through my veins like the Nile river. That day I went home looking smug and proud as if just named most beautiful woman on earth by Vogue. Fast forward two weeks later. Receive photos and the verdict is: 80 % of pics? “Mildly good looking with a risk of ugly”. 20% of pics? “spectacular”.

They say the camera adds 10 pounds but that is not completely accurate. I think the camera doesn’t just add 10 pounds, it adds 10 pounds of bad fat and remove 10 pounds of good fat. In my case the camera usually doubles my butt (was born with a perfect butt so don’t need that), triples my belly, adds a double chin and remove a breast size (throws outraged fist in the air). Now I don’t mean to sound vain but I think I was created perfect but somehow the camera doesn’t seem to pick up on that.

“when in doubt always chose to be beautiful.”

But once again, since I am an ageing and vain little person, I decided to focus on the 20% and ignore the 80% and retire forever into the very comfortable and happy world of denial. Being vain saves lives, I tell you!

Thank you for passing by and don’t forget to subscribe, like, comment or share this article and most of all I would love to hear your take on this “very serious matter” 🙂

Gros bisous!

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…..

THE SADDEST ART CLASS I EVER TOOK

“What we often call art or see as magic usually hides a debilitating amount of work.”

I’ll never forget the day I attended my first drawing class. I know it sounds like I am about to relate a death scene but I can’t help it. I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw but somehow never got around to it. In retrospect considering how long it took me to actually set foot in an actual art class I am forced to recognize that maybe I just wanted to indefinitely entertain the idea of drawing. Nevertheless the day of the class I was so excited  I could hardly wait to leave work. In fact I spent so many hours daydreaming about it I actually forgot to buy art supply and had to borrow a sheet of paper from a couple of lovely classmates. I could already picture my drawings leisurely hanging on every wall of our little home with friends and family deeply impressed and throwing around sentences like “Oh my God, you did that? You are so talented” with me trying really hard to fake that deep layer of intelligent detachment usually required from famous show dogs. Sadly those happy dreams were to be savagely crushed.  I was the first one to arrive and found a stern-looking little lady arranging class materials. I prayed to God she was just a very helpful student and not the actual art teacher I’ve fantasized about about the entire time.

“The art teacher looked more like a retired math teacher from the 50’s.”

You see I was either expecting this:

Idris-Elba
“What an art teacher should look like…”

OR this:

Why can’t my art teacher look like this…

Prayer unanswered. The art teacher looked more like a retired math teacher from the 50’s.

“…She asked us to draw a second shoe…. I ended up drawing something that couldn’t possibly come out of a healthy human mind…”

Moving on to the actual setting. The classroom was located at the very end of an extremely long and impersonal corridor. This corridor was so bleak it could easily qualify as a star feature in a big-budget horror movie. I was clearly not expecting pictures of grand masters hanging down the walls but a couple of students artwork could have added some much-needed appeal. The classroom itself was a very large and cold-looking room with class materials heavily piled up in a remote corner. There were big windows but a tall and dull building was blocking the view.  A large and square table sat in the middle of the room like a sacrificial stone in a dark dungeon.  

More details on the teacher. There was no whimsy, no magic at all in the way she dressed. I mean you’re an artist for God sake! Do something out of the ordinary even if it is just wearing your clothes inside out! Her look and matter-of-fact behavior was a giant slap to my tortured artist spirit. If you’re short of ideas at the very least throw a can of paint on your shirt, forget to wash it and wear it the next day. I was open to the possibilities of meeting a free spirit but what I had in front of me did not in any shape or form represent my idea of what an art teacher should look like.

“I blame those movies featuring stylishly starving artists lugging around big portfolios that look like they’re smuggling giant pita breads.”

She took the magic out of the entire thing. I felt slightly rushed. I mean I thought we were going to do some theory first like talking about the grand masters and possibly crack the mystery behind Mona Lisa smile but sadly that was not to be. She reviewed the class material and put us to work right away. Isn’t art supposed to be magic or something? Or maybe the magic only happens after years of practice. But then again isn’t it always like this in real life? What we often call art or see as magic usually hides a debilitating amount of work.

As practice, she asked us to pick a shoe from a giant shoe pile and try to draw it. I somehow ended up with a drawing of the magic school bus. She asked us to draw a second shoe. This time around, setting all dignity of manners aside I rushed to the shoe pile and literally jumped on what to me looked like the simplest shoe style of all time. A classic pair of kitten heel pump. I still ended up drawing something that couldn’t possibly come out of a healthy human mind. And yet, each time, she would take a long look and say the same words “keep going, you’re close”. I must admit a couple of family member did try to warn me but I didn’t listen. I hyped myself up by thinking I was naturally talented. I was looking for shortcuts and found none. The advice people offered seemed so simplistic that I chose to ignore it.

In the end, I was forced to realize there were great discrepancies between my idea of what an art class should be versus the real thing.  By the end of the class she said something that profoundly resonated with me. In essence she told us that ‘As in any creative process, when drawing an object there is always a choice even if purely unconscious made by the artist on how to best render the said object based on what the artist is trying to say”. I guess that’s what makes art so subjective. It is always a reflection of oneself. Even when we choose to render our deepest emotions, we still feel the need to put some kind of order into the chaos. The very fact of picking up pen and paper automatically forces one to streamline the process. Although you won’t see me exposing my chef-d’oeuvre in any gallery any time soon I am happy to report I did manage to learn something…after all….:)

Don’t be shy dear readers and do share your budding or tortured artist experience:)