The Plan: How I’m Going to “Bounce Back” from the Holidays

The holidays are here, and if you are anything like me, that means you ate well  in the last few weeks. Grandma’s baking, Christmas dinner, chocolates from your co-worker, dinner parties with friends, a few too many glasses of wine…the list goes on. And it’s not over yet. We still have a week of holiday time leading up to New Years!

And if I’ve seen you in the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard me say, “Tis the season to get rounder!” because I really do believe in gaining a few pounds at Christmas. Why deny yourself some of your favourites foods? Why be “that person” at the party saying, “Oh, no thank you,” when you actually want to eat that butter tart? Just eat the damn thing if you want it, and don’t feel an ounce of guilt. There are so many foods that are only made at Christmas, and that have a nostalgia factor, that you shouldn’t deny yourself of.

All of that being said, you probably wanna get back on the wagon soon. A few people have asked me what I’m going to do when work starts up again to get back in shape, and that is what I’m going to share with you in this post. (If you want to skip the explanations, and just see recipes I’m using or my daily health and wellness schedule, scroll down to the headings “What Do You Eat?” or “The Plan.”)

Additionally, I believe in setting yourself up for success. Don’t start a new health and wellness regime when you know you have a zillion events coming up and your will power is currently weak. Save yourself the stress and guilt and start up after the holidays. Enjoy the comfort food and don’t worry about it.

What I Do & Why
Typically, I follow the Tone It Up plan. They post a FREE weekly schedule on their website on Sunday nights, showing your workouts for each day of the week. The workout videos are free, and take about 30-45 mins. They do “Challenges” 4 times a year, where you sign up for free and commit to completing the workouts outlined for the specified amount of time, usually 6 or 8 weeks. They have a huge following on Instagram, and I find it a fantastic platform for encouragement and accountability. If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen my #TIU #TIUTeam posts. For me, posting to Instagram keeps me accountable and I enjoy making friends via TIU that way.

Because I loved their workouts so much, I became a paid member in February 2015 (one time payment of $150 USD), and have their Nutrition Plan, which outlines their philosophy for eating for weight loss and gives tons of recipes. Every time they do a “Challenge” they send out new recipes to paid members, and sometimes send a meal plan for the challenge. So, for example, for the “Challenge” that starts on January 3, 2016 I have a meal plan outlining what I should eat for the 8 week challenge. I am not going to follow it meal for meal, but it’s nice to have.

I love the TIU Instagram community, I love the workouts (almost all with just 5-10 pound weights, a kettle bell, or just body weight), I love the recipes, and I’ve seen results from it. So I keep doing it. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for me.

Disclaimer: This TIU (Tone It Up) Challenge starting January 3 seems to not have free workouts as the posted workouts. They’ve done “exclusive workouts” that you have to pay for. I am not going to pay for these workouts, but instead supplement them with free workouts on their website. If you want a breakdown of the free workouts I’m going to do every week during the challenge, message me and I’ll let you know. 

“The Plan”
I like and need schedules and routines. So here is my Monday to Friday schedule and routine for January:


I won’t end up doing this every single day because life happens. But as a general outline, this is what I’ll follow. For me, I have to wake up in the morning and work out right away, or it won’t be done. I also have really bad hip pain and poor hip movement, and need to stetch/do yoga/ foam roll regularly to help that.

What Do You Eat?
I eat 5 or 6 times a day: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, tea and/or snack. I have a bad habit of eating after dinner and try to drink tea instead, but sometimes, especially when I’m working out every day, I’m starving and need to eat something. I try to stay between 1200-1500 calories a day, but am more concerned with making sure I’m eating whole, clean, nutrition-dense foods than I am about staying in my suggested calorie range. I don’t believe in sacrificing taste for being “healthy” so if you are eating bland food that you don’t like and saying, “Well, healthy foods don’t taste great,” you’re doing it wrong.

I also try to drink half of my weight in ounces in water every day. So if I weigh 135 lbs., I go 135 divided by 2 = 67.5, so I try to drink 67.5 ounces of water a day.  In the morning I have water with lemon and mint.

I do follow the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan, but I don’t always use their recipes, especially for dinner. Below are some of my favourite recipes, all found on Pinterest unless otherwise specified, and taste-tested and approved by myself and my boyfriend. They aren’t overly difficult, and don’t require weird, hard to find, expensive ingredients.

Breakfast:
Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies – I have two of these with coffee
Baked Banana Oatmeal
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies
Overnight Oats (1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar, 1/2 cup fruit [I usually use a frozen mixed berry from Costco], mix together and store in an air tight container overnight)
Chocolate Banana Smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup ice, 1 banana, 1 tbsp. chia seeds, 1 scoop chocolate Vega protein powder; add 1 cup of cold coffee for a mocha smoothie!)
Tropical Smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup ice, 1 cup frozen tropical fruit mix, 1 banana, 1 scoop vanilla Vega protein powder)
Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie

Lunch:
Slutty Pasta (pair this with a lean protein such as fish, chicken, or shrimp)
Balsamic Chicken Salad and Lemon Quinoa
Everything Quinoa Salad
Avocado and White Bean Salad
Protein, Veggie, Carb Plate (For lunch I will often take a piece of protein [salmon, tilapia, or Whole 30 Breakfast Sausage], half a sweet potato, and whatever green veggie I’m feeling like having)

Dinner:
Skinny Chicken and Avocado Caesar Salad
Cajun Chicken and Rice (I substitute quinoa for the rice)
Sesame Chicken (I often throw spinach in the pot right at the end and serve this with quinoa)
Skinny Italian Beef and Peppers
Spicy Chicken Chili
Southwestern Kale Power Salad
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Snacks:
1/2 of an avocado, 1 tsp. chili powder, and 100 g of shrimp
Kind Bar & Coconut Water
Smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 scoop vanilla Vega powder, 1/2 cup ice)
1 cup veggies and 1/4 cup hummus
1/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup raisins
Green juice (1 apple, 1 lemon, a handful of spinach, a handful of kale, a handful of parsley, 1/2 cucumber, 1inch piece of ginger

Meal prep is EXTREMELY important to success. See my meal prep tips here.

There You Have It!
And that’s it! This is my plan starting January 3. Feel free to do this too, do parts of it, change it all, or hate it all.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. I’m sending happiness and hugs to you all ❤

 

 

 

 

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“Teach Me Your Ways” – How To #MealPrepMonday

Happy Tuesday!

I’ve had a quite a few questions about my meal prep and the food I eat during the week, so I thought I’d do a basic run down of how and what I meal prep.

Why meal prep?
During the week, I am so busy between work, meetings, appointments, work outs, ‘me’ time, and ‘us’ time, that if I don’t have readily accessible foods in the fridge, I’ll most likely order take out, go through a drive thru, or make quick and easy meals like boiled perogies or pasta (mmm…carbs). In the morning as I’m heading out the door, I take about 3 minutes to take my supplements, make Keurig coffee, and throw a few tupperware containers with the day’s food in a reusable bag. Meal prepping on Sunday sets me up for an effortlessly healthy week.

If I plan all of my meals/snacks at the beginning of the week, I’m also less likely to deviate from the plan and make unhealthy food choices. I totally believe in balance, and I am quite indulgent at times, but a general plan of lean, clean, and green foods helps to keep me healthy and happy.

General Info: 
I always start by planning every meal and snack for the week either in My Fitness Pal on my phone, or in a notebook. I have my week start on Monday and end on Sunday. If I am being stricter with my nutrition, I use My Fitness Pal to plan my meals based on calories, protein, carbs, fibre, and fat, and generally eat breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner. When I’m not working toward a specific goal and am just maintaining my weight, I plan my meals with the basic template of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. *

When it comes to meal prep, the less I have to do, the better. So I plan foods and recipes that will make 4-6 servings for breakfasts and lunches, and recipes that make 4-6 servings for dinners (I cook for myself and my boyfriend for dinner, so a 4 serving dinner lasts us 2 days). When I look for recipes I look for meals that are high in lean protein, low in dairy and grains, and high in fruits and veggies. (Note: for personal dietary reasons, I’ve cut dairy almost entirely out of my regular diet, and that will be reflected in the recipes below).

I spend entirely too much time on Pinterest, so most of my recipes come from there. I do also use recipes from Tone It Up and Whole 30 quite often. Almost all of the recipes I use are really easy. If they’re more involved, I only plan to use them when I know I’ll have time to make them, and they’re usually do good that they’re worth the extra effort.

I usually make a grocery list and go grocery shopping on Sunday morning/early afternoon, and then spend 3-5 hours cooking and portioning food. It does take a long time, and it does require a lot of tupperware and dishwashing. But it is so worth it! Just throw your iTunes on shuffle, and bop around your kitchen while you cook up a storm! By the end of meal prep on Sundays, I usually have 5 containers of breakfast for the week, 5 containers of lunch for the week, one or two dinner recipes made and in tupperware, fruits and veggies washed and prepped for other dinners and snacks during the week, snacks portioned, and lemon cut up for waters during the week.

Breakfasts:
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I love sweet, and I love savory, and I love a good breakfast to start my day off on the right foot. I plan breakfasts that are high in protein (breakfast typically follows a cardio and strength training workout for me), fruity, and filled with complex carbs.

Some of my favourite breakfast recipes are:

  • Triple Berry Overnight Oats (1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp. black chia seeds, 1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar, 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries; keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days)
  • Blueberry Protein Bars (Tone It Up)
  • Green Juice (1 apple, ginger, 1/2 cucumber, handful of kale, handful of spinach, handful of fresh parsley, 1/2 lemon, hemp hearts; keeps in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3 days)
  • Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies
  • Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies
  • Protein Pancakes (2 eggs, 1 mashed banana, 1 scoop Vega Protein Powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract –> add nuts, raisins, or fruit on top or in batter to flavour)

Lunch
By lunch time, I’m usually definitely ready to eat something. I need my lunches to be satisfying, but light, and not require any heating up. I usually go for some type of salad, be it spinach, green leaf, chopped, or quinoa.

Here’s a few of my go-to’s:

Dinner:
Dinner is always the most fun meal for me to make. Dinnertime seems to offer so many more choices than other meals. I like a variety of different lean meats and vegetarian dishes, but my boyfriend isn’t a huge fan of meals that don’t have chicken in them. We rarely eat red meat, and he doesn’t eat seafood, so chicken breast is out go-to. I look for recipes high in protein, high in veggies, and low/moderate in complex carbs, fruit, and dairy.

A few of our favourites are:

Snacks:
Snacks need to be high in protein, but low in calories for me. Mid-morning snacks, when I have them, are usually one serving of fruit.

Afternoon snack ideas:

  • Kind granola bars
  • Thirsty Buddha Coconut Water
  • peppers and hummus
  • Protein Smoothie (Vega Protein Powder, unsweetened almond milk, ice)
  • 1/4 cup almonds & 1/4 raisins
  • Wasa crackers with mashed avocado, shrimp & chilli powder

 

Meal prep prep looks different for everyone, but this is how it works for me. Not all recipes I’ve tried have turned out, and not all recipes have been as delicious as I had hoped. But it’s fun to try new recipes and expand your cooking repertoire!

 

If this post was helpful for you, please Let me me know how your meal prep goes!

 

*I typically burn 200-300 calories during my morning work out when I’m using My Fitness Pal and being stricter with my routine, so I eat between 1400-1500 calories, and make sure I’m within 10 g of my protein, carbs, fibre, and fat daily goals. When I’m just maintaining, I don’t pay attention to any of those things, and just focus on eating lean, whole foods.

An Honest Look At My Fitness Journey

*Originally posted on March 15, 2015*

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This couldn’t be more true.

Since January 1st, I have rededicated myself to a healthy lifestyle. If you follow me on Instagram (@mykaleidoscopesoul), then you have most likely seen posts of the food that I’m eating, the workouts that I’m doing, and before & after progress pictures. I’ve lost about a pant size since January, and am currently the smallest I’ve ever been. Well, actually, I was this small once before, but quickly jumped back up. There are no clothes in my closet that are too small, waiting for me to fit into them again, and I’m planning a small shopping spree next week because I don’t have a lot of Spring and Summer clothes. Why? Because I’ve never liked Spring and Summer clothes before. If you have any bit of a stomach, you know the pain of wearing jeans and a t-shirt. You don’t do it, ‘cause there will absolutely be a stomach roll protruding under that shirt, so cardigans become your best Spring friend.

People keep asking what I’m doing to be fit and healthy, because I’ve lost quite a bit of weight in the last 3 years, and made a lot of progress in the last 3 months. And I will get to that in a minute. But before I get to that, I think it’s important to talk about my journey to getting here. Because it has not been as picture perfect as my Instagram account.

I have spoken before about how I felt round growing up. A lot of people tell me I wasn’t that round, but I remember boys telling me that I jiggled in all the wrong places, being called Shamu, being compared to the size of a submarine, and my PE teacher telling me I didn’t have the body type for gymnastics, so I didn’t have to take part in all of the activities of our gymnastics unit. Maybe he was trying to be helpful. But it was a way of excluding me because of my size, and that did not go unnoticed. I was a high-achieving, high-stress person, and I loved sweatshirts and jeans. You can be round inside those big sweatshirts, and nobody can see your rolls.

I was 13 the first time I threw up my food on purpose. I was at a friend’s birthday party, and everyone was having fun, boys were flirting with girls, and I felt huge. Prior to this, I had been thinking about binging and purging, and became very sick one night. Food poisoning or something. I remember both of my parents coming into the bathroom as I was throwing up in the middle of the night, asking if I was okay. And I remember saying I was okay, and being so confused about how relieved I was to be getting rid of those calories, and I didn’t even have to make myself do it.

Between January of Grade 8 and December of Grade 10, I binged and purged off and on. Never enough to actually lose weight and make it noticeable, but enough that I considered myself bulimic. While it was connected to my desire to be thin, it was also a way of gaining control for me. I was a busy kid. I was in every extra-curricular (except for sports, because I jiggled there and wasn’t that great at sports and girls are mean), and I placed a lot of pressure on myself academically. To this day I don’t know where my need to people-please comes from, as my parents were happy with us being happy, and never asked for more from us. But my world often felt out of control, and I often felt like I wasn’t doing enough, like I wasn’t good enough, and like the only thing missing from my life was a  boyfriend. And, in my teenage mind, boys didn’t like fat girls. So I threw up my food, and it felt like an instant relief. It’s a weird feeling to describe; not many people understand. And thank God. Hopefully that means not many people feel compelled to hurt themselves to gain control.

In December of Grade 10 a friend of mine told me that if I didn’t tell someone and get help, she would. So I told my favourite teacher. And then I told my mom. And then I had to talk to the school counsellor. And then more of my friends knew. And I felt like I had people to hold me accountable, and who would support me when I needed it. And I stopped.

I started to work more on fitness and healthier eating. And that became an obsession. Missing a workout was not okay to me. It could be 10:00 at night, and I had to be up at 6am, and I’d still be doing homework, and I’d cry because I didn’t know if I could do my workout that night. Spontaneous pizza or McDonald’s runs caused anxiety. I wasn’t throwing up my food anymore, but I wasn’t in a healthier mind-set, either.

Then I’m not sure what happened. After high school I stayed relatively fit through dance and my new found love for running, but binging and purging came into my life again around the age of 20 or 21. I was in a destructive relationship, and I needed that feeling of self-control again.

2011 was a year of self-healing for me. No more boyfriend meant a time for me to rebuild myself. I started to work out and eat healthier foods, and I felt really good about myself. In November of 2011 I met my current boyfriend. He made me feel beautiful, smart, funny, and worth it. And he had a history of dating plus-sized women, which made me feel more comfortable and accepted. In March of 2012, I felt great about everything in my life. But I had gained some weight again, so I decided to start Weight Watchers. On Weight Watchers I lost 30 lbs., finally hitting “goal weight” in June 2013. I was about a size 6. Since then, I’ve been working on maintaining my weight through exercise and healthy foods, and have stayed within a one-size fluctuation. My self-image has changed drastically. And I’m not sure if that’s because I have lost weight, or if that’s because I grew up a bit, or a mixture of both. But even when I do have a bit of extra weight, I don’t obsess, I don’t cry, I just acknowledge it and either keep making unhealthy choices (hello, Christmas time), or acknowledge it and make a plan for a healthier future (hello, New Year’s time).

When I start to feel like fitness and healthy eating are becoming an obsession for me again, I stop, and force myself to eat pizza. That might sound stupid, but that’s what works for me. It’s unhealthy food, and it’s okay. I still need to remind myself of that sometimes.

I’ve met a lot of resistance with my healthy lifestyle. People get frustrated ‘cause I don’t want to eat a piece of their chocolate, or I choose a salad, or whatever. I’ve been scoffed at and asked, “Why do you need to exercise?” or “You look fine. Just eat whatever.” It’s a challenge that’s moved from comments about me being overweight, to comments about me being thinner. Let me tell you, body shaming happens no matter what you look like. So I’ve decided it’s best to just do you, and learn to bite your tongue.

So. There it is. Many people have asked me in the last few weeks about what I do to stay fit and healthy, and I’m going to answer that below, but it is SO important to know that it is not something that is easy. It is not something that I’ve always done. And it is not something that you need to do alone. Body image and health issues are so manipulated and it is so ingrained in us that we need to be beautiful, thin, and strong. I know that I often look that way. But we need to remember that someone’s Instagram or Facebook is only a construction of a very small part of them.

“How do you do it?!” Well…

Currently, I’m following Tone It Up. They post workouts every day that you can do with minimal equipment in your home (a few free weights and a kettlebell). I hate gyms. I feel like they’re judgey, and unnecessary, unless you’re lifting and training that way. Then they’re probably necessary. I wake up and am working out by 5:30 AM Monday to Friday, and do cardio and a bit of weight training (all from Tone It Up ‘cause it’s free and easy to do at home). It usually takes me about 30 to 45 minutes. I like waking up early to get that workout out of the way. Night time workouts do not work for me. But that’s just me.

I just started following the Tone It Up meal plan, but prior to the last 3 weeks, I had just been eating clean with recipes I found off of Pinterest. I meal plan the crap out of everything. I always have the next 2 weeks meal planned in a little notebook. That way, I know what I’m going to eat and there’s never a moment where I’m like, “Hmm…I’m hungry. What do I have at home?” Those moments = Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Starbucks, etc. for me. Grocery shopping is also much easier. I eat 5 or 6 times a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, and I track my calories on My Fitness Pal, an app on my phone. I suck at sticking to my suggested calorie intake. But my intentions are good haha

Sundays are spent grocery shopping and meal prepping. Sunday morning, our cupboard is filled with clean tupperware. Sunday night, our fridge is stocked with full tupperware. I make breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, and sometimes we cut up veggies, etc. for whatever I’m making for dinner that week. I have a juicer and make a few days worth of juice (which is usually my morning snack).

I drink so much water it’s ridiculous. Never in my life have I had to pee so often.

I haven’t cut out any sort of food (except for chocolate, and only because I wanted to see how long I could do it, not for any sort of health reason. Just a little challenge I set out for myself. I’ve already planned all the chocolate I will eat when I give this thing up) I eat pizza, Chinese food, go for dinner and don’t order salads, I eat cake and pie, and I love a good glass of wine. If anything, I’ve learned how much it is about balance and consistency, and being live-able. So many healthy eating plans aren’t realistic forever. I think what I’m doing is realistic with my current schedule and where I am in my life. As I get busier, things might change, but it’s not something that I can’t easily come back to, or that I’ll gain weight back from. I don’t beat myself up for indulging once a week (which is basically what it’s worked out to), or twice a week (which, honestly, happens sometimes). I just pick back up the next day and make sure I’m consistent.

I don’t weigh myself anymore. I know I’m roughly 135 lbs., but I’m focusing on what I look like, and how my clothes feel. I was at Winner’s this week, and know I’m about a size 4 in multiple brands. But the clothes that fit me in my closet range from XS to Large, so I try not to take that too seriously. There is still that vain part of me that likes that I’m in a 4, and no longer a 12, but I’m trying to shut her up, and stop caring about that.

It is hard. Very hard. I don’t always like 5:30 am work outs. And I don’t always get up for them. I don’t always want to eat what I’ve planned for myself (and if it’s a new recipe, and it totally sucks, we throw it out and order sushi. Life’s too short to eat bad food). I don’t always meal prep as much as I wanted to on a Sunday.

Start with baby steps. Just plan healthier breakfasts. Aim for 3 workouts in the week. Then once you establish that, try adding more water, or a new healthy dinner. Baby steps are key.

It’s hard. But it’s doable. You need will power, the mindset that a healthy life means being imperfect and allowing life to happen and mess up your plans for workouts and healthy food, a support system, and the ability to forgive yourself and be kind to yourself. I’ve learned, through a long and hard journey, to love myself no matter what I look like, and to be kind to myself. And I think it’s the most important thing in the world for everyone else to learn, too. ❤

Why I Agree With Chip Wilson, Founder of Lululemon

*Originally posted on November 16, 2013*

So Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon, addressed the common complaint against Lululemon’s yoga pants: They are pilling easily and are too sheer. His comments can be found here, along with information regarding a petition that has been started to have the company make clothing for sizes 14+. Currently, Lululemon only carries up to size 12.

So here’s the thing. I don’t think the guy’s 100% right, and I don’t think that he should have said that out loud. But I also 100% disagree with Lululemon making clothing in bigger sizes. And here’s why:

We all know someone who is thin, fit and in love with their Lulus, but who doesn’t buy them anymore because they are not of the same quality that they once were. Please note, I said we all know someone who is thin and fit. Meaning, even small, petite people find Lululemon’s clothing to be pilling and perhaps more sheer than they used to be. So, on that account, Mr. Wilson, I don’t agree with you. It’s not necessarily body type that determines whether the pants pill and become sheer. He did say, however, that women wear them with seatbelts that rub and purses that rub and that that is a contributing factor in the compromise in quality of material. And that’s a whole different rant. Why are women wearing yoga pants out and about and not just to yoga? They’re called yoga pants. Stop wearing them to school, work, the grocery store, the movies, really anywhere that isn’t a fitness yoga class.

But, I digress…

It’s not just plus-sized people who find this clothing line to be of lesser quality than it used to be. So, strike one for Mr. Wilson. But, I don’t think that Lululemon needs to make clothes that fit all people, or even a wider range of people. Why? Because that’s not their target market. Lululemon provides people with very expensive athletic wear. And they are targeting the sizes that society generally views to be ‘healthy’, 0-12. 14+ is considered ‘plus-size’ and there are designated stores to buy those sizes. If Lululemon begins to sell their clothing in sizes 14+, then I want Forever Yours Lingerie to sell size 32A and XS panties. If Lululemon begins to sell size 14+ pants, I want Addition Elle to sell size 00 pants. It’s not body shaming, it’s a store selling to their target market.

Speaking of body shaming, apparently it’s not okay for stores like Lululemon to say that bigger women aren’t meant for their clothes, since people immediately assume that means that bigger is ‘bad’. But it is apparently okay for plus-sized women to post things like this and this, insinuating that thin is ‘bad’. I am inundated with these pictures on my Facebook newsfeed from plus-sized women that I am friends with who frequently post messages with this sentiment. You know what? Sometimes people are just born thin. I have friends who have shed tears over being called “disgusting”, “anorexic”, “sick”, and “unhealthy” for being the thin size that they naturally are. Or for working hard at the gym, eating lean proteins, complex carbs, and a shit ton of fruits and veggies to be as healthy as they can, just to hear from complete strangers that they look “disgusting”. Just know that it goes both ways. How do you think it makes me feel when I see posts that say that “only dogs like bones” when, because I’ve been working out and eating healthier, my hip bones have started to protrude? I’m a healthy size 6, so how do you think those posts make my healthy size 2 bestie feel, if they make me self-conscious?

And another thing about this is, I wonder how many of those size 14+ women who are pissed off about Lululemon would truly be 14+ if they used those yoga pants to go to yoga instead of to the movies? At the risk of sounding like an asshole and having everyone dislike me, I’m going to say that perhaps most 14+ women aren’t a healthy size 14. Don’t get me wrong, there are women who are a perfectly healthy BMI and whose doctors will say they are doing everything right and are a size 14+. That’s the beauty of the world – we’re all different. But how many 14+ women would drop down to a 10, 12, or even lower, with the recommended 30 minutes of cardio a day and a healthier lifestyle? I’m not pointing fingers, I’m not saying everyone who is a 0-12 works out for 30 minutes a day and eats a balanced diet. Lord knows I eat my fair share of pizza, chocolate, and french fries. But I don’t blame society or clothing lines for the clothes that I cannot fit into or that don’t look good on me. When I try on clothes at Garage and they stretch to the point of picture distortion on the t-shirt, that’s not the store’s fault. I don’t get mad. I either a) go somewhere else to buy clothes or b) go for a run and then go somewhere else to buy clothes. You might be saying to yourself, “But, Garage is targeted more toward teens. Younger teens, even.” My point exactly.


Lululemon doesn’t need to make sure they appeal to every person. Maybe they shouldn’t be publicly saying that larger women shouldn’t wear their clothes, but an athletic clothing company shouldn’t be made to feel bad for their target market being athletic body types, aka what society has deemed to be “healthy” size 0-12. If a store’s clothes don’t fit you, there are a ton of other stores with clothes that will fit you. You just need to find what that is and understand that not every product is for every person. And that is okay.

“Too Thin” Is The Same As “Too Fat”

*Originally posted July 26, 2013*

Human beings are the cruelest animals on this earth.

We often hear women (and men for that matter) being criticized for being overweight and unhealthy. Especially with today’s media drilling into our brains that thin = worthy, people feel that they must fit into society’s mould of what is beautiful and they beat themselves up over it day in and day out. Sometimes I am one of those people. Why did I eat that? Why didn’t I workout 30 mins. longer? Why do I bulge here? Why is it soft there?

But what about those people who do fit the mould? The people who are active and have no visible body fat? Why do we still criticize them if they are what we are striving to be?

I work with a girl who is about 5’7’’ and 130 lbs. She is a highly active person and is very thin. She does weight training and loves to go outdoors and be active. She eats healthy foods and looks after herself. But she frequently gets comments like, “You’re too thin”, or “You need to gain weight.” Today a regular customer saw her on her break and said, “Oh, good. You’re eating. You could stand to gain 10 pounds.”

For some reason, we as a society see nothing wrong with this bullying of the fit and active. The people that speak to her in that way would probably never tell an overweight person, “You’re too fat”, or “You should put that down. You could stand to lose 10 pounds.” So why do they think it’s okay to tell her she’s too thin?

We mask it by saying that it’s about being concerned for their health and body image. They must think that they are fat and therefore must workout/diet too much, and that is why they are so thin. When, really, we don’t know what the reason is that they are the size and shape that they are.

Perhaps for some reason they are unable to gain weight? Perhaps they are in a healthy body weight/BMI for their height/age and we are just used to seeing people with more body fat than that? Whatever the reason, it is never okay to just comment on someone’s weight like that. Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean that they are immune to the hurtful comments that others make. Just because someone is thin, or overweight, does not give anyone else the right to comment on it.

I have been at a few beaches lately and have had the opportunity to people watch. It is wonderful how many different body types you can see at the beach. Women of all shapes and sizes wear bikinis to the beach. Women who I think have great bodies and should show ‘em off wear full, one-piece bathing suits. Nobody is overly self-conscious (or at least it’s not noticeable) and everyone rocks their suits.

I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight this past year. It has taken a while to get used to it and to feel comfortable in my own skin. There are still days when I’m unhappy with certain parts of my body. But it’s important to remember that, no matter what shape or size you are, you will have haters. The beautiful, thin, fit, healthy people have people telling them they are too thin. The beautiful, curvy, indulgent people have people telling them they are too fat. It really is just about making yourself happy and going with the flow. Because you can’t please everyone and your life doesn’t get magically better when you lose that 5 pounds.