Of all the things I’m gonna lose, I’ll miss my boobs the most.

•May 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

At 8 weeks out, I’m excited to eat a massive piece of cheesecake look ridiculously awesome on stage for one day only. There have been a handful of shows in the last few months, and seeing all of the super conditioned athletes is pretty darned motivating. The winners, centre-stage, with their trophies…

Speaking of trophies, I dug these bad boys out of my box of fitness gear as I was looking for my itty-bitty purple sparkly bikini.

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I laugh about these trophies.  I usually take them to school and laugh about them with my students. They are hilarious looking.  And I’ve never really known what to do with them. I mean…as you can see, they are pretty much an exact replica of what I look like at a show. And how I pose. We’re even the same colour!

Trophy vs. Kang

Trophy vs. Kang

And that’s about as far as the similarities go.

My head…much larger than my body. Rather reminiscent of those caricature bobble heads that you get as a novelty item and – if you’re 60-years-old – affix to the dash of your car. The trophy? Not so much. Her head is relatively proportional to her body. I may not be rocking the same mullet as she is, but who needs that hair when your head is already ten times too big?

Next, I give you full permission to check out my rack. Oh, wait. There isn’t one. I’m not exactly one of those girls that was gifted (gifted?) with a solid set of melons. There is no motorboating and there is certainly no glass-cutting as the nipples of my plastic statue might suggest. Thankfully I’ve heard anything more than a handful’s a waste.

At the end of the day I like the idea of winning something at my competitions. It gives me a little validation for being hungry ALL THE TIME and exhausting myself to the point where my students actually ask me, “Did you die?” while I lay panting on the floor halfway through my routine. That being said, I really have NO idea what to do with these funny trophies. Taking suggestions!

The Grass Is Always Greener…

•May 5, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Disclaimer: I’m about to go on a little bit of a rant.   If you have a tender heart and are easily offended, you might not want to read this…

The other day, someone said to me, “You’re lucky you don’t have kids so you can workout whenever you want.” I looked her, smiled, and said, “Yeah. I guess so.”

This is not the first time I’ve been told this. I’m fairly certain it won’t be the last.

I will not pretend to know what parenting is actually like. I have no idea. So forgive me if I’m a little insensitive (read: I’m about to be a lot insensitive). But, my dear friends (and in this case, acquaintances) that are so burdened by your children, please excuse me while I toot my own horn a little.

While you may be working a full-time job as Supermom, I am working a full-time job as well. And yes, I realize that your job doesn’t end at 3:00 (and probably includes little Johnny deciding to teeth, tantrum, and shit on everything all at once), but – if I want to be a good teacher – neither does mine. On top of work, I choose to volunteer both in and out of my workplace. Damn right, I choose to do that. Why? Because I enjoy it. And because I think that kids like yours deserve opportunities to play, volunteer, and just have fun.

Working out “whenever I want” has to happen at 4:00 in the morning and then again at 4:00 in the afternoon. Sometimes those times change because life happens and we all know that life doesn’t always work on a schedule.

I’m not complaining and by no means am I downplaying the role that you have as a mom. (I myself had a Supermom…like, seriously…four days a week, she ferried me 2-hours each way to Kelowna so that I could skate. And I’m only one of four kids!) She did things that I can only imagine being selfless enough to do. Because – let’s face it – mothers are often selfless.

Let me tell you why I’m ACTUALLY lucky.

I’m lucky because I get the opportunity each day to make healthy lifestyle choices for myself. That might mean getting my ass to the gym…even if it is at some ungodly hour. That might mean preparing food that’s good for me…even if it tastes like cardboard.

I’m lucky because I get a chance to do something that I love to do. Every damn day. And while there are bad days…sometimes lots of bad days…there are enough good ones to make it all worth it. I imagine parenting must be a lot like this, but of course, all I can do is speculate.

So the moral of my little story: We all have our own lives and we choose our priorities. It doesn’t make me lucky or not lucky because kids aren’t one of mine. I am not “Tra-la-la Kang”, carefree and eating bonbons all day before I casually stroll to the gym for a wokrout.  I work hard so that I can live the life that I want. Luck has nothing to do with it.18ixhn61bei5hjpg

Stop looking at me, Swan!

•April 24, 2016 • Leave a Comment
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Strangely enough, not the first time that I’ve quoted Billy Madison this week…

Today was another awkward day at the gym. I’m all for checking out a hot guy…or girl, for that matter. I can definitely appreciate a jacked human being. And maybe sometimes I will catch myself ogling someone shamelessly, mouth agape, drool sliding conspicuously down the right side of my face. Heck, it happened yesterday when they displayed a picture of Carey Price on the screen during our pro-d day.  Carey Price…that man makes me want to…

 

But I digress. At the end of the day, the gym is my happy place. We’re all there for the same reason, right? To pick up heavy shit and put it down again.

Enter creepy old man. Stage left.

I love me some barbell hip thrusts. My butt loves me some barbell hip thrusts. And apparently the old guy loves it when I do said hip thrusts. This is one of those exercises that is best executed facing a wall, like those abductor/adductor machines that most women spend an unnecessary amount of extra time on. And so I use the bench closest to the wall for my hip thrusts. However, this older gentleman likes to position himself in the small space between the wall and me (you know, as opposed to exercising in the vast amount of open space in the rest of the gym). And he watches me. He watches! It’s weird. It’s awkward. And I don’t know what to do other than switch directions and let the rest of the gym-goers have full view of my hoo-ha thrusting 80 lbs into a bridge position.

I feel like I should be supportive. I mean, here is this older gentleman who is obviously trying to stay active as he enters his…70s? Maybe he’s just curious as to what I’m doing. Maybe he’s contemplating doing some hip thrusts of his own. (Only now am I realizing how dirty that sounds…) Sure, we all have our reasons for looking, watching, glancing surrepticiously, staring blatantly at others at the gym. But this is one time (well, two times…) that I wished I had gone unnoticed!

Until next time, happy thrusting…

Mama says stupid is as stupid does…

•April 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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It happened. At just over 12 weeks out, I’m an idiot.

Usually as show day approaches, I’m completely brain-dead…be it stress, exhaustion, lack of carbs, too much water, too little water (on show day, I’m really stupid), or a combination of these.   Apparently my brain has decided to malfunction earlier than usual. Here’s a little snapshot from today:

This morning when I got back from the gym, I threw my socks in the toilet instead of the laundry basket. In my defense, I have to open the lid to both receptacles. And it was 5:30 a.m. Who actually functions at that hour?

Coffee. Coffee will help me function, I thought. But when I cleaned the coffee machine after my morning cup of happiness, I threw the coffee grounds into the dishwasher, filter and all. Only missed the garbage can by a few feet and the opening of a cupboard door.

Fast forward to the afternoon – round 2 at the gym – I tried to put on my shoe backwards. Not on the wrong foot, which almost makes sense, but backwards. Feet can’t even go into shoes backwards. And it wasn’t like I was just not paying attention. I was actually looking at my feet as I attempted to do this. The upside…no one was in the school hallway watching me. (A., I might have secretly been happy that it takes you longer than most girls to get dressed.)

It doesn’t end there. When I got home, it was time to prep more food. I turned on a burner, filled a pot of water, and set the pot on the cutting board. Ten minutes later, I still couldn’t here it boiling. They say a watched pot never boils. But I’m fairly certain it does…and at the same rate as an unwatched pot. Unless it’s on the cutting board. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that this is not the first time that I’ve done that…this week.

As you can see, some days I’m on top of my game. This was clearly not one of them.

But in all of this mess, I would like to note that not once did I sit on a floor and sob in a repeat performance of the great peach pie meltdown of 2013. Nor did I cry for a half an hour on the kitchen floor after dropping an entire container of salmon.

The struggle is real. The key is to take it all in and laugh about it. Here’s hoping my brain keeps laughing in the next 12 weeks!

“I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert

•April 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…

It has been a week since I returned from a voluntour trip to Costa Rica with a small group of Me 2 We students. I needed this past week to process. For me, this trip was not only about opening my heart and mind to a culture and people who may be used to doing so much with so little, but also for healing, letting go of everything that I have carried for too long. It’s time to move on. It’s time.

You make me happy when skies are grey…

We departed on March 14th, a year to the day that I lost my third baby. A year less a week from when I was to hear a heart beat for the first time, see him or her on a monitor, and then happily share the news with family and friends. The first time sucks. The second time hurts. The third time creates a crack in the universe so loud that you can’t hear anything but your own anger and sadness.

And so for the past year, I have been angry…at myself, at doctors, at whatever higher power is calling the shots. Angry because I don’t understand why my heart can’t just move on this time. Angry because no one would help me. Angry because no one will talk about it. Angry because no one knows how to talk about it and so I am alone. I have spent a lot of time believing that life isn’t fair. Too much time.

You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you…

Each day in Costa Rica was more beautiful than the next. To see how excited the kids were at each park or school that we visited made me want to go more, do more, be more. Our last day included a half-day at a girls’ orphanage. Seeing these girls, learning only bits and pieces of their stories, knowing that some of them have spent years in the orphanage…it all seems to put things into perspective.   We have so much love to give. I have so much love to give. Maybe these kids could have that love. Just for a short time.

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A few of the kids that made this trip SO worth it.

Please don’t take my sunshine away…

I won’t say that this trip healed me, but it has certainly helped me see a different side of things. Maybe one of these days my love will have a place, somewhere, for some child, someday.

Until then, it’s time to move on. It’s time.

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Girl Sweat: Road to Nationals 2016

•March 31, 2016 • Leave a Comment

And so begins another season…

Well, it actually began officially a couple of weeks ago, but I was in Costa Rica (more on that later). Now at just over 14 weeks out, it seems a good time to begin writing about the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of fitness, competing, and life in general.

Girl Sweat has always been about finding the funny in the sport of fitness and bodybuilding. Since I last competed at Nationals in 2013, blogging has fallen by the wayside.  Life happened, and I think somewhere along the way, I felt like I lost my funny.

With this in mind, the face of Girl Sweat has changed a little.  Yes, there will be days when I am retelling stories about the ridiculous things I do…putting milk in the cupboard and dishes in the fridge, throwing out the chicken instead of the packaging it came in, resembling an dried-out Sunkist orange, losing everything including my mind. But this time around, there will also be days when I am fully consumed by all of life’s up and downs – struggling to maintain some measure of sanity in the hangry-ness – for what is a blog about fit life if I can’t share all of it with you.

Love the journey. Love thyself. Cheers to another pre-contest season!

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Ask and You Shall Receive…

•October 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I get asked a lot of questions when I’m at the gym…most of them are about how to use equipment, how to modify exercises, and the like, but occasionally I get one that make me realize that most people have no idea how much time, energy, and discipline goes into competitive fitness and body building. Each person is gifted with different genetics so training and diet varies between individuals. Some people gain muscle quickly (that’s me!), others can shred quicky (NOT me!), and still others don’t get either one of these gifts and are frustrated by their lack of progress on some ridiculous cookie-cutter workout plan.

But that’s a whole other blog rant.

In any case, I thought I’d share some of my favourite questions that I get at the gym…

  1. How do you get muscles like that? I work out. All the time. And I eat properly. But I’m smart about it. Well, my trainer is smart. And then I just listen to her. Because she knows her shit. And because I pay her money. And since I’m cheap, it’s important to me that I’ve spent that money wisely. Did I mention she knows her shit?
  1. Do you really eat pizza? I have a workout tank that reads, “Powered by Pizza.” I like it because it’s ironic. (Does that make me a hipster? Oh my gosh, so much to think about.) But I digress. Yes. I eat pizza. It’s one of my go-to cheats. It’s delicious. I would live off of pizza if I could. However, the answer is no, I did not “get muscles like that” by eating pizza.  I wish.
  1. When is your next competition? This is a legitimate question. With planning and luck, I will be competing in BC’s 2016 next July. It’s the look of shock that I get afterwards that makes me chuckle on the inside. Sometimes I think that competing has become a little “fad-like”…some people think that competitors get up in the morning and say, “Oh, I feel like doing a show today.” They think training for a show is easy. WRONG. It’s a lot of freaking work. I get to do about 20 minutes of cardio right now. It’s delightful. It can be done during an episode of Cake Boss. (Initially the cake looks good, but after looking at cake for 20 min, I feel sick…it actually helps me stick to my diet.) Closer to stage time, that can increase to 60 min…90 min…more… It’s gross. And depressing. And exhausting. And that doesn’t even include the weight training on top of that. But at the end, it is rewarding. The hard work is definitely worth the pay-off.

These questions definitely serve as a reminder that everyone is at a different place in their fitness journey. We don’t get up knowing everything and asking questions is how we learn. I may have a good chuckle at some of them…I may look at you like you’re crazy (I apologize…my poker face is terrible)…but at the end of the day, I appreciate that people trust my opinion enough to ask and learn!