One Cheat Meal Or Missed Workout Doesn’t Mean Failure

I’ve had this issue in the past. Most people I know have had this issue in the past. And it’s unfortunate.

We’ve all been there… You’re clean-eating like a champ, making sure to get #VeggiesMost and eschewing all of the sugary desserts. You’re working out daily, and feeling the literal burn in your muscles. You’re staring at ourselves nakedly each evening and feeling so many happy butterflies over how much your body is changing as you near your goal. And then…

Disaster strikes.

It might be a party.

It might be a vacation.

It might be the holidays.

But whatever it is…you don’t live up to your daily #FitFam expectations. And you feel gross.

A college-freshman’s wet dream, and a college-sophomore’s nightmare as they try to undo the damage of the past 365 days. These foods are tasty and are perfectly fine to enjoy on occasion. Just don’t make them daily staples in your diet.

You’ve devoured 4 slices of pizza, some cookies, a soda, and then laid on the couch all day. By the end of the evening, you’re beating yourself up and feel terrible. You want to go running to burn off the meal, but you’re too full and bloated to go more than a few steps. What do you do next??

Well, first, remember that we’re all human. No one is expected to eat clean and workout every single day. Personal trainers indulge. Celebrities indulge. Models indulge. Everyone indulges sometimes. That’s why the term “weekly cheat meal” exists. Should you use your weekly cheat meal as an excuse to drink a carton of lard. Helllll no! But indulging in your favourite greasy foods is a-okay!

Just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you lose 10 lbs, one unhealthy meal doesn’t make you gain 10 lbs. It’s all about consistency. If all you eat are veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins, then yes you will lean out and lose weight. If all you eat is grease, fried foods, and cakes, then yes you will bloat and gain weight. But one meal is not enough to influence one or the other.

Just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you lose 10 lbs, one unhealthy meal doesn’t make you gain 10 lbs.

Everyone deserves a guilty pleasure. Everyone has their favourite cheat meal. Why have it if you never use it? Think about your week to-come, and plan out the day for your cheat meal! (For all of my American readers, Thanksgiving Day dinner is your cheat meal this coming November. You’re welcome). And then, let loose on that cheat meal.

Trust me, you’re going to rememberi that cheat meal the following day, and you’ll have that much more motivation to hit the gym and continue your path to fitness.

Pilates-style HIIT workouts are my favourites! I recommend giving online workouts by Kayla Itsines, Lucy Wyndham-Read, and Blogilates a try if you’re looking for something new 🙂

What you shouldn’t do is to give up. Don’t feel like a failure (even though it’s inevitable at times, especially on vacations). Don’t say to yourself, “Well, I’ve been lazy for two days, so I guess this is it for my fitness plans”. NO! NO, NO, NO! So what that you were lazy for two days? Hop back on the horse, and start galloping your way to success again.

Repeat After Me: A two-day rest should not equate the destruction of your goals. Every workout and every healthy meal helps to further your goals. Again, if anything, a rest or a cheat meal should motivate you further to meet your goals. Where’s that determination and drive? I know you’ve got it. So use it 😘

The Starving Kids In Africa And Your Expanding Midsection

“You’d better finish your plate! There’s starving kids in Africa going hungry tonight while you’re trying not to eat your vegetables.”

We’ve all heard this before. My mother said this to me. The shows on the telly said this to me. Random parents in the mall’s food court spoke it aloud. From birth, most Americans (and perhaps inhabitants of other countries as well) are conditioned to finish all of the plate on their food, whether they want it or not.

Oftentimes, this notion is used with good intentions. Children often try skipping out of eating their veggies, while still devouring their meat and carbs and screaming for dessert. “Finish your plate” is an exasperated parent’s cry to keep their kid from developing scurvy, while “there’s starving kids in Africa” implants guilt within them for not eating those delicious leaves of spinach.

Fun fact! Broccoli is the only veggie that I won’t eat, so I feel this girl’s pain. Give her some green beans or something, y’all!

However, while this notion may have started with good intentions, it typically leads to bad habits that influence the negative consequences of one’s adult life. Finish your plate! echoes through my head at most meals. Whether I’m full or not. Whether the food tastes good or not. My eyes stare down at the plate and start calculating the spoonfuls in my head:

There’s only five more forkfuls. I know you’re full, but it’s just five forkfuls. That’s barely any compared to how many forkfuls you’ve already had! Come on…into the mouth…THERE you go! Put some water in your mouth, and it’ll help you chew and swallow it down. …GOOD JOB. Okay, now…there’s only four forkfuls now. You’ve got this! That’s barely any compared to how many forkfuls you’ve already had…

It’s just not healthy.

Unhealthy eating habits aren’t exclusive to me and this poor man in the picture. They plague most of us.

Listening to my body is one of the best things I’ve learned to do in my late twenties. My body lets me know when I am dehydrated. When I am hungry. When I need to walk. When I need a Pilates fix. When I need to run. When I need to sleep. When I need veggies. When I need meat. The human body is like a machine, and a caution light comes on in your head whenever a part needs some fixing up.

This is why fad diets and exercises don’t work. They’re not giving the body what it needs, but rather what you think it needs so that you can look like a cover model. And eventually, your body gives up, and you lapse back into your unhealthy habits once more.

Portion control is key, no matter what you eat. Yes, salads are healthy, but if you eat a giant bowl of iceberg lettuce with buttermilk ranch on top, you’re not getting anywhere in life.

What in the ever-loving shit is this?!!?!?!? Why would you do this?!????!?!?!

And that is why “finish your plate” is so damaging. You’re ignoring portion control, and you’re ignoring your body. Your body is saying that it is full–that it has reached the level of fuel required to run through the day–but you are still shoveling more gas into the tank.

Are you overly gassy? Do you have poop problems? Indigestion? Feel like a lard after a meal? You’re finishing your plate.

Stop it.

I know, it’s hard! It is soooo hard, and I struggle with it daily. When I do finish my plate without feeling full, I congratulate myself. I placed the exact right amount of food on the plate, and as a result I was able to finish it without punishing my body.

When I feel full and have to put my plate down, I look sadly at that one forkful of kale left, the two bites of tilapia, the toddler-sized handful of rice. I know that I can still eat that. But I’ll be destroying my body in the process. It’s better to store that plate in the fridge (or get a to-go box from a restaurant) for a later-day snack of what was left on the plate. Knowing this, it’s still a struggle.

Don’t you dare judge me! I’m working on my portion control and didn’t finish this at dinner!

Meanwhile, across the globe, African kids are still starving…which is the other problem with this whole messed up analogy.

Finish your plate because there’s starving kids in Africa.

What we think we’re saying is to feel grateful for what we have.

What we’re really saying is to be as gluttonous as possible with our meals. Rather than taking a couple of bucks and donating money to feed these poor kids, we are shoving the money down our throats to pop a few extra buttons off our trousers.

The Google Image search for “starving kids in Africa” literally turned my stomach and brought tears to my eyes, so enjoy this image of “disadvantaged” students in Liberia with singer Ed Sheeran instead.

There’s starving kids in Africa. There’s also starving kids in our own cities. And dehydrated kids. Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean water. If you are continuously cooking too much food and overstuffing your plate, shorten your grocery list by a few bucks, and send Flint some water bottles.

Like, seriously. Click this link and send these people some water until the government officials get off their asses and fix the water problem.

Absolutely disgusting in more ways than one.

Bottom line? You take the fuel nozzle out of the car when you hear the click say that your tank is full. Likewise, put your fork down and push your plate aside when your stomach tells you that you are full.

And instead of trivializing starving children for the benefit of the growing obesity crisis, just tell your kids to eat their veggies instead.

 

**Are you interested in getting your health and fitness together, with all of the team support and none of the pyramid schemes singing in your DMs? Comment below, and I’ll add you to my fitness group today! No hidden issues, just friends and fitness for FREE 🙂

Terry Crews’s Torment, And The Effects Of Toxic Masculinity

October 2017 saw the rise of the #MeToo movement, a hashtag spread across social media to demonstrate the widespread frequency of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Started by Tarana Burke and popularized by Alyssa Milano, the hashtag and accompanying stories were primarily shared by women and more effeminate men.

So, what about masculine-presenting men?

It is easy to hear sexual assault victim and picture a woman, a more effeminate-presenting man, or a child. People heap pity on the survivors, seeing them as “poor things” and inherently “weak” individuals that need protection to prevent further assault. The stereotypes are strong. However, approximately 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual assault. In a room of 100 men, approximately 16-to-17 of them have experienced sexual assault to some degree.

Surely, that statistic does not only apply to effeminate men or men assaulted as children. What about larger men? Stronger men?

Men like Terry Crews?

I mean, seriously. I can’t be the only one who goes “YES!” any time Terry Crews pops up unexpectedly in a movie.

You see, during the wave of #MeToo revelations that set the stages of Hollywood ablaze and tossed chaos into the impending awards season, Terry Crews announced that he, too, is a victim of sexual assault. Despite his size and stature, Crews’s assailant—William Morris Endeavor agent Adam Venit—held power over him. As a high-power agent that producers were protecting, Crews was limited to what he could do.

“The producer of [the Expendables] called my manager and asked him to drop my case in order for me to be in the fourth installment of the movie,” Crews shared in his courtroom testimony on June 26th, 2018. “If I didn’t, there would be trouble.”

Crews ultimately chose to leave the movie installment and pursue his case.

Terry Crews testifying on June 26th, 2018, where he explained in detail the atrocities that befell him by someone he trusted.

“The assault lasted only minutes, but what he was effectively telling me while he held my genitals in his hand was that he held the power,” reported Crews. “That he was in control.”

Sure sounds like sexual assault to me.

Why didn’t you fight back? People often ask victims of sexual assault, including rape. As someone who unfortunately has close friends that are victims, their responses mirror those shared in news stories and crime shows:

I was afraid he’d kill me. I figured if I laid there and took it, he’d get done and leave me alone.

I didn’t want to lose my job/scholarship. My assailant had power over me.

I couldn’t risk making a scene and losing everything for my family.

In response to these claims, many sexual assault victims are told that they deserved it, that they are weak, or that they are lying. Their assaults are trivialized unless they legitimately mauled their assailant, regardless of the repercussions that would have caused.

While fighting back is the ideal thing to do when being assaulted, it is not always possible. If faced with death as a consequence, would you still fight back?

Crews has another issue on his hands: ridicule. His assault has not only been trivialized, but he is being ridiculed for his admissions.

Celebrities like shot-many-times rapper 50 Cent and accused rapist Russell Simmons have responded to Crews’s allegations with laughing emojis and memes on their social media pages. Despite Crews’s typical Herculean display of strength, admitting to assault without striking his victim has rendered him as “weak” and “emasculated” in the eyes of other men.

Crews has spoken of the shame he suffered post-assault, and how it tormented his thoughts. He has spoken on how the mistreatment of his case is why more men do not come forward when they are assaulted. He has even spoken up and revealed that the reason for not beating the shit out of his assailant was to avoid being labeled as a “big, black thug” and getting blacklisted from an industry that was already protecting his and other sexual predators over their victims.

50 Cent’s insensitive and cruel Instagram post “roasting” Terry Crews. 50 Cent got so much hate on this picture that he deleted the post…but he can’t delete the screenshots…

Let us recall what happened during Crews’s assault: another man held and fondled his genitals for several minutes while reminding Crews of his lack of power.

Now, let’s look at what Crews’s Expendables producer, Avi Lerner, told Crews in regards to his assault:

“I was told over and over that this was not abuse. That this was just a joke. That this was just horseplay. But I can say that one man’s horseplay is another man’s humiliation.”

A joke?

Horseplay?

I am all for innocent fun. I think a lot of people in society overreact to many things nowadays. But what Crews is describing is neither a joke nor horseplay.

Jokes are funny phrases or pranks played Jackass style on friends and family.

Horseplay is what adolescent boys do in high school when they chase each other through the school hallways, tackling one another to the ground, and wrestling.

This is horseplay. This is fun. This is not assault. No genitals are being touched.

Fondling someone’s private parts against their will and reminding them of the repercussions of revealing their assault is sexual assault plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if the victim was male or female, young or old, or punched you in your rapist face or not. It is assault.

And while Crews shouldn’t need to explain his reasonings at all, the frequent discrimination against black men, the words of Venit and Lerner, and the blacklisting of Chloe Dykstra by her own assailant are more than enough proof to illustrate that Crews’s concerns were indeed valid.

While we need to be there for all assault victims, male assault victims hold a dear place in my heart. Ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of rape, I have heard people laugh at men who are raped and assaulted. These victims are told that they clearly wanted it, that a woman can’t rape a man, that they’re gay if they let a man rape them, or that they’re gay for not enjoying “good sex”.

For starters: Being gay is not a bad thing. Let’s go ahead and clear up that misconception. It’s 2018; what the hell is wrong with y’all?

Secondly: Anytime someone touches you when you don’t want them to touch you…it’s assault. Regardless of gender.

These are not hard concepts, y’all.

I am pleased to see that many people on my Twitter timeline have sent Terry Crews tweets of encouragement in recent days, assuring him that he is strong, he is a victim, and that he is doing the right thing for himself and for all other victims of assault…especially men.

Take a moment and send Crews kind words to combat the trolls and perpetuators. Support his shows (Brooklyn 99 is excellent!) and his projects. I can only imagine what sort of inner turmoil this poor man is going through, but even one tweet of support can make his day a little bit brighter and help other victims watching to see that they, too, have support.

HIIT Your Way To Fitness!

Do you love high-energy workouts that actually work, but you don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to the gym? If so, then you will love the new and improved form of interval training known as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT workouts have boomed in popularity because of the amazing benefits that they hold for people who regularly perform them.

HIIT workouts typically involve powerful spurts of exercise followed by short rest intervals. With this type of training, your heart rate stays up and, in turn, helps you to burn more fat. This satisfying fat-burn occurs both during and following your workout. Yes. You will burn fat as you recover on your couch.

Group sweats are the best sweats!

When I can, I enjoy workouts that are an hour long (dance is my favourite cup of tea). However, since I tend to find myself on a time crunch most days, HIIT workouts are perfect for me. Most of the workouts are 10–30 minutes long, so I can easily squeeze in a workout anytime.

I also make sure that I watch what I eat, read health related posts from healthy body healthy mind to improve my own health, and take natural health supplement daily. Working out can be counteracted pretty effectively by eating a lot of take out among other things, so keep this in mind if you don’t want you hard work to be wasted. As for the health supplement, I felt it was a nice addition to healthy eating. It makes me feel more energetic so I really like it. It is called kratom masters if you would like to check it out as well.

Even though the workouts are shorter, that doesn’t mean that I burn fewer calories than normal. Because of the bursts of high-intensity exercises combined with the short recovery periods, HIIT workouts are just as beneficial as your longer standard workouts.

HIIT workouts are also known for their efficiency. While working to your max level, you will be burning more calories in a shorter amount of time than you would with other workouts. Interval workouts in general are known for having a higher after-workout burn effect because of their burst nature.

One of the best parts of HIIT is that you can do your workouts either at home or in a group class setting. Because the training is accessible to all fitness levels, group class settings are fun because you have people around you to push you to your limits. You don’t want to be the first one to stop, do you?

Erin Kwaitkowski, a HIIT instructor, explained why she feels that this is the best workout on the market right now:

Okay, okay, I can’t do this maneuver, but kudos to those of you who can!

“HIIT is an amazing exercise for anyone because you can go at the pace that you’re comfortable with,” said Kwaitkowski. “Even if you aren’t as advanced as other people in your class, you will get a tough workout as long as you put in the effort.”

What it boils down to is that HIIT is all about using your energy effectively. If you do a 15 minute HIIT workout to your maximum strength, you will burn more calories and see results faster than you would with your everyday exercise routine.

Interval training is a concept that has sculpted amazing results on the people who incorporate it into their regular exercise routines. Remember, that interval training helps you to keep burning calories after your workout, which–to me–is one of the best benefits of all.

Home workouts are my preference. Get yourself some workout equipment, and sweat your little heart out!

No matter if you have hours to exercise, or if you are on your lunch break, HIIT should be the perfect workout for you. Whether you’re a regular gym-goer, or you haven’t been to the gym in months, there is never a bad time to start back up again. And with HIIT, there is no reason to go to a gym at all! This is why HIIT is a time-efficient and energy-efficient exercise that has become popular among many people today.

With a variety in HIIT workouts, your exercises will never be repetitive, and you can figure out what routines you like and dislike. Although HIIT exercises are high-intensity, you will still have the ability to go at your own pace through modifications and breaks. If you’ve been looking for a new exercise routine to try that will deliver great results, HIIT is it!

#MeToo

In the wake of the assault and rape allegations that have come to light against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein, a simple hashtag has overtaken social media on October 15th, 2017 and October 16th, 2017.

#MeToo.

The requirements to post this hashtag are simple: if you have ever experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault, post #MeToo.

It was actress Alyssa Milano who inspired this hashtag, suggesting that if “all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me, too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” That problem, of course, is sexual harassment and assault, which often goes unreported or unpunished due to the nature of society and the prevalence of the acts.

Now, before I continue, I want to preface this by saying that this isn’t a man-hating, feminist blog piece. I have never labeled myself as a “feminist” (preferring “egalitarian” instead). I don’t care if someone catcalls me as I walk down the road, as this usually makes me feel good. So stop rolling your eyes at this being “just another whiny snowflake” thinkpiece, and open your eyes and your hearts instead.

Last night, as I saw more and more friends post the #MeToo hashtag, at first I was shocked. For me, my first thought went to “rape” or “molestation”, until I realized that harassment was also included. That made more sense. But then, I saw some people referring to the #MeToo posters as “Victims”. What?

I am not a victim of assault. And I am thankful for that. However, I have experienced harassment. Not often. But it’s happened. Not enough to make me a victim.

It took me over twenty-four hours to post the #MeToo hashtag on my Twitter page. And that was for many reasons.

  1. For me, harassment is not prevalent. Half the time, I roll my eyes and delete the comment, or I spit fire back at them. It doesn’t ruin my day. I don’t have to get a restraining order. I don’t fear for my safety. Do I qualify?
  2. Harassment is different than assault. Rape victims were posting #MeToo in swarms. Why should I also use that hashtag when my personal experience with harassment has equaled unwanted dick pics and inappropriate comments about my curves and lips?
  3. I am not a victim. Or at least, I don’t consider myself to be one. Again, nothing I have experienced has led to me turmoil and therapy. Most of the times, it equates to me sending screenshots to friends and saying, “Look at this loser.” Why should I be allowed to use this hashtag amongst those who have been degraded so much?

And in this thinking, I realized that I was doing what so many in society do. What most in society do. What even some rape and molestation victims do.

I was making excuses for bad behaviour. I am justifying people’s douchey actions as a result of my own behaviour. What should I expect?

I am the one choosing to wear makeup and tight clothes in my selfies. I am the one putting glitter on my arms and breasts. I am the one creating sexy cosplays to wear at cons. I am the one doing so many squats to keep my booty perky. I am the one who promotes my social media (which features all of these things) constantly, has nothing locked down or private, and encourages people to share my work and my photographs. I am doing all of these things.

But…

I am not asking people to send me pictures of their genitals in my inbox (which is why my Snapchat is still public, but can now only receive snaps from those I’ve friended). I am not asking people to slide in my DMs with “Hey, kitty, kitty…” and call me a cunt when I don’t respond in 30 seconds flat. I am not asking people to comment “I bet you’d taste good on my face” on a video about donating to communities. I am not asking for any of these things.

Whenever people ask why I don’t go to clubs, I tell them that it’s for two reasons: overpriced drinks and douchebags.

The last time I went to a club was 2014. I went with one of my best friends, and we made a pact to pretend to be lesbians for the night to avoid creepers. Yes. We had to make a pact to have a good time. Even so, I can’t count the number of men and women who grabbed my ass that night as they walked by, even though I was wearing jeans. Once my friend and I began to drink, I can’t tell you the number of people who began to approach us.

By the end of the night, we allowed two men to dance with us. My dance partner pretended he wanted to whisper sometime to me and LICKED MY FACE when I leaned in to hear better. My friend’s dance partner grabbed her hand and shoved it down his pants.

We spent the rest of the night hiding in a handicapped stall together until a male friend came to pick us up, drunkely ranting to each other and to various friends we called about how everyone at that club was such an asshole and that this is why we stick to concerts and restaurants. We were pissed, and repeated issues like this is why we gave up on clubs.

This is not okay.

We weren’t roofied. We weren’t raped. And I’m sure we could easily scream from the mountains what happened, only to be told by people of all genders that 1) that’s what happens in clubs, 2) we shouldn’t have been wearing crop tops and skinny jeans, and 3) that we shouldn’t have been drinking for half the night.

And this is for a face lick and some inappropriate touching. A story that I normally tell humourously as a testament of why clubs are dumb. Just think if we had been sexually assaulted, and needed medical attention instead of a drunken girls’ gossip session in a restroom stall. What would have happened?

If we’re being honest, we all know that the answer is not enough.

And that’s why this hashtag exists.

And that’s why this hashtag is important.

And that’s why I’ve learned to say…

#MeToo.