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Three Hundred Twenty Eight.

Remember my post about Life Math and punctuality?

Let’s keep going with that for a second…

OTHER TYPES OF LIFE MATH I DON’T GET

SIDENOTE: Am still struggling with punctuality a lot of days, but have realized it’s mostly my dogs’ fault. (I know, what an excuse, but seriously.)

1. Toothpaste vs. Foam

Look, I know that some people are able to like, brush their teeth while they walk around the house and get ready for the day. (My BFF Mags does it and it totally confounds me.) But I am not one of those people. I don’t understand how my pea-sized dab of toothpaste always becomes FOAM EVERYWHERE. All over. Everywhere. Like this, which I’m sure you’ve all seen, but I love it anyway:

BFf5pJnCMAAlGBt

It just doesn’t add up!

2. Dogs vs. Bed

My dogs are small dogs. They’re not teacup dogs, but they’re small. And while I may not have a giant, hotel-style king-sized bed (I FUCKING WISH), I do have a nice, normal queen-sized bed. So how, how, HOW is it that when my two small dogs get into bed with me, I have NO ROOM?

on_bed_1024_263614k

Even that guy looks like he has more sleeping space than I get when Oscar and Lucy are in bed with me.

Maybe it’s because they sleep horizontally or wherever the fuck they please, while I’m left trying to push them out of the way for a tiny sliver of mattress space…

SIDENOTE: As I was writing this blog post, I looked up and caught my dogs hanging out like this:

Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 10.25.45

AHHHHHHH! Heart exploded.

3. Tears vs. Water

This is sort of like the feeding a baby vs. the amount they vomit question. As I’m sure you may have gathered from some of my posts a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing a bit of crying. Specifically, I’d say I cried a LOT over the course of say, two to three days.

And then I was dehydrated for like, a week and a half.

No, seriously.

I couldn’t stop drinking water. My mouth was dry, my throat was sticking. It was like being stuck in a weird stereotypical movie about someone stranded in the desert. I felt like I was full of sand and I couldn’t get enough hydration. Surely I didn’t cry that much. So what the fuck, body?

Lesson learned: I’ll never get an ‘A’ in Life Math. (Or any math after like, grade six math, based on past experience…)

What are your biggest Life Math struggles/puzzles?

xA

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Three Hundred Eighteen.

Hey, did you guys know that exercising releases endorphins?

And adrenaline? And serotonin? And dopamine?

All of those things make you feel really good when you exercise.

Like this:

Eeeee Happy

Yesterday, I had a killer Zumba class. It was epic and I wasn’t even dressed as a superhero (that has happened and I have no doubts it will happen again). It was a huge class. There were tons of smiling faces. One of my BFFs was there. The energy was amazing. And I had a crazy ton of energy.

Add into the mix:

– It had been a ridiculously long and mind-numbing day at work. One of those days where everyone in the office feels it. At 2pm, my office mate turned to me and said, “Doesn’t it feel like it should be 5pm?” YES IT DID. So when you’re freed from that, you’re just like, WEEEEE!

– I made plans to visit my friend Annette in Calgary and I LOVE HER.

– I reconnected with someone I missed and it made me happy.

– I had been doing a LOT of texting with two of my BFFs. (A lot of texting gets my brain firing like crazy and sometimes makes me feel weird and hyper and overwhelmed. It’s why I try to take Internet breaks, but I haven’t done that lately.)

– I was feeling kind of frisky. (MOM DON’T READ THAT.)

So I taught this awesome Zumba class and I was on a fantastic natural high. Feeling peppy as fuck, really.

And then an hour later, I was still feeling peppy as fuck.

And then two hours later, I assessed the situation and realized I was vibrating. I felt like I could have gone for a 5K run and also like I should just keep CAPS LOCK permanently engaged for the rest of the night.

It’s at this point in my natural high that I should have stopped and thought, “NO INTERNET, ANDREA.”

But instead I WENT ON THE INTERNET.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.42.28Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.42.40

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TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “I’m fucking high as a kite right now! On Adrenaline! That Zumba class was killer.

HER RESPONSE: “It was 3 hrs ago.”

TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “JOLENE JOLENE JOLENE JOLENE.”

And then I ate a very sugary brownie…that was also very expired.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.05

TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “WHY AM I A FUCKING WEIRDO?!

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.33

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.42

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.23

Um….

TEXT I SENT MY BFF JOLENE: “AHHHHHHHHHH. AHHHHHHHH. Am I awful to be around?

HER RESPONSE: “Yes, terrible. That’s why everyone loves you so much.”

And also, it was like, torrential downpouring outside. And my brain is a very surreal place, so…

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.43.59

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Which was a total lie because I was up for like, another two hours being an adrenaline-crazed weirdo.

Lesson learned: I should maybe not be allowed to be around people. Just in general.

Also, I have really understanding friends.

Also, you can tag yourself in a Facebook status.

Screen shot 2013-08-30 at 10.45.08

But they won’t notify you that you did it.

Okay, everyone please continue to talk to me after this. Even if just out of pity.

xA

P.S. Maybe more yoga really is a good idea…

Three Hundred Fourteen.

Guys, I promise I’ll stop being like, super emo after today. Or I’ll try my best, anyway.

But I have to say, after the last couple days, even though I haven’t elaborated on anything going on in my life, I have gotten so many sweet, caring messages, some from people I would never expect to even notice me. And that really means a lot to me.

What have I learned from that?

(A) I know some pretty darn good people.

(B) Maybe I am pretty rad and likeable after all. (Haha.)

Thanks, guys.

xA

P.S. If I were really cool, I’d wink and thank you with a winning smile, like this. But since I’m not, you can consider this a thank you anyway. And also, you’re welcome.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-3179-1368991739-1

P.P.S. Shit, if I were that good looking, my ego would be UNSTOPPABLE. I wouldn’t thank anyone for anything. They’d have to thank me for existing. (/sarcasm) (sort of.)

Three Hundred Thirteen.

Life is weird.

This new girl has been showing up at my Zumba classes lately. She immediately caught my eye because she’s covered in tattoos and she’s a really good dancer. She also has really great energy – I immediately felt like she was friendly.

She’s been coming to my classes for a few weeks now, and the other day, I finally asked her name. I was standing with my BFF Jolene at the time, and I joked with this girl – let’s call her Charlene – that her tattoos caught my eye, because heavily tattooed girls aren’t too commonplace.

“You used to be the gorgeous tattooed mystery girl showing up at my classes, Andrea” Jolene said, “Now you’ve got one, too!”

We all laughed and continued on to my class and that was that.

I need to backtrack a moment now to tell you about one of the first times I ever talked to my BFF Jolene. I think, in fact, it may have been the second time we ever spoke. It was after I attended one of her Zumba classes, and I overheard her hinting at some relationship drama in the change rooms. She seemed to be having a hard day.

Even though I didn’t know her well, I felt compelled to talk to her.

“Hey,” I said shyly, “Look, I know we don’t know each other well at all, but if you ever need to talk about what’s going on, I’ve been through some shit, too.”

And the rest was sort of history.

Today has been a rough day. It started out with some big sadness, and then I had to gather myself, make myself look like a sort of normal person, and go teach Zumba.

HOO-FUCKING-RAY, right?

SIDENOTE: Groan.

I tried my best. I really did. But at the same time, I could feel that I was not radiating my usual happy energy. I felt exhausted and sick to my stomach, and my blood sugar quickly tapped out. My emotions had left me unable to eat anything. I was struggling hard.

I totally lost track of myself near the end of class. Suddenly choreography I’ve been teaching for months started to escape me and simple moves felt like jumping hurdles. So when the hour was finally over, I was hugely relieved. I wished everyone a happy weekend and then sat down on the edge of the stage to try to gather myself again, this time enough to get my ass back home.

Honestly, I thought that everyone had left the classroom.

But then I saw Charlene. She sat down at the front of the classroom to change her shoes and looked at me earnestly.

“I know it’s totally none of my business because you don’t know me at all,” she started, “but are you all right? You seem really sad today.”

Lesson learned: I’m starting to think there are no coincidences. Life brings you full circle over and over again – with varying lengths of time for those circles to complete, of course – for a reason.

Who knows? Maybe Charlene’s going to become a bigger part of my life, or teach me something really important. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

xA

Three Hundred Twelve.

Your heart can leave you immobilized even when your head tells you to push through and keep moving.

Your dogs will love you no matter what.

Screen shot 2013-08-24 at 12.11.33

Thank goodness.

xA

Three Hundred Ten.

When I was little, my brother and I used to always play along the sidewalk in front of our house. We used it for fun things like running back and forth, skipping back and forth, biking back and forth, and so on.

Look how fucking cute we were.

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(This should be no surprise, because look at us now, am I right? Haha.)

Anyway, there were some neighbour kids in the neighbourhood, some of whom we got along with better than others. There was a set of three kids who lived just down the street who were sort of fun to play with, but also sort of mean. Like if you played with them for long enough, one of them would do something straight up evil just to see what would happen.

You know the ones.

On this particular day, my brother and I (at that time about seven and four respectively) were playing around when the three kids showed up and crashed our party. My brother and I – being of the extremely non-confrontational personality type – played along with it. Everything was going fine – a bit of a drag, but FINE – until I was like, running along side my brother’s bike – or maybe it was the boy kid’s bike – and I fell. Or maybe he pushed me. I’d like to say he pushed me because like I said, they weren’t very nice, but maybe I’m just remembering the story as an adult who can now see what jerks some kids are.

Bottom line: I fell. I was horizontal on the sidewalk.

And there she came.

The youngest sibling. A year younger than I, but so, so much scarier. (I wasn’t scary at all, except when I was super whiny and annoying and I don’t remember being that way because I was the one doing it.) She was on a tricycle and she came barreling at me with a look on her face so twisted I can only tell you to imagine a kid tri-cycling with the vigour of Danny Torrence from The Shining, only take his face and replace it with Chucky.

I basically saw it happen in slow motion, but I was paralyzed with fear. So I had to just sit there and watch in complete horror while that little twat rode her tricycle RIGHT OVER ME.

Naturally, my knee/leg got ripped open by the stupid wheels of her stupid tricycle and started to bleed like crazy. I still have at least one scar from that day. Not to mention the emotional trauma.

(I wouldn’t give that girl the time of day if I saw her tomorrow. Is that bad? I don’t care.)

That was the day I learned that getting run over by a bike sucks. I don’t recommend it.

Also maybe some children need to GET SOME BIKING MANNERS.

xA

Three Hundred Six.

Yesterday I got to spend the day in a beautiful location watching two of my favourite people get married.

Holy cow, guys, it was perfect. I feel so lucky to have been there, and so lucky to know the happy couple (Hi, Mandelle and Adam! I love you guys!).

It happened in a small town just outside of Calgary – a quaint, storybook country setting.

DeWinton

My friend Caitlin and I got dolled up and had basically the best time ever.

Cait and Ang

We laughed, cried, ate, and danced our asses off. I don’t think I have ever had that much fun dancing at a wedding. My friend Caitlin’s a damn good date. I highly recommend her presence.

I’m not going to go into great detail on the wedding today, though I might talk about it more another time. For now, I’m just setting the scene for a hilarious moment.

When I say we were dancing our asses off, I totally mean it. We danced like crazy people – air punching, shimmying, jumping, shaking our butts, scream-singing along to the Spice Girls and scream-rapping along to Run DMC (shout out to Keith, our friend and DJ, for taking my song request). When “It’s Like That” came on, our shoes came off and we really went for it.

Right at the end of the night, a guy we had met throughout the wedding day and night hopped onto the dance floor to dance with us. We were all having a great time when he dropped into a dramatic dance move, really low to the ground.

Cue the sound of a record scratch and the music going dead silent. (But only in our minds, because in real life the music kept playing.)

His face flashed from “having a great time” to “oh my fucking god” faster than any of us could even process.

“I ripped my pants!” he shouted over the music.

“Ha ha!” I laughed. I thought he was joking.

“I ripped my pants!” he said again, scurrying off the dance floor.

“Oh my god!” Caitlin and I said to one another, feeling both extreme sympathy and extremely amused.

It soon became clear that he wasn’t – ahem – properly attired to continue dancing despite the rip. If you know what I mean.

AND THEN I HAD A FLASHBACK TO:

A night in Glasgow. A few of my classmates and I had been out to see what was the worst production of Othello I have ever seen in my life. It was so bad, in fact, that we ran away at intermission. If you know me at all, you know that a production/movie/anything has to be horrendous for me to leave before it’s over, because if I can avoid being disrespectful of the work being presented to me, I will. I’ve been a producer. I’ve been a director. I’ve been an actor. I teach Zumba classes all week. I know what it feels like to watch people walk out of your work.

But it was that bad.

Now, all of my classmates are like me, so we all felt guilty for leaving, but we were desperate. So naturally, we didn’t leave the theatre calmly. Well, we left the auditorium calmly – but then we ran. Why did we run? I don’t know. I still run to the parkade every time I leave work early, even when my boss tells me to leave work early. I guess my instincts tell me I may be caught and chastised or something.

Regardless, we hurried.

I was speed walking down a dark, narrow street next to my classmate Carissa when we all heard an “OooooOOP!” and our friend Janice disappeared from our peripheral vision.

There was a thud.

Our first instinct, of course, was to say, “Oh my god, are you okay?”

The only response we got was laughter, which started small and built up to straight up maniacal. Janice was beside herself; she could not stop.

“Guys! Guys!” she tried to talk between gasps for air, “It’s a banana! It’s a BANANA!”

We looked around, trying to determine what the hell she was talking about.

And there it was.

banana-peels

Janice had slipped on a banana peel.

Need I say more?

Lesson learned: Sometimes those quintessential “movie moments” happen in real life. And boy, are they ever entertaining.

xA

P.S. Totally just shared the link to this post on Facebook only to have my friend Janice tell me that it was Carissa who slipped, not her! I guess I remembered it backwards because I was LAUGHING FOREVER.

Three Hundred One.

One thing I have been asked a lot over the last year or so is why I don’t talk about my weight loss.

“You’re totally inspirational,” I’ve had people say, “You should promote yourself more and help other people!”

First of all, the fact that someone may see me as an inspiration is incredibly kind, and I appreciate the sentiment like crazy, I really do.

But there are so many reasons I don’t talk about weight loss, I’ve lost count.

Here are a few.

SIDENOTE: Have you ever noticed how the universe seems to line shit up so that everything sort of happens to you at the same time? It’s like the universe wants you to learn something or something. Weird, that.

Last month, I hit my goal size.

It’s totally none of your business, but that’s a size 10.

Or as I like to joke, “Fashion Fat.”

I feel like this goal shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who knows me at all or has read my blog given the types of women I think are extremely sexy (Jayne Mansfield, Christina Hendricks, Penelope Cruz, etc.). I tend to lean toward the more curvaceous ladies.

SIDENOTE: Maybe it’s because my mom used to take me to the library when I was little and flip through books of classic paintings of fat, gorgeous women and tell me that those painters knew round women were beautiful to make me feel better about being chubby.

renoir-seated-bather-1906

SIDENOTE TO THE SIDENOTE: I fucking love my mom.

ANOTHER SIDENOTE: Let’s not even get into a debate about whether slim women can be sexy. OF COURSE THEY CAN. I’m not even going to go there. This blog post would never end if I tried to entertain all the sides of this argument/world/issue/whatever the fuck. Okay?

Sometime around last month, I also started hearing a lot of this. (A LOT.)

“Oh my God! You look amazing! What a great start!”

“You look smaller every time I see you – keep going!”

“You’re just gonna keep getting smaller and smaller and looking better and better!”

And then there’s also all the times I’ve been to visit my grandparents in the last few months and they’ve told me how happy they are that I’m beautiful now. “You’ve always had a pretty face,” my grandma said to me, “Thank goodness now your body matches it.”

I also had this wonderful conversation with the greatest* doctor in Edmonton, regarding my damaged knee:

DR: …And the more weight you gain, the worse it’s going to get. (ANDREA’S INTERJECTION: This comment came out of nowhere.)

ME: I’m not gaining weight.

DR: As time goes on and you do…

ME: I’ve lost 110 pounds in the last 18 months. I think if anything, I’ve done a lot of good for my knees.

DR: (Looking me up and down) Well, you’re gonna have to lose A LOT more.

I read this article yesterday, which left me feeling nauseated. In reading it a second time, the part about women perpetuating the social expectation for women to be thinner to be beautiful struck a chord with me because I’ve also had women get upset with me for losing weight. Like my weight loss means I disapprove of anyone bigger than me. Nope, once again, my weight loss is none of your business and it’s not about you.

I recently got called out and reamed out for encouraging a plus-sized girl to wear whatever she wanted because I wasn’t fat enough so I guess that meant I was being condescending?

What the fuck? I spent my entire life being plus-sized and now that I’m not, I can’t think you’re sexy and fashionable?

SIDENOTE: To a great, GREAT percentage of the world, I’m still totally fat, y’all. (See my conversation with the doctor above. Or turn on your TV. Or open a magazine. Or Google “Lena Dunham” or “Mindy Kaling” or “Christina Hendricks” or any other famous woman with hips.)

I was just texting with my BFF about this blog post. Sometimes, I want to write about stuff that feels too big to write about. This is one of those things. Because being plus-sized for 20+ years shaped my life. Being harassed daily for my size shaped my life. But in some ways, losing weight and trying to figure shit out in the last 18 months has been even harder. I could probably write for days and never feel like I’m saying the right thing, saying enough, properly expressing how I feel.

For today, I’ll say this: I’m happy where I am. That doesn’t mean I don’t have further goals. But I love my size. I love my body – flaws, stretchmarks, issues, and spots that trigger massive self-consciousness and all. And I just want you to be happy, too. If you want to lose weight, I will cheer you on. (Unless you think you HAVE TO lose weight because you won’t be beautiful until you’re a size 0 – then we need to chat.) If you want to gain weight (Yeah, guess what, world? A lot of people struggle to gain weight!), I will cheer you on. If you don’t want to change at all, I will cheer you on.

Basically, can we all just do our thing and let other people do theirs?

Lesson learned: Weight. I don’t talk about it because it’s personal.

And I just talked about it. And I’m gonna feel weird about this for THE REST OF TIME.

Bonus Lesson: I’ve also learned that I’m a very “live and let live” person. Writing this kept making me think of when people ask me if I’d only date/marry a gluten-free vegan, which seems preposterous to me. Nope. As long as he doesn’t think what I eat is stupid and he’s respectful of me, he can eat whatever he wants. And no, I’m not judging you when you order meat when we go to dinner together, friends. Do your thing. I like you for you. Not what you eat. Not what you wear. For who you are.

xA

*See: NOT.

P.S. Endless thank yous to the wonderful people in my life who encourage me – and have always encouraged me – no matter what. To the friends who don’t care about numbers or anything else but me. To the friends who say “congrats!” rather than “…really?” about my goals. To the guy who told me I have an amazing body. Oh, and to one of my favourite Zumba students ever, who last week told me I’d better start eating more because she doesn’t want me to vanish. Best. Ever.

Two Hundred Ninety Nine.

I worked a casino last night.

Funnily enough, I have never actually been to a casino except to work at them as a volunteer for various theatres in town.

They’re usually kind of boring. Sometimes exciting. Always strange.

I guess I was really asking for it when I tweeted this at the beginning of the night:

Tw1

At first, my entertainment was mostly fashion-based:

Tw2

And BFF-based:

Tw3

But then the men at the casino caught on that I was in the cash cage.

Tw4This guy – let’s call him Goddess Worshipper, or GW for short – was pretty hilarious. It all started when he was at the ATM right outside my cash window. He started glancing over at me, then began to motion at my hair and giving me the thumbs up.

“I like your hair!” he yelled at me.

“Thanks!” I yelled back.

(How awkward.)

He stared at me some more.

“You’re perfect!”

“Wow! Thanks!”

(What was I supposed to say? Nothing like having a yelling conversation with a tipsy GW through soundproof glass, am I right?)

“Everything about you – your style – like, everything from your hair, your tattoos, your outfit – mmm – everything. It’s just 100% you. You are who you are, you know?”

“I…appreciate it!” I laughed.

I thought he was going to get his money and go. But instead he came right up to my cash counter.

“You’re teaching people things just by existing,” he said to me very seriously, “You are a perfect goddess. You’re teaching people how to be themselves. Just by being. Gorgeous. You’re a goddess. A goddess.”

“Okay! Thanks so much!”

(I’m way too nice.)

GW then sat at the blackjack table just a few feet away from the cash cage with his back to me. Throughout the night, he kept turning back to me and yelling “Perfect!” over and over again. After a couple hours, we apparently had inside jokes. He’d turn, point at his friend’s back and laugh, shrugging and shaking his head and motioning to me like, “Can you believe this guy?”

I, of course, would shrug, laugh, shake my head, and motion back to him like, “What a card!”

SIDENOTE: Yes, I just used the expression “What a card!” In a blog post about a casino. THANK YOU I’M HERE ALL WEEK.

Then the night was super quiet for like five hours.

And then there was this guy:

Tw5

His story begins with another guy – a really young guy we’re going to call Young Guy, or YG. Let’s call the guy the story is actually about Forty Five, or FF.

(It’ll make sense in a second.)

It was the very end of the night and YG came up to me to cash in his chips. I had seen him earlier and noted how young he looked. He looked 12, but I’m sure he was 19 or something. Anyway, his cash out was $45.

He stared at me in horror as I handed him the money. He was obviously smashed.

“I got slaughtered tonight.” he said, looking like he was about to cry.

“That’s too bad.” I replied.

(What do you say to that, right?)

FF, who was organizing his chips just slightly behind YG came up to the counter.

“What did you lose, man?”

“Oh, dude,” YG turned to FF, “I got slaughtered. Slaughtered.”

“What’d you lose?”

“$800, man. $800.”

“We can fix that, bro. We can fix that. I lost $4500 last week in Vegas. No big deal.”

“Shit, man.”

“What’s $800?” FF continued, “You can’t do anything with $800. You can buy a hooker and have some fun. That’s it. $800’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”

Young Guy’s face lit up.

“Let’s go out, man. Have some fun.”

“Bro, any other night and I would, man.” FF threw his chips at me, looking me up and down, “Tonight’s the one night I can’t.”

“Why not, man? Let’s go. Come on. Get a girl, get some stuff…”

“It’s the one night I can’t, man. I’m back on site in Fort Mac. Drug testing Monday, man. I can’t. Shit, any other night, bro. Any other night.”

At this point, I had laid out FF’s chips and counted out his money – a couple hundred dollars – but he wasn’t paying attention to me. I had to wait until he took his money to put his chips away, so I stood there, just listening.

“Fuck, man. Fuck. What a night.”

“Any other night, bro. I swear.”

Then Forty Five turned to me, in all his expensive jeans, tight t-shirt, bald head, look-at-me-I’m-hot-shit* attitude. He looked at my tits. Then at my face.

“Look at you in there.”

I looked at him, expressionless.

“Look at this chick,” FF turned to YG, “With her neck tattoo.”

Great, I thought, here we go.

FF turned back to me, leaning in really close to the glass between us. He bit his lip.

“You with your neck tattoo and your shaved head. I bet you’d be really up for it.”

And I was like, “WOW.”

I said it out loud. Too loud. It sort of fell out of my mouth. Sheer shock.

It wasn’t “WOW” as in “YAY.” It was “WOW” as in:

KWFKM“You’d take it.” he said.

He grabbed his money and paraded himself away, giving Fort McMurray a horrible name with every step.

Lesson learned: I’m definitely not going to meet my dream guy at a casino.

xA

*See: NOT.

P.S. I totally forgot to tweet about the classiest part of the night. On my walk from the casino to my car – which was less than 250 feet – I saw not one, but two penises. Apparently, dudes just pee on cars at 2am at West Edmonton Mall. Fucking wonderful.

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