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Three Hundred Seven.

Remember like almost 300 days ago when I wrote about personality traits that are sexy?

SIDENOTE: I sure made it seem early on like I had a huge boner for Adam Levine. What’s hilarious is I barely have a boner for him.*

SIDENOTE TO THE SIDENOTE: I know, I know, now you’re all like, “My god, Andrea, what CAN we believe if not that?!” Sorry.

Well, I’m here to tell you that my varied tastes in men are not a new thing in my life. I’ve always been attracted to all sorts of cool dudes.

On that note, I give you… (drumroll)

MEN I THOUGHT I’D MARRY WHEN I WAS A SMALL CHILD by Andrea Beça.

SIDENOTE: By “small,” I mean like, 13 and under, but some of these dreams have never died. I’ll leave you to guess which ones.

William_T._Riker,_2365
William T. Riker.

What. A fucking. Dreamboat.

Oh, Riker. I just couldn’t get enough. What with his dreamy blue eyes and his beard. This childhood obsession crush worries me the most because my dad had a very similar beard. So maybe I just thought Riker was my dad. But I definitely thought about marrying him. Whatever, kids are weird. They don’t understand that stuff. Let’s all agree that Riker was the coolest.

SIDENOTE: Ironically, in hindsight, I totally find Patrick Stewart way dreamier.

craigsimpson
Craig Simpson.

No, you didn’t accidentally click over to someone else’s blog. I, Andrea Beça, was in love with a hockey player. It all started when I was in kindergarten and I met him IN PERSON and I was like OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU. I mean I didn’t say that out loud. But he was super cute and like, cool and a grown up with a super interesting and exciting job, and he was pretty famous and a big deal and he was being super nice to us so giggle squee oh my gosh and also I WAS FIVE.

I had a couple of his hockey cards and I held onto them for dear life so that if anyone asked if I had a boyfriend, I could pull them out. Also maybe so that I could plan our wedding to match the Edmonton Oilers colours.

If you caught me on the right day I might still brag about meeting him even though it was over 20 years ago and I barely remember it.

liam-neeson-young-photos
Liam Neeson.

The real reason I wanted to visit Ireland.

Just kidding.

But seriously.

I can’t even remember the first time I saw Liam Neeson, but it was pretty much love at first sight. As my mom says, “I think you just saw him on Entertainment Tonight and stuff and you were hooked.” I guess I just had good taste.

Vincent Price.
Vincent Price.

VINCENT PRICE WHY ARE YOU SO COOL?! YOUR VOICE IS COOL. YOUR MOUSTACHE IS COOL. YOUR LAUGH IS COOL (and a little scary, but in the good way). YOUR STYLE IS COOL. I LIKE ALL YOUR MOVIES. EVEN THE BAD ONES.

vincent-price
Vincent Price and a Friend.

IS THAT A BIRD? I LOVE BIRDS! CAN WE HANG OUT? DO YOU WANT TO GO STEADY? I LOVE YOU.

Lesson learned: The childhood heart wants what it wants. Also, sometimes that doesn’t change.

xA

P.S. Please note that this is just a selection of the many men I thought I would marry. Childhood lasts quite a few years. I know you don’t have all day.

*I have to say, I commend guys for putting up with boners. I mean, you don’t give birth or anything, but if I got a boner every time I was excited, I’d have a lot more awkward stories than I already have in life.

I feel like that came out wrong.

I feel like this conversation got uncomfortable.

I guess I just meant to say penises are weird. Way to go at managing them or whatever.

But I mean like, don’t brag about it. It’s not that special.

(Shut up, Andrea. Shut up.)

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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 Seventy Seven.

Here’s the thing: I’ve never really thought about what an MRI is.

Maybe that seems crazy, but it’s not something that’s ever really applied to me. So I just assumed it was sort of like an X-Ray. -ish….

I suppose I should have assumed there was more to it than that, because the wait can be so long to get one. When a doctor prescribed me an MRI a few months ago, he told me it could be a year – or even longer – until I actually got it.

“Basically, you request it, and then you wait. And you wait. And then you wait some more. And after you’re done waiting…you actually wait more.”

(He was the one funny/nice doctor I’ve encountered in my stupid knee saga.)

I’m lucky that I didn’t have to wait a year, because my MRI is bright and early tomorrow morning.

“What are you up to this weekend?” one of my co-workers asked me when I left work on Thursday.

“Lots of Zumba teaching…oh, and I have an MRI for my knee.”

“Ugh! You have to get an MRI?!”

“Yes…?!”

“Oh, they’re awful! I hate getting MRIs.”

“Really?!”

“Yeah, they’re the worst!”

“Why?”

“Because you have to like, lie still, and it’s so claustrophobic and it’s loud and you can’t move and you have to lie on this like, hard plastic thing and not move and you’re just trying to breathe because it feels so tight and awful and loud and it always takes longer than they say it will.”

“……Fuck.”

Guys, I totally never put two and two together that this is an MRI machine:

MRI

I’ve seen them on TV, in movies. I’ve thought, “Oog, what an uncomfortable experience thati must be.” But I’ve never added it up in my head that that = MRI.

So guess what I’ve been FREAKING THE HELL OUT ABOUT for the last three days?

Lesson learned: Sometimes it’s good to have no idea what you’ve signed up for. Because you’re gonna cross the bridge you have to cross when you get there.

Now, can someone else who’s had an MRI tell me it’s no big deal? I may not sleep otherwise.

xA

Two Hundred Seventy One.

Here’s something I learned last night: don’t watch Girls right before you go to bed. Especially not the end of a season, or better yet, the end of the last season that aired.

SIDENOTE: There may be some minor spoilers in here. Get a grip.

hbo-girls-season-2

Because here’s why:

  • It’s generally a little depressing. Look, say what you will about Girls – I know some people love it and some people hate it – but regardless of their financial situations or level of spoiled-ness, the relationships between the friends on that show are pretty real. You know that moment Marnie and Hannah are talking and they’re lying blatantly about where they’re at and you can feel the distance growing? Yeah, that. Been there. Wanted to ugly sob. Held it in.
  • Hannah is such a crazy writer, right? Yeah, I feel that way, minus the counting. Sometimes the sheer amount of words and noise in my head is so loud that I literally can’t look people in the eye. I forget that’s not normal. It’s probably very not normal, so let’s keep that between us, okay? Okay.
  • All of the girls on Girls drive me crazy, but also, I identify with every single one of them. Hannah and her fucked up relationship with Adam; Marnie’s weird, “I’m your girlfriend” moment with Booth; Shosh’s general uncertainty; and Jessa’s general unsettled state of being.

So yeah, try watching all of that and then lay in bed in silence and try to go to sleep.

SPOILER ALERT: IT’S NOT HAPPENING.

Have you experienced Girls-induced insomnia? Can we talk about it?

xA

Two Hundred Seventy.

The other day (like a month or two ago), I was watching that episode of New Girl where everyone “outs” everyone else’s “pogos.”

Not sure what a pogo is?

So basically, it’s that annoying thing (or those annoying things) you always do that your roommates talk about behind your back.

It got me thinking – what are my pogos?

Home Hobo

I am a huge fan of comfort when I’m home. So basically, unless I’m about to leave the house again in a short period of time, whatever I’m wearing is coming off and my yoga pants are going on. Sometimes, in fairness to myself, I do this to prevent wrinkling and/or stretching out whatever I am wearing when I sit cross-legged on my couch. Because that’s how I almost always sit on my couch.

So, when I’m home, I tend to look like a bit of a hobo…a comfortable, spandex-ish-clad hobo.

Look, if I lived by myself, I probably wouldn’t even bother with pants, so you’re welcome.

Sing-y Susan

SIDENOTE: I don’t know why I felt compelled to give each of my pogos a “clever” name, but I started and I’m not backing down, so you’re going to have to deal with it now.

For a girl who hates musicals as much as I do, this may be shocking, but I do have a tendency to sing my way through my day. Whether I’m belting out a song I can’t get out of my head or simply making up songs to go along with whatever I’m doing, it’s happening.

For example, while I am making snacks, I may start singing something like this:

(Sung to the tune of the Spider-Man theme song)

Makin’ snacks! Makin’ snacks!

They’re delicious, they won’t bite back!

Are they healthy? Listen, friend.

Beça’s snacks are the living end.

Look out! Andrea’s makin’ snaaaacks.

….What can I say? I’d apologize, but it’s fun.

Dancing Queen

As a Zumba instructor, I am constantly either learning or creating new choreography to use in my classes. So that means that I am often practicing it. And by often, I mean often. And while I’m practicing, I’m usually either singing or listening to the song. So you might hear the same song like, I don’t know, 10 or 15 times in a row.

Movie Madwoman

Speaking of hearing things over and over again, I also have a tendency to latch onto a few favourite movies and put them on in the background while I’m living my life. And sometimes I will play the same one more than once in a day.

SIDENOTE: God, now that I’m listing these off, I feel really annoying.

Crazy Dog Lady

I talk to my dogs. Sometimes I talk to them in weird voices and each of them gets their own weird voice. I’m going to try not to delve into that one too far because I still have limits on how much of myself you really get to read about.

Lesson learned: IT COULD BE WORSE. I think I’m a pretty bearable person to live with. I could be messy or have bad personal hygiene or something. But I’m pretty organized and I always smell good, I swear!

What are your pogos? Sharing time!

xA

Two Hundred Thirty Two.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was a somewhat talkative child.

Okay, okay, I was SUPER ANNOYING NON-STOP TALKATIVE.

At home, anyway. In public, I tended to be more on the shy side, but when I was at home with my family, it’s a surprise I didn’t randomly pass out on a regular basis from lack of oxygen, because I basically just never shut up.

My parents would be trying to watch Star Trek and I’d be like

tumblr_m6s1jhdSJl1r2inll

“MOM! GUESS WHAT?”

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“HEY MOM! YOU KNOW WHAT?”

“OH! AND ALSO – ”

So my mom used to play a game with me.

“Andrea, Andrea,” she’d say in her quietest, calmest, most UNannoyed tone of voice, “I bet you can’t be totally quiet for two whole minutes.”

“WHAT?”

“See the clock? It says 6:34. I want to see if you can go until 6:36 without talking.”

“YEAH I COULD!”

“Okay, then do it.”

“FINE.”

I was totally onto her.

So as hard as it was for me – and trust me, it was hard – I would purse my lips and hold it all in. Sometimes I wanted to talk so badly that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. In all fairness, I was a little kid, so I may have been forgetting to breathe just because my mouth was shut. But still! I stuck to the game.

And then some.

On nights I was particularly annoyed/hurt that my mom wanted to play the quiet game with me, I would actively flip it on its head. I’d look at the clock and decide FUCK IT, I’m never speaking again.

If you’ve ever questioned whether stubbornness is something you’re born with, IT IS.

Once I got past the initial feelings of suffocation and panic, I would find total serenity in my silence. It was like an out-of-body experience. My silence was all-encompassing and completely satisfying. I was at one with my silence.

And then my mom would get freaked out.

“Andrea, are you okay?”

(Insert some stereotypical zen “OMMMMMMMMM” here. But only inside my mind. Not out loud. Never out loud.)

“Andrea, say something.”

“……”

“Andrea! You’re scaring me! Say something, please!”

“Why?”

“Oh, thank goodness.”

And that was when I learned what reverse psychology is.

BAM.

xA

Two Hundred Nine.

My BFF Margaret and I were in the back of a taxi heading to the Glasgow airport.

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We were trying to keep the conversation light because something really heavy had just happened in my family and I had, in a span of maybe three hours, packed a bag and booked a plane ticket.

So naturally, the conversation turned to pop culture.

I’m not much of a celebrity gossiper, but with Mags, I am.

I’m also not much of a reality TV fan, but with Mags, I am.

I think it’s because we have such similar beliefs and political views – and fashion opinions – that with her, I can say whatever the hell I’m thinking and she’s thinking it too, so we can rant and rant and not fear any judgement. Also, we’re both sickly fascinated with Courtney Stodden and Ryan Lochte (whom I had never heard of until Margaret introduced me to a couple YouTube videos – JEAH!)

So anyway, we were in the back of a taxi. Our driver wasn’t making conversation with us – which in my experience is actually unusual in Glasgow – so we made our own. Miley Cryrus had recently appeared on some late night talk show and had made fun of Helen Mirren.

Margaret and I love Helen Mirren.

“Like, Miley Cyrus wishes she were as hot as Helen Mirren.”

“No kidding!”

“Who am I kidding?” Mags came out with it, “I wish I were as hot at 23 as Helen Mirren is at her age! She’s got a rockin’ body!”

“She’s gorgeous. Screw Miley.”

“And I mean, she’s a Dame, isn’t she?”

“Is she?”

“I think so,” Margaret continued, “I’m fairly certain – “

“She’s a Dame.” our tax driver chimed in with complete certainty and out of absolute silence on his end.

Mags and I exchanged a look. We had found another Helen fan.

“Well there you go,” I said.

And then his silence continued.

While I was in Glasgow, Margaret got me more than slightly hooked to a terrible reality show called Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically just a dating show staring the lead singer of the 80s hair band, Poison.

He used to look like this:

Bret+MichaelsNow he looks more like this:

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He’s still an attractive dude, but he’s aged. It’s natural.

I cannot for the life of me remember how we got on to talking about Bret Michaels. I was probably telling Margaret not to watch any episodes without me. And then, you know, the conversation just happened until Mags said:

“He’s starting to get that sort of barrel-chested-ness that happens to a lot of men when they hit their late 40s to early 50s.”

And our taxi driver said:

“COUGHJESUSCOUGH.”

And maybe swerved a little. But maybe I’m just projecting that on the moment out of fear and self-doubt and hope.

Mags and I paused.

Silence fell over the entire taxi.

Through only eye contact, we had the following conversation:

A: Did that just happen?

M: It happened.

A: Was it at us?

M: I don’t know!

A: Maybe it wasn’t at us.

M: Maybe he’s pissed!

A: He is that age.

M: He’s pissed!

A: It was traffic!

M: Maybe it wasn’t!

A: This is awkward.

M: Totally awkward.

A: Let’s not talk anymore.

M: Agreed.

We stared at one another until we got to the airport. I probably tipped the guy a little extra out of sheer guilt and panic.

“Do you think we offended him?” Mags asked me as we walked through the airport.

“I don’t know! I guess he was probably 50-something,” I replied, “but maybe he was getting angry about some other driver.”

“He didn’t look barrel chested!”

“No. Not at all.”

“…At least we know he digs Helen Mirren as much as we do!”

DAME Helen Mirren, Margaret. She’s a Dame.”

So that was the day I learned that yes, taxi drivers are always listening. So if you’re ever questioning it, stop, because they are. And can you blame them? Imagine what they must hear on a daily basis. If I were a taxi driver, I’d be writing that shit down between jobs! I’d never be short on material again. Because when you think about it, people talk about really stupid shit a lot of the time, right? Like, maybe 60-70% of the time?

I’m sure the number is disappointing, at any rate.

xA

Two Hundred Eight.

Last night, I was having a much needed night in and I saw that Adventures in Babysitting was on TV.

“What a great opportunity to catch up on one of many 80s movies I missed during childhood!” I thought to myself.

babysitting_ES

I WAS WRONG.

Worst. Movie. Ever.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a little 80s nostalgia when it’s done well. I can get into the whole “righteous!” lingo and all that. The clothes. The hair. And so on.

SIDENOTE: Honourable mention to the little girl’s love of Thor, and to Vincent D’onofrio for playing Thor with his rocking young body. Dishonourable mention to the constant “homo” references. And the rest of the movie.

I just could not get into it.

I could see how I might have found it crazy exciting if I had watched it when I was 10, but boy, it didn’t age well.

I learned the same lesson when I was snowed in with my BFF Mags in Chicago and we decided to watch Pretty in Pink

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Some movies just cannot be truly appreciated after their time.

xA

P.S. “Some” is the key word there, because after Adventures in Babysitting finished, Stand By Me started, and that’s still a fantastic film.

Maybe it’s just that strong writing lasts.

Two Hundred Five.

Confession time.

I’m vegan, as well as gluten-free, and while I don’t feel like I live a “deprived” life at all, I’m well aware that most people would see it that way, and that according to a sort of standard North American diet, I don’t eat anything.

And yet, I am obsessed with food television.

iron_chef_japan_kaga

Seriously. I love it.

SIDENOTE: Original Iron Chef FTW!

ironchef

Iron Chef, Top Chef, Masterchef, Donut Showdown – I like them all. I have no desire to eat any of the stuff – a lot of the time I am downright puzzled and/or grossed out by it – and yet I find myself glued to the TV watching things like Come Dine With Me and Restaurant Impossible.

SIDENOTE: Okay, sometimes I could go for a donut, but that’s what Babycakes is for.

I wish I could explain it, but I can’t.

key_art_hells_kitchen

And Gordon Ramsey.

Dammit, Gordon.

I don’t want to like you. Especially when you go on and on about how being veg is stupid and try to actively convert people to eating meat.

I don’t want to like you, but I CAN’T QUIT YOU.

And yeah, I wait for the shirtless scene in every damn episode of Kitchen Nightmares.*

Lesson learned: Gordon Ramsey Food television is my kryptonite.

(Fine. FINE. So is Gordon Ramsey.)

xA

*Not a staple in the American version, unfortunately, but there’s one in EVERY SINGLE British episode.

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