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Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

Image7_2

P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

600px-US_27.svg

SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

photo(1)

Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Three Hundred Thirty Two.

Remember how my boobs shrank?

SIDENOTE: I found the C cup and I fucking love it. Sometimes I’m still a D cup. Regardless. Smaller boobs FOR THE WIN.*

I guess it’s to be expected when you lose 100+ pounds.

You know what I didn’t expect?

My face to change.

I mean, of course I expected my face to get like, thinner or whatever. But two very distinct things happened. One I love. The other I really don’t.

LOVE: Dimples.

IMG_4420

I got dimples. I don’t have any fantastic photos of them, but they’re pretty visible here.

Too cool. Never had those before. Always wanted something like dimples or freckles because I love both. Welcome into my world, dimples – I think you’re cute as hell.

Win!

HATE: Party on my Forehead.

Screen shot 2013-08-31 at 23.45.32

HOLD UP.

What the fuck is this shit?

Hey, forehead wrinkles – who invited you?

I used to be able to raise my eyebrows and still have a nice, smooth forehead. I’m not too thrilled that now when I raise my eyebrows, this happens. I guess because the skin on my face is a little less filled out now? Blerg.

SIDENOTE: Also officially have my first real wrinkle – you guessed it – on my forehead. It’s not the end of the world, but I’m irked, let’s just leave it at that.

I suppose this is why they use so many injectables in Hollywood. When you have a little extra fat in your face, you do look younger.

Stupid forehead.

Cute cheeks!

(I’m such a Libra.)

xA

P.S. Happy Friday the 13th!

Jason_Voorhees_Evolution_by_xamoel

I’m gonna celebrate with a horror movie date – Insidious 2! – with my new friend Rachel. She has a blog, too. We met on a blind friend date. I should blog about that…

*All the guys reading my blog right now are either like, “Oooh, boobs…” or “…What the fuck is she on about today?”

Three Hundred Three.

Oog.

It’s been a stressful day so far and I didn’t eat enough breakfast, both of which make any normal human being want to put food into their mouth, so I pulled out the snacks I brought to work: baby carrots and hummus. Typically, I would sort of portion these things out – you know, a Ziploc bag of baby carrots and a tiny container of hummus – but I was late for work this morning, so I threw a whole bag (like the bags they’re sold in) of baby carrots and a whole container of hummus into my lunch bag.

And that, my friends, is where I went wrong.

CUT TO: Approximately one hour later.

My stomach

Stomach

is so full of carrots, I can’t even tell you. The bag is gone. I ate them all. My stomach is probably even that orange because CARROTS and it’s definitely not smiling because UGH BARF TOO MANY CARROTS.

Lesson learned: Too much of a good thing is totally a thing.

xA

P.S. Can you mentally will yourself to digest faster? Not you specifically. Can one mentally will one’s self to digest faster? BRB have to Google something…

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 Fifty.

“Yeah, you should totally try it – it’s a lot of fun!”

In January 2012, I was down in the dumps, over-stressed, overweight, and trying to look for a way to get active again. I was tired of not working out and not feeling active and healthy, but I couldn’t bear the thought of spending every morning on a treadmill or elliptical. I wanted to do something fun. I heard about Zumba and decided to sign up for some classes after a couple of my friends told me I’d love it.

I was crazy scared to go to my first class, but my friends were right: it was a lot of fun. I loved the music and the moves, even though I wasn’t great at them at first. I decided this was something I could stick to, so I kept going.

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve felt like a dancer. That might sound really strange, but it’s just always something I’ve felt, like down in my soul. Maybe part of it is in my blood – my mom was a gymnast and dancer for many years. As recently as a few years ago, I’d watch shows on TV like So You Think You Can Dance, and I’d be like, yeah, I’ve got that rhythm, I feel the music, I could do that.

But I just never did it because I was scared.

After a few months of small studio classes, I was confident enough to join a gym and start attending larger Zumba classes as well. It wasn’t long before some of the amazing instructors started coming up to me after class and saying, “You’ve got mad rhythm – you should become a Zumba instructor!”

I was floored. It wasn’t something I would have ever considered. I didn’t think I was nearly good enough or in strong enough shape to teach. But I had so much fun when I was at Zumba class and felt so happy while I was doing it that I thought what the hell? And I signed up for certification.

IMG_2138
Zumba B1 certification – with Ricardo Marmitte (the instructor).

After what was one of the most exhausting and sweaty days of my life, I had done it. I had become a certified Zumba instructor. And while going into the day, I wasn’t sure if I’d actually want to teach right away, by the time I was leaving, I was fired up. I wanted to start right then and there.

IMG_2140
Official.

Yesterday, I celebrated one year since starting what has been one of the wildest rides I’ve ever been on.

You may be sitting there thinking, “Big deal – you became a Zumba instructor,” but in the last year, my entire life has changed. And most of those changes have, in some way or another, been sparked by Zumba.

I mean, never in a million years did I ever think I would teach Zumba to 500 (!!) people at one time, but that happened, last November.

Groovin' for the Cure, November 2012.
Groovin’ for the Cure, November 2012.

Then again, never in a million years did I think I would become a fitness instructor, period. Like, dorky, overweight, super self-conscious me? Not a chance in hell.

Zumba opened up a lot of doors for me. It gave me confidence, got me in shape,  and introduced me to an absolutely incredible social circle of positive, encouraging, and inspiring women (and men). It gave me license to shake my bum in front of strangers, dance like nobody is watching, and really just let go on a daily basis. It helped be de-stress, laugh more often, and sleep better. It helped me connect more strongly to my cultural roots through music and dance. It encouraged me to try all sorts of new things I’ve also fallen in love with, like running, climbing, lifting weights, and Pilates. It helped me clear my mind so that I am more able to focus on my biggest passion in life: writing.

It helped me say goodbye to 100lbs and counting, something I’m still trying to wrap my head around on the daily.

Sept. 2011 vs. May 2013.
Sept. 2011 vs. May 2013.

If some weirdo stranger (or Future Andrea, like in that one episode of New Girl with Future Nick) had walked up to me on the street a year and a half ago when I was preparing to go to my first Zumba class and told me that all of this was going to happen, I would have told them to go to hell or check themselves into psychiatric care. But if I’ve learned anything since then – and I think I’ve learned a lot – it’s that anything is possible.

I’m not saying it’s gonna be Zumba for everyone, but when you find that thing you connect with that makes you happy, holy shit, DO IT.

Happy one-year Anniversary, Zumba!

xA

Two Hundred Fifteen.

Things you need to know for context:

I’m a Soothing Basket-Case.

At least a couple times a week, I get told I have a very calming presence, that I am very soothing to be around, that I keep my friends sane, etc., etc.

Just last week, I went out for lunch with a friend who was feeling anxious about an upcoming halfway-around-the-world move, which I am familiar with. We chatted about things, and as we said our goodbyes, she said, “Oh my God, Andrea! I feel so much better! You have 100% calmed me down!”

My mom says I get it from her. I say, “Yeah, and I get my INSANE ANXIETY from you, too.”

(For the record, she agrees with this completely. Hi, mom. Sorry about yesterday’s post. I feel weird that you read it, and even weirder that your comment on Facebook was that Anthony Bourdain kind of looks like family.)

Because I am an anxious mess. Like, pretty much all the time. When people tell me I’m calming, I usually laugh and say something like, “I wish you could feel how UN-calm I am in my head!”

I’m Terrified of Death.

That’s that. I guess I would say, “Who isn’t?!” but apparently, some people aren’t. (Weirdos.)

Death is something I am anxious about on a very regular basis.

I’d go into this more, but I’ll probably have an anxiety attack, so…

I’ve Lost Weight.

A lot of it. It’s caused a lot of changes in my body.

Okay, that was your context.

So the other night, I was sitting on the couch writing on my laptop and I got an itch on my torso. I scratched it. And then I froze.

What the fuck?

I felt a really weird bulge where I was scratching. It sent me into an insta-panic.

Some of the thoughts I had include: “What the hell is that?! Oh my God, it’s hard. Is that a cyst? Is it a tumor? How did I never notice this before? And of course I’m discovering this right when I’m between doctors. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. What if I only have two months to live?!”

I poked at it and assessed the situation a little further.

Then I realized OH THAT’S MY FUCKING RIBS.

I can feel them now. I’ve never been able to feel them before. They’ve always been a lot more padded with extra flesh.

SO THAT HAPPENED.

I probably shouldn’t admit to it, but there you go.

So next time you’re thinking I’m a very calming person to be around, think about this: I’ve learned that I may very well be the kind of crazy that only a mother could love.

xA

P.S. If you bring this up to me face to face, I’m gonna pretend I have no idea what you’re talking about. Especially if there are other people around.

One Hundred Ninety Eight.

So last night, my mom turns to me randomly and says, “Remember that TV show that you used to love when you were little? And it was about a boy who could like, like something happened to him, with a scientist, and he just flew?”

And I was like:

tumblr_inline_mhta2a9Rzt1qz4rgp

For the record, yes, this is how my mom asks questions. They’re always this detailed and specific.

“No, he didn’t fly – well maybe he did – but he could like, run, really really fast. You were just in love with the boy! You don’t remember what it was called?!”

“I don’t even remember the show!”

As I Googled the phrase, “80s TV show about a kid who could run really fast,” my mom continued to hem and haw, something about Stand By Me and how she couldn’t believe I didn’t remember the show.

Results.

“Was it called My Secret Identity?” I asked her.

“No, definitely not.”

“Well, it fits the description. Just a sec.”

IMDB.

There it was. With Jerry O’Connell.

“Oh! Jerry O’Connell was in it.”

“YEAH! Remember that?!”

“Nope. Not at all.”

“What are you talking about?” my mom scoffed, “You LOVED that show. You were just in love with him. You used to watch it all the time.”

“Are you sure? I’m gonna look it up on YouTube.”

“Yeah, do. When you see a clip, it’ll all look familiar.”

YouTube.

“There!” my mom practically shouted with excitement, “See?! He flies with the hairspray. I didn’t remember that was the title. Remember, though?”

Blink. Blink.

“No.”

“What?! You’re joking. You LOVED that show.”

“I’m gonna watch the third season’s intro. Maybe I’ll remember that, if I was a bit older.”

My mom during the video: “Yeah! Him! Oh, him! Yeah, her! She was funny! Look how handsome! See? Stand By Me. Oh, he was great. I forgot he was on it! So cute! Now do you remember it?”

Blink. Blink.

“No.”

“Really? Really?

“Nothing. I’ve got nothing.”

“You used to watch it ALL THE TIME with your brother. Like after school. All the time!”

I checked: the show ran from 1988-91, which means I was only five when it ended. But I remember lots of other shows from when I was five, and even younger, too.

So yesterday I learned that some things really do just vanish from memory.

Also, you can answer pretty much any question using the following websites: Google, IMDB, YouTube, and WebMD (if the answer you’re looking for is that you’re DYING).

xA

P.S. After that fiasco, I watched the opening credits from Perfect Strangers on YouTube and remembered the entire thing. Take that as you will.

P.P.S. My Secret Identity looks like the worst show EVER.

One Hundred Forty Eight.

I was doing a strength training workout with my BFF Jo last night, and during a short break, she handed me her iPhone to look over some of the workouts we are going to be moving into in the near future.

I scanned through the list and images, and saw these:

Captain's Chair Crunches.
Captain’s Chair Crunches.

“I can’t do those.” I proclaimed.

“Yes you can.” Jo responded matter-of-factly.

“No, I definitely can’t. Those? That’s crazy. I can’t do that.”

“Are we looking at the same thing? Yes, you can. You definitely can.”

“No way.”

“Andrea, if you’ve done the same Pilates workout as me, you can do the chair crunches.”

“I think you’re wrong.”

“We’re going upstairs to try right after this.”

“Fine!” I replied smugly, certain I was going to prove her wrong with my lack of strength.

We went upstairs to the Captain’s Chair. She demonstrated how to do the crunch. I got into the Captain’s Chair (which, by the way, sounds like more fun than it is). I did the crunch. And another. And another.

Oh.

Okay.

And for the rest of the night, and all this morning, I’ve been thinking. I’ve been doing that since I was little: saying, “I can’t,” before I even try something. I think part of that comes from the knee problems and constant pain I was in, and the fact that I was often struggling to even walk in crutches without inflaming whichever leg wasn’t in worse shape, never mind trying to do gym class or something. And maybe part of it was from being a chubby kid and feeling like I could never keep up.

Regardless, it’s an awful mindset to be in, and yet it’s so, so common. So as of last night, I have made an active decision to cut it the hell out.

Lessons learned:

(A) Stop approaching life saying “I can’t” and just fucking try.

(B) Sometimes you need a friend to believe in you before you can believe in yourself, and thank goodness for friends like that. (Especially when they’re so matter-of-fact about it, like Jo.)

xA

P.S. When I did a Google image search for “Captain’s Chair crunches,” a couple of interesting photos came up that I wanted to share with you all.

First:

THIS OUTFIT.
THIS OUTFIT.

And second:

...Because he probably does a lot of Captain's Chair crunches?
…Because he probably does a lot of Captain’s Chair crunches?

(You’re welcome.)

P.P.S. I can barely walk today. Strength training FTW! (I’d do a little arm pump with that, but it hurts too much. Hurts so good.)

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