Femoir the Podcast: Episode 94, “Season 3 Introduction” – Show Notes

Boy if that title didn’t explain what you’ll be getting here, I don’t know what will.

Ye olde Femoir: The Podcast is up and back in action. If you’re not already caught up (or subscribed – wink wink, hint hint, nudge nudge) check it out on iTunes!

In this episode, I basically let you know you that I missed the crap out of creating this thing, so here’s what to expect from this upcoming “season.”

We talk about adding to the noise, figuring out that whatever you have to say is valid, GOAL-ing HARD, and how too many possibilities can lead us into doing nothing.

And I mention my dogs, of course.

Enjoy!

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Mirror Love

baby mirrorI play a little trick on myself.

It’s not an easy trick. And it’s not a mean trick. But it’s still a trick.

When I catch myself finding flaws and critiquing myself in the mirror, I stop and start giving myself compliments. Repeatedly. Out loud. Until I feel better. Then I walk away feeling a lot better about myself than if I had kept finding all the flaws.

I started doing this not long ago when I found myself engaging in some bad habits as a result of my own perfectionism and nit-picky-ness attacking my appearance. I’ve always been lucky in that I can keep a pretty balanced head about things. When I do go deep into that rabbit hole, I’ve got some fantastic support systems who get me out quickly.

But it’s still not easy to make this choice. It’s not easy to be proactive about my positivity. It’s not easy to stop critiquing and start talking to myself like a best friend. And to forgive myself for my flaws.

That sh*t ain’t easy.

But it’s worth it. It’s worth looking like a doofus to the imaginary friends who are watching me talk to myself alone in my apartment. It’s worth feeling really cheesy as I repeat affirmations to myself in a mirror like a comedy sketch making fun of self-help gurus. It’s worth it sharing that I do this with you even though now you all know that I am as weird as you imagine I am.

Because down the other path lies madness. The other path doesn’t serve me. The other path doesn’t make me happy. But I can’t just ignore the impulse. I have to replace it with something positive. I can’t just tell myself “Don’t look at yourself in the mirror because you’re always hyper-critical.” I have to tell myself, “If you’re gonna look in the mirror, we’re gonna be loving about it. And that’s that.”

And… I’ll be honest with you all… it really does make a difference. I feel a whole lot happier and healthier after every one of my mirror lovin’ sessions. Which is nice since they could have gone the other way and made me feel a whole lot crummier.

Try it. Let me know how it goes. If you want a jumping off point of the how-to’s of this process, please refer to the following classic video:

Crop Top

crop topI never thought I could pull off a crop top. I mean, look at this guy. I don’t look like him!

Growing up, I was always most self-conscious about my stomach. It’s where I hold most of my weight. It’s the last thing to start toning out when I am getting in shape. I’m not shaped like a tiny slender stomached chick. I’m more athletic (when at my best) so only making major cuts and really going out of my way to work it make a difference.

I’ve gone on about this before.

But as I’ve gotten slowly more confident with my body and pushed the limits of my own shape… I’ve ventured out in my dress too. I’ve actually worn crop tops on occasion.

I feel so naughty for even admitting it! AH!

I’m from Indiana. We don’t wear crop tops there. I certainly never wore them or even considered such a dramatic clothing choice. But I’ve slowly let the land of the people who are more bold and confident with their body and clothing seep into my own thinking. I’m not saying my shirts are that short… but sometimes a little tummy can peek out. And I don’t get self-conscious. And I’m proud of that. Not because I look like a photoshopped fitness model. But because I look good. And I work on it.

But more importantly, I work constantly on being ok with me. So if that means wearing modest crop tops without embarrassment because they make me sort of feel like a rockstar, so be it. Bring on the scissors. I’ve got a tiny sliver of stomach to let peep out.

Pale is me and I am pale.

In case you’ve been following closely for the past 29 years of my life… I am pale. With my heritage, I didn’t stand a chance. Most everything in my lineage is pale. I burn. I do not tan. I cannot get a base tan, and would appreciate you not IMG_6318asking me to.

But here’s the thing- I used to be self-conscious about it. I remember thinking how unfair it was everyone could get these pretty tans and I was always the same pale. I thought it was unfair that everyone else could just frolic in the sun without sunscreen and the few times I’ve done that in my life I’ve ended up purple from burns. I never understood it.

I once tried a fake tan. I looked like a pumpkin. Fake tans require you have a small amount of color on your skin that then blends in with the rest of the skin. I, however, have no color so I just looked exactly like the color sprayed on. It was awful.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve embraced it. I’ve learned to love it. It’s one of my signatures. I’m probably the palest girl in the room. I’m great about taking care of my skin now which means I’ll age more gracefully than many of my tanning peers. I don’t have as many wrinkles because I protect it. I will hopefully avoid the skin issues that have plagued the paler people in my family because I made a decision to be proactive about my skin care.

All that aside, the real reason I’ve learned to love my skin is I realized that being “tan” in order to be “hot” is giving a shit what someone else thinks of me. It’s caring about fitting into some sort of outside societal mold of beauty. And I get to choose whether I want that or not. And I don’t want it. I just want to be me. And I want to love myself for who I am. And who I am is a pale person with milky white skin and an aversion to too much direct sunlight.

And that’s that.

Podcast episode 55: Being Open – Show Notes

photo1 (1)On this episode of Femoir: The Podcast, there’s a lot of discussion of the adventures and pitfalls of being open to the world around you. To your left is a picture of one of my favorite people, Renee Colvert, who I met through just being open to the sillies of this crazy world.

And now, as promised, is a list of ways you can be more open. I promised maybe 10. I’m providing 11. Because I don’t understand limits.

 

 

11 Ways to be more Open

1. Say “Hi!” to a stranger

2. Make eye contact with your Barista when you tell them your order

3. Say thank you, [their name] to your cashier.

4. Ask a co-worker how their night was last night. Then actually listen to them without any agenda.

5. Ask someone a question about something they just shared with you. They’ll be shocked you were listening. You’ll be shocked that you’re learning!

6. Compliment a stranger. Click here for some more details on this one.

7. Ask someone you don’t know well to coffee. Accept that it could be uncomfortable. It could also be awesome. You never know. It’s just coffee.

8. Go to that random Facebook event your friend invited you to.

9. Go to a bar, sit by yourself, smile and look around. See what happens.

10. Throw away your to-do list for a day and just say yes to whatever strange things come your way.

11. Uncross your arms when you’re listening to someone. You’ll look and feel more open to whatever they’re saying.

Fit in every size

I often talk about my own fitness goals and ambitions on this blog. I like sharing my own personal goals and motivations.

As I got to thinking about it, I realized that I probably (unfairly) emphasize size for my own fitness. I’m happy with my body. I like to keep it healthy while still working on constantly improving it.

But I want to be clear about something- you can be fit and healthy at almost any size. I happen to be in an industry where what you look like can often determine what roles you get a chance to go out for. So I spend a decent amount of time making sure I can stay competitive. But I spend the rest of my time making sure I’m showcasing my talent that should get me work no matter what I look like.  It’s both.

I’ve been working a lot lately with a very talented comedian, Justin Harrison, who wrote a book about being a bigger guy and still having confidence in this world. He also has a bunch of cool projects in the works that are similar themes. In working with him so much, I realized that I may articulate a skewed perspective of health. First and foremost, take care of your mental health. Love yourself. If you love yourself, you’ll care more about your own physical health. As you take care of your own physical health, you’ll realize your own strengths and weaknesses. You can slowly but surely improve- whatever that means for where you are in your life. But it all stems from loving yourself first.

I go through phases as a hardcore runner. In doing many races, I see runners of all sizes. I see “big” people competing in half marathons and keeping great paces. I see “curvy” women running full marathons (something I’ve never had any desire to attempt). And guess what? They do it. Good for them.

So just because so many fitness blogs- myself included- can focus on small measurements and celebration of the slightest hint of abs peeping through, please don’t let that discourage you from loving yourself no matter what you look like.

As James Blunt says in a cheesy love song I’ve been playing non-stop lately on my cheesy love songs playlist, “You’re Beautiful.”

Always Room For Improvement

For the 2% of you who are still clinging to your New Years Resolutions this far into the year, good for you. I’m proud of you. Well done. Most people have already given up, so you’re already impressive.

I just wanted to address something near and dear to my own heart.

I was discussing resolutions with a friend of mine who’s made a resolution to lose a significant amount of weight. I’m super proud of him and think it will be great for his mind, body, and spirit. We got talking about fitness and I mentioned I’m also dieting for my own fitness goals right now. He- being nice- made it clear he didn’t think I needed to diet. I understand he was being sweet about it, so it didn’t bother me in the slightest.

But I want the world to know that every person has their own set of goals. When I say I’m dieting, it’s not because I’m insecure about my own body. I love my body. I’m extremely proud of it. It serves me well. I take really good care of it and I know it’s healthy, lean, and strong.

I’m “dieting” because I’m trying to improve it. There are plenty of ways I can improve it and mold it and make it even better. And it’s not because I’m unhappy with how it is now. It’s because I believe we should always be improving ourselves and working on ourselves and challeging ourselves to get to that next level.

Yes, I’m on a diet. Yes, I know I look fine. Yes, I love where my body is right now. And yes, there is room for improvement.

Just like I continue to push myself in my career. Yes, I’m fortunate to perform constantly. Yes, I love the peers I’m around and an inspired by them. Yes, I know I’ve had lots of successes. And yes, there is plenty of room for improvement.

Because if we’re not challenging ourselves to reach that next level, we’re plateauing. And nobody wants to plateau.

I also know that I don’t always reach the goals I set out for. Yes, I want to eat healthier. But sometimes your team gets their asses handed to them in the playoffs by the team you absolutely hate. So you have to have a Guinness (or three) to calm your nerves. It can be two steps forward and one step back sometimes. But as far as I can calculate, that still leaves me one step ahead of where I was before I took those steps.

Math while steppin‘ is hard.

May point is, it’s a process. That’s the beauty of life and the fact that every day we get to wake up with the opportunity to improve. And if we don’t at least approach it proactively  and positively (and forgive ourselves no matter what the outcome), we never get to move ahead.

So keep on pluggin’. Keep on chuggin’. And keep on gettin’ back up.

 

Little Black Dress

Today I’m wearing a little black dress.

Why? Because we’re having a party at work and I’m going to another one afterwards

I feel beautiful in it.

Why? Because I work my body out regularly and usually watch what I eat and it responds by staying slender, strong, and healthy.

I’m curling my hair.

Why? Because I feel so pretty in my dress thanks to the confidence I have from regular workout sessions that I want to feel even more feminine with some curly tendrils.

My legs look strong.

Why? Because I make them sore with intense weight training once or twice per week so I’m going to wear a little heel and show them off even more.

My arms look strong.

Why? Because I’m a beast that pushes herself to get stronger every workout session.

I love my body.

Why? Because we take care of each other. So on days when I have an excuse to wear a little black dress and look like a million bucks all day, I’m going to take it.

Can I borrow your dress?

Absolutely not. Get your own.

Narcissism or Pride?

For once, an episode of Femoir: The Podcast is ready in advance. It’s all I can do not to publish it early because I’m really excited about it. It’s the “Special Rap Episode” and is just a compilation of all the rap songs I’ve written for every theme on the podcast ever since I started writing rap for the podcast. There are 14 altogether plus a bonus 15th at the very end!

I’ve listened to it several times. Like…several times. I listen to it instead of other people’s podcasts. I have over 100 podcast episodes I could listen to right now from other sources. I listen to my own reruns on repeat.

That’s so weird.

I guess I just get excited and I like to hear it and it makes me remember what I was thinking when I was writing or recording or editing it. And they’re just entertaining. But since it’s my own work, I can’t decide if I’m just proud of it or if it’s just extremely narcissistic.

When the episode is release on August 28… maybe you could listen yourself and let me know.

Gotta go now. It’s been ten minutes since I listened to the sound of my own voice. Gotta fix it.