Productivity Princess

princessI wrote this article for Ms. In the Biz about being more productive.

6 Tips to Better Productivity

Read it. Learn from it. Talk to me about it.

Or don’t. It’s up to you.

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Gossip Town

Won’t you take me to… gossip town?

Picture that this woman, rather than dancing with crazy eyes, is actually talking to her girlfriends nonstop in the locker room, by the weights, and in the hallways headed to the different places in the gym. They’re all talking at once. They’re not talking about anything in particular. But they are continuing almost without breaths.

That’s what it feels like at my gym.

There is a group of women who sit in the multi-purpose room and gossip. They start out in the locker room, discuss the basics and catch up, and then eventually go to the multi-purpose room and continue talking. They just talk. Did I mention they talk? There’s so much talking.

So. Much. Talking.

While I think it’s great that people have gym buddies, I’d like to make a little pitch that the gym part overshadow the buddy part just a little bit.

Maybe we stop talking for a little bit and just focus on the workout? Maybe for like five minutes? Three minutes? One effing minute? Maybe you just stop to breathe? Maybe you recognize that the other people around you aren’t interested in hearing your mundane, loud gossip? Maybe you realize that you’re not actually working out that hard because you’re not letting yourself get out of breath because you’re too busy concentrating on talking? Maybe you realize that that half-assed stretch you’re doing right now isn’t going to make those already-tight pants fit any better? Maybe you stop talking? Have I mentioned it’d be nice if you just stopped talking?

You’re putting even Chatty Cathy to shame. She wants to bang her head against the wall because of your incessant talking. We all do. You’re making everyone else in the gym want to hurt themselves. And that’s dangerous because it’s a gym so there are a thousand ways of really doing damage to your body. Just yesterday, when you three decided to all discuss the same terrible TV show at once, I looked at the punching bag next to myself and wondered if I let it loose and land on my head and my head exploded all over the ground if that would make you notice there was someone else in the gym and maybe make you stop talking. I had that thought. And it’s your fault. All of you.

So shut it. Shut up. Quiet. Keep the gossip to a reasonable level. And maybe contain the gossip to the locker room.

But mostly… please… just be quiet.

Please.

Fluctuation Station

scaleI can’t tell you the number of times people tell me “You look like you’ve lost weight!” I’ve written about it before.

It’s a nice thing to say. I’m not complaining about it. If you’ve said it, keep saying it. Not a bad thing for a lady to hear.

But the truth is I fluctuate. Because I’m a human being. And humans fluctuate.

I have a range of about 5-6 lbs that I flow between. When I’m really good about my diet and exercise, I get on the low end. When my schedule (and stress) picks up, it goes on the high end. And unless I eat really out of the ordinary- tons of food and calories for a long time or really restricting myself for a long time- I don’t change much. Even with all the exercise.

I’ve just learned to accept it and appreciate that my body likes to be at a certain number. Yes, I could really restrict and get myself down. I understand that there’s always room for improvement. But I don’t get mad at my body for not easily getting below that range even when I work at it. Why? Because I appreciate that it doesn’t go above the top of the range, even when I’m really negligent about my diet and exercise. It works both ways.

When I’m more consistent at the gym, I do notice a difference in my body both in the way it feels and looks. And that’s the reward for me. The scale is helpful as a once-in-a-while tool just to give a litmus test on where exactly we are in the range, but it’s not much more than that.

This is especially true as a woman because my weight naturally fluctuates depending on numerous factors. So I can’t get too upset if it changes all that much. So I don’t.

Instead I get upset that I cannot, for the life of me, figure how how much time to put on the microwave so my steel cut oats in the morning are actually cooked but don’t boil over and spill all over the microwave. Because they do that almost daily. And that shit drives me BONKERS.

But not the scale. That ain’t worth it.

Yeah. Imma end this blog with an ain’t. Been too darn tootin’ long since I wrote withah southern ax-ent. So here y’all go.

Darn tootin’.

Ms. In the Biz Article

I love writing for Ms. In the Biz. I think they’re an awesome online community of inspiring women working hard to make their dreams come true.

Here’s a link to my latest article for them. I hope you take the time to read it and peruse other great articles on the site.

Let Go Of These 3 Things…

Single Women vs. Tinder

 …the following is a transcript from a make-believe court session for a case some single women have brought against the free dating application Tinder. 

The courtroom is filled with chaos. The lawyer for Single Women has just made a strong case that the application causes people to be too judgmental, too superficial, and too narcissistic. Based on the uproar, most people watching agree with this opinion and think Tinder is an unacceptable dating application.

The judge waves her gavel several times and calls for order. Eventually, the courtroom quiets down. She calls forth the defense counsel. The lawyer for Tinder is in her late 20s, clearly hard-working, well-dressed woman. As she stands, she sets down her phone she had just been using and a hush falls over the courtroom. She smiles, looks around, and begins to make her arguments.

Ladies of the court. I understand where my opponents are coming from. I really do. An application like Tinder can seem to bring out the worst in people, causing them to make snap judgements about each other and to go out on dates based on little to no information about the other party. I get that it seems this way.

But let me share with you my own personal Tinder adventure.

I work constantly. As you can imagine, being a successful lawyer is a full-time job. I dedicate a lot of time and energy to my career. I don’t have the time right now in my life to go out to a bar every single night of the week and sit around hoping some man I find attractive will be there, come up and talk to me, and find out we have things in common. The odds aren’t in my favor for that. They’re in nobody’s favor.

But when I use Tinder, I can automatically see other men in my area who are interested in dating. I can look at their pictures and determine if I like what I see- both the type of man they look like and the types of pictures they choose to put up. And I can make that judgement easily by simply swiping my finger one way or another.

Yes, I said judgement. We are all constantly judging each other. If a man comes up to me at a bar, I immediately judge him. Even if I say I’m not doing it, thousands of years of evolution are ingrained in me to immediately assess within seconds if I’m interested in this person as a potential mate. Tinder just allows us to do it more quickly and more efficiently, so we can spread our dating net out even wider.

I only have the capability to talk to people who have also said that they might be interested in me. This way, I don’t have to waste my time or energy pursuing men who aren’t interested in me. Again- it allows for more efficiency so I don’t have to waste my precious time.

And my opponent talked about how Tinder forces you to be superficial. I completely disagree. It doesn’t force you to do anything. If all you want to do is scan people in your area and see who thinks you’re attractive by seeing how many matches you can get, you can do that. If you are just feeling low and want to be reminded that there truly are plenty of fish in the dating sea, you can just collect matches and be reminded that you’re beautiful. If you want to send flirty messages with relative strangers with no strings attached, you can do that. If you want to actually meet people and go on dates you barely had to do any work to set up, you can do that. If you want to meet an actual potential mate, you can do that. If you just want to look at random men’s instagram pages, you can do that.

It doesn’t force you to be anything. It’s whatever you want it to be.

We’re expecting more and more of our potential partners these days. We’re living longer and romance has taken over our narrative. In the old days, you married the first suitor that came to your door. And you stayed married because you didn’t have any other options. And you only lived until like 25 years old. Now we go out hoping that in a sea of billions of people, we might happen to accidentally run into our soulmate who be our everything for the next 70ish years.

I’m a practical woman, so I’m not buying it. I want to meet someone who has interests in common with me. I want to meet someone who has friends in common with me. I want to meet someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. And I want to have options. And I want to do it all without taking away too much time from my own career and personal goals. Tinder allows me to do just that.

Yes, it’s different from our notion of dating in the past. But dating has changed immensely throughout the years anyway. This is just another evolution of dating. And it’s not the end. It just an option. One of many now available to us lucky modern women.

And all practicalities aside, Tinder is fun and it’s great for your self esteem. It’s hilarious to see some of the types of men and the pictures they choose to put online. And if you’re sitting in your sweat pants eating chocolate ice cream alone on a Saturday night, you can still feel beautiful because someone on Tinder decided to “like” you and create a match.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s an all-around win.

The court is silent for a moment as the women look at each other. Tinder’s attorney takes one last look around and begins speaking again.

And one last thing. I was in relationships for a long time. Their constant failure had me feeling low. My self-esteem had taken a beating through constantly putting up with behaviors I shouldn’t have. My latest one had left me absolutely heartbroken. I didn’t know what I wanted. And I was overwhelmed by how to re-enter the dating pool after such a long break from it.

So I joined Tinder. Just for fun. I didn’t want to take the time to create a more extensive online profile. I was open to anyone or anything.

Immediately on Tinder, I started getting “matches” that made me feel good and gave me hope for the future. I went on some dates with men I already knew I thought were cute. Most of them were duds. Some were fine but not spectacular. But one date I went on was fabulous. I liked him immediately. He made me laugh. He was everything I had asked the universe for. We’re still dating. He takes me out, shows me off, and makes me laugh. And I met him by taking a chance simply swiping right on Tinder.

What will happen with this relationship? Who knows. Only time will tell. But I do know that I’m dating him because I want to be dating him. I know there are plenty of other fish in the sea. I’ve dated many of them. None of them are like him. But I’m sure there are other wonderful ones out there, waiting for me on Tinder if this one doesn’t work.

I’m in a healthy mindset for once in my life. And that’s thanks to Tinder.

I rest my case.

The young lawyer sat down. Looking around the courtroom, everyone was looking at their phones and using their thumbs to swipe pictures either left or right.

Tinder wins.

Lady Douchebag

There’s a woman at my gym who frequents the weight room as much as I do. In fact, she’s there more often than I am. And she looks like it. She is IN SHAPE okay people? I mean… she’s strong and hella toned.

I’ve spoken with her once. It was Sunday. She came over and asked if she could use a Kettlebell I had hoarded in my little corner of the multi-purpose room. I didn’t actually have any plans for the Kettlebell, there was just the one so I wanted it. I liked people to think I know what I’m doing, even when I have no idea.

It’s how I’ve succeeded at life so far.

Anyway, she asked me to borrow it and I told her no problem. Then I thought maybe I’d misjudged her in the past. I’d always thought she was a lady douchebag because she grunts really loudly when she lifts weights. She doesn’t wear a shirt, just a very tight sports bra that barely holds in her enhanced lady parts. Her hair is always down while she works out. She obviously spends a lot of time outside the gym tanning. She has false eyelashes she either puts on before every gym session or has permanently attached to her lids. And – the biggest sin- is that she throws her weights after she’s done with a set. Total douchebag move.

Also keep in mind I’ve seen this woman for months. She was at my old gym and made the move as many of us (like my gym boyfriend) did when it went under construction.

In our one quick Kettlebell interaction, I’m thinking maybe I misjudged. Maybe she’s not a douchebag. Maybe I’m just jealous of her dedication to fitness which obviously surpasses mine. I decide to see what she’s going to do with the Kettlebell so I can learn from her. She can become my teacher rather than my adversary.

Guess what she does? She asks a hunky dude from the weight room to stop his set to come take a picture of her. Then she poses in various poses holding the Kettlebell. She makes him take a video and several pictures. He returns to the weight room. I’m standing three feet away (perfectly capable to take a picture) and she didn’t ask. On top of it, she didn’t really do any sets. She just took pictures of what it would look like if she were working out.

My assessment of Lady Douchebag stands.

Lady Douchebag

There’s a woman at my gym who frequents the weight room as much as I do. In fact, she’s there more often than I am. And she looks like it. She is IN SHAPE okay people? I mean… she’s strong and hella toned.

I’ve spoken with her once. It was Sunday. She came over and asked if she could use a Kettlebell I had hoarded in my little corner of the multi-purpose room. I didn’t actually have any plans for the Kettlebell, there was just the one so I wanted it. I liked people to think I know what I’m doing, even when I have no idea.

It’s how I’ve succeeded at life so far.

Anyway, she asked me to borrow it and I told her no problem. Then I thought maybe I’d misjudged her in the past. I’d always thought she was a lady douchebag because she grunts really loudly when she lifts weights. She doesn’t wear a shirt, just a very tight sports bra that barely holds in her enhanced lady parts. Her hair is always down while she works out. She obviously spends a lot of time outside the gym tanning. She has false eyelashes she either puts on before every gym session or has permanently attached to her lids. And – the biggest sin- is that she throws her weights after she’s done with a set. Total douchebag move.

Also keep in mind I’ve seen this woman for months. She was at my old gym and made the move as many of us (like my gym boyfriend) did when it went under construction.

In our one quick Kettlebell interaction, I’m thinking maybe I misjudged. Maybe she’s not a douchebag. Maybe I’m just jealous of her dedication to fitness which obviously surpasses mine. I decide to see what she’s going to do with the Kettlebell so I can learn from her. She can become my teacher rather than my adversary.

Guess what she does? She asks a hunky dude from the weight room to stop his set to come take a picture of her. Then she poses in various poses holding the Kettlebell. She makes him take a video and several pictures. He returns to the weight room. I’m standing three feet away (perfectly capable to take a picture) and she didn’t ask. On top of it, she didn’t really do any sets. She just took pictures of what it would look like if she were working out.

My assessment of Lady Douchebag stands.

Lady Douchebag

There’s a woman at my gym who frequents the weight room as much as I do. In fact, she’s there more often than I am. And she looks like it. She is IN SHAPE okay people? I mean… she’s strong and hella toned.

I’ve spoken with her once. It was Sunday. She came over and asked if she could use a Kettlebell I had hoarded in my little corner of the multi-purpose room. I didn’t actually have any plans for the Kettlebell, there was just the one so I wanted it. I liked people to think I know what I’m doing, even when I have no idea.

It’s how I’ve succeeded at life so far.

Anyway, she asked me to borrow it and I told her no problem. Then I thought maybe I’d misjudged her in the past. I’d always thought she was a lady douchebag because she grunts really loudly when she lifts weights. She doesn’t wear a shirt, just a very tight sports bra that barely holds in her enhanced lady parts. Her hair is always down while she works out. She obviously spends a lot of time outside the gym tanning. She has false eyelashes she either puts on before every gym session or has permanently attached to her lids. And – the biggest sin- is that she throws her weights after she’s done with a set. Total douchebag move.

Also keep in mind I’ve seen this woman for months. She was at my old gym and made the move as many of us (like my gym boyfriend) did when it went under construction.

In our one quick Kettlebell interaction, I’m thinking maybe I misjudged. Maybe she’s not a douchebag. Maybe I’m just jealous of her dedication to fitness which obviously surpasses mine. I decide to see what she’s going to do with the Kettlebell so I can learn from her. She can become my teacher rather than my adversary.

Guess what she does? She asks a hunky dude from the weight room to stop his set to come take a picture of her. Then she poses in various poses holding the Kettlebell. She makes him take a video and several pictures. He returns to the weight room. I’m standing three feet away (perfectly capable to take a picture) and she didn’t ask. On top of it, she didn’t really do any sets. She just took pictures of what it would look like if she were working out.

My assessment of Lady Douchebag stands.

Lady Douchebag

There’s a woman at my gym who frequents the weight room as much as I do. In fact, she’s there more often than I am. And she looks like it. She is IN SHAPE okay people? I mean… she’s strong and hella toned.

I’ve spoken with her once. It was Sunday. She came over and asked if she could use a Kettlebell I had hoarded in my little corner of the multi-purpose room. I didn’t actually have any plans for the Kettlebell, there was just the one so I wanted it. I liked people to think I know what I’m doing, even when I have no idea.

It’s how I’ve succeeded at life so far.

Anyway, she asked me to borrow it and I told her no problem. Then I thought maybe I’d misjudged her in the past. I’d always thought she was a lady douchebag because she grunts really loudly when she lifts weights. She doesn’t wear a shirt, just a very tight sports bra that barely holds in her enhanced lady parts. Her hair is always down while she works out. She obviously spends a lot of time outside the gym tanning. She has false eyelashes she either puts on before every gym session or has permanently attached to her lids. And – the biggest sin- is that she throws her weights after she’s done with a set. Total douchebag move.

Also keep in mind I’ve seen this woman for months. She was at my old gym and made the move as many of us (like my gym boyfriend) did when it went under construction.

In our one quick Kettlebell interaction, I’m thinking maybe I misjudged. Maybe she’s not a douchebag. Maybe I’m just jealous of her dedication to fitness which obviously surpasses mine. I decide to see what she’s going to do with the Kettlebell so I can learn from her. She can become my teacher rather than my adversary.

Guess what she does? She asks a hunky dude from the weight room to stop his set to come take a picture of her. Then she poses in various poses holding the Kettlebell. She makes him take a video and several pictures. He returns to the weight room. I’m standing three feet away (perfectly capable to take a picture) and she didn’t ask. On top of it, she didn’t really do any sets. She just took pictures of what it would look like if she were working out.

My assessment of Lady Douchebag stands.

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.