Sunday, 27 November 2016

Who the real enemy is.

     I have heard so many sides to almost all of the stories. There are thousands of people, images, and industries telling you that you are FAT and imperfect. Every day. And not only do they tell you that you are fat, you are also ugly, obese, chunky, chubby and so on. But guess what!? We have a solution to all of your problems! If you only take this pill, run this marathon, workout, get of your ass, juice, eat clean, don't eat that-eat this,  buy my supplements, buy my cookbook, buy boobs, get a tan, loose the muffin top, tattoo your stretch marks skin colour so you cant see them. Yep, that's a real thing.
 
     There are two major things wrong with this. First, they make food the enemy. They tell you that everything you eat has too much sugar or fat. Too many calories, not enough kale! These industries who tell us we're fat have made it so confusing and overwhelming that we don't know what to eat anymore. We become a slave to scales and nutrition labels and calorie counting that we stop enjoying food. We spend half our life stressing over what we eat, and for what? Just eat real food. If It came from a lab, don't eat it. Simple as that.
 
     Second, and more importantly, they tell you and convince you that you, as you are right now, cannot be accepted for who you are. You must improve. They make you feel like YOU are the enemy! You must be not working hard enough. You must not be eating right. You must not be taking care of yourself...So not only do they tell you that you are not accepted because you are fifteen pounds overweight, they are also making the whole world believe that if you don't look fit, you aren't fit. I so desperately want to change this in the world. 
 
     I am forty pounds overweight and all my life I have been told that my body wasn't good enough. I have worked out tirelessly on twenty different fitness plans, I have tried countless diets, I have compared my body and its thousand imperfections to thousands of magazine images of health and "happiness". Never quite feeling good enough. Even at my most fit, I never felt like I had arrived. One thing I did learn along the way though, was that I AM fit. I work out three or four times a week, I have the thighs of a Russian mud wrestler, I can run 5km and not die, I can swim in the ocean, ride my bike and play with my kids. I eat well too. I take care of my body by eating real food. I don't waste time calorie counting, and no I don't care. I drink enough water and no I will not shove that disgusting smoothie down my throat every morning. I wont drink kombucha,and yes I still eat chocolate!  
 
     The problem with this crazy world we live in, is that so many women don't believe they are fit, healthy, beautiful, sexy, smart, or talented. The real enemy here is anyone or anything that makes you think you not are perfect just the way you are. So join me. Be the example. Love your body, love you for everything you are, right now. Become a Booty Camp Girls Body Image Ambassador and be proud of who you are! Stop letting someone else tell you what fit, sexy, healthy and beautiful look like and decide it for yourself!
 
 
 
Love, Dallas Glittertush
 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Motherhood struggles

The world is a very fake place. All day every day we are bombarded by perfection. Perfect parenting, the perfect home, the perfect crafts, "I had the prefect day with me perfect child!" the perfect pile of shit that makes me feel totally inadequate as a human being.
 
Today I got together with the amazing Sarah Joseph. She is currently hosting a 6 week long facilitate conversations that revolve around motherhood and the struggles we face. It was nervous at first, sharing my chaos with women I didn't know. They will surly judge me by my tattoos, messy hair, and cavalier attitude towards cleanliness. I am the first to admit, I struggle as a parent. Todays talk was about self care. I am sure you are rolling your eyes already. We all know that we should be taking time for self care, but we don't, for a million different reasons. Its a mystery. I have to say that after our ninety minute talk, I walked away feeling so great. It was amazing to listen to other moms worry about the same things as me. It was so great to know that I wasn't the only one doesn't always want to play with their kids! It was just awesome. We all talked about sacrificing a clean house for motherhood and we all had similar stories. So today I actually gave myself permission to be ok with being messy. That's just me right now, and I have better things to do and stress about. I picked up the boys after school and told them they didn't have to put laundry away anymore. I bought them each two laundry baskets. One for dirty one for clean. I also bought myself two other laundry baskets. I'm taking out all of the dressers with tiny little drawers that I spend hours organizing and putting things away. From now on my closet will be filled with laundry baskets. "Dirty" and "Clean". I feel so liberated. There are no rules that say I have to be a perfectly organized mom to be a good mom. And now that I know that non of us think we are really winning. I can rest assured that I'm not the only messed up, cranky, overworked, underpaid mom.
 
If you have the means to attend Sarah's workshops, I highly recommend that you do. Or at the very least, lets start talking for real. Share your struggles, be brave, be real. Motherhood is hard. Lets not make it harder.
 
 

Friday, 21 October 2016

The BCG

 
The Booty Camp Girls
Vision:
 To live in a world where every woman believes she is beautiful.
 
 
 
     My name is Rachel, and I am founder of the super awesome Booty Camp Girls. I didn't really plan this as my life's path, but it really seems to have chosen me. I had dreams of being an artist, a designer, an achiever. I had my dreams clouded by the allure of money. I never recognized what I was really good at until a friend pointed it out... or a number of friends.
 
     The Booty Camp Girls began in the Summer of 2012. Two women decided that they were worth the effort. We worked together and encouraged each other to work hard. Our goal to lose weight brought on a twice a week workout regime. We had fun with it and our hard work was paying off. We were losing weight and looking and feeling amazing. It got noticed and before long, everyone wanted to know what we were doing. Our twice a week workout duo grew to nearly twelve in a matter of months. It became so many things to dozens of women. It was a great workout, you got to enjoy the company of other women, you laughed, and it was a safe place to share the struggles of motherhood. It was sacred. Husbands and family knew, Tuesdays and Thursdays are your night, and that's that. That still continues today.
 
     As the Booty Camp Girls grew in numbers and motivation, we expanded from just working out, to fundraising for local charities. Since the Booty Camp Girls were founded in 2012, we have raised over $10 000 in cash and groceries for local charities. Charities like the Yew and Thyme Transitions Houses and the local food bank. We organized many events and countless volunteer hours we logged. Lifelong friendships were made and together, we moved mountains and will continue to do so.
 
     Since the BCG began I have worked with many women. Two things remain constant. One, very few of us take the time for ourselves, and almost all have low body confidence. I desperately want to change this. I feel it in my bones that I have to do all that I can to change this in the world. Even if it takes me one woman at a time. I want to CHANGE THE IDEA WE HAVE ABOUT WHAT STRONG AND BEAUTIFUL LOOKS LIKE. The amazing thing about the BCG is that does make a change. Not only are you gaining muscle, you are laughing, loving, and surrounded by women who think you are beautiful. Over the years we have won many races. Collectively we have run thousands of kilometers. We have hardware, we have torn muscles and we have a hundred pairs of old runners. But the best thing we have is something that can never be taken away. Confidence, and knowing that you can do something that you never thought possible. Believing in your strength.
 
     So what do the BCG have planned? I want to do everything I can to help you live your best life. I want to help you take risks, I want you to learn, I want you to love yourself. I want everyone to stop saying
       "Accept your body."
 
     F@c$ That! I want you to stop just accepting your body and I want you to freaking love it! I want you to be proud of your strength. I want you to be fearless. I want you to achieve. I want to provide you with the tools and support to do that. This little non-profit is going to do everything we can to offer these tools to you. I am in the works to bring you cooking and nutrition classes, meditation sessions, guided runs, essential oils classes, yoga and everything else you need to live a full life. I am also on the road to becoming a certified personal trainer.  And as always, we have Tuesdays and Thursdays.  
 
A number of years ago I wrote a Mission Statement. It still fits today.
 
  To provide guidance and motivation for women to
live a healthy balanced lifestyle. We encourage strength,
self love and acceptance for all.
 
My son and I took photos today. I explained to him that I was taking these pictures to show others to be brave. To show that I am strong, even though I might not look strong. He laughed.
 
"That's silly. Why wouldn't you be strong?"  ~ Levi, age 8
 
#thisiswhatmystongbodylookslike
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

New phase.

I lost both of my parents three years ago. After years of abuse and abuse onto my two young sons, I walked away and said goodbye to my parents forever. Over the past three years there have been many phases. It first I was devastated. Devastated that my parents were no longer in my life, but more devastated that my own parents could treat me with such hate and even more devastated that I had suppressed it.

As the years went on, I grew onto anger and hatred. I lived there for far too long. I was so angry. So angry that I nearly pull my own arm off in my sleep. So angry that I cried. I couldn't see. I desperately wanted to let go. Then one day, I just felt sad. I actually missed them and that made me shameful. How could I miss them? A good friend of mine told me that this was just the next step. "You are moving on." I was tired of the steps. When do you get to the top?

Today was a clear day. I could never be thankful for what I went through. Until today. I am not happy for all of the things she was. Mean, cruel, vindictive, the victim, hard, and manipulating. But I am grateful. For if she were not these things, I would not have become what I needed most. I had to be compassionate, motivating, encouraging, strong, and loving. I needed these things in my life because they just weren't there otherwise. And for that I am grateful. I would not be this person without her.

Now as I move into the next phase of my life, I know that it is the perfect fit. Being a personal trainer includes all of these things that I had to get really good at. So today, I accept and I am thankful. I will rock this life, and I will be your shoulder when you need it.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

F@ck the future.

I often hear people say, "What do you want the future to look like?".

                    Who do you want to be when you grow up?

                                                                       When I win the lottery, I will.....

     When I lose weight....                When I find the man of my dreams....
 

                                               What are your goals?
What are you going to accomplish?

Goals are all good and I believe they have a place. But we live in a world where only the future seems to matter. There are many books, podcasts, websites and businesses based on convincing people that they can have the future they desire. We are consumed with looking a certain way, driving a certain car, having the perfect house, perfect family, Pinterest wedding, vacations to Hawaii.....the list goes on. So we work towards an ideal for the future without questioning if its right for us. We have to be successful so we work towards a job that we think will gain us the successes we desire in the future. We work on our yard so that someday it will be perfect. "Once I get married and have kids and have the perfect house, I will be happy." We are constantly making plans so that our future will be bright and we will finally have arrived. The problem with this pattern is that it never seems to be enough. We get the hair we want, only to realise its not making us happy so we move on to something better. We get the dream job but can't seem to feel the completion we thought it would bring us. We work so hard for the "perfect body" to find out that having the perfect body is fleeting and not the basis for true satisfaction. We focus so much on the future and having all of the things we desire that we forget about the present. We don't see the beauty in simple things and we don't realise all of the amazing things that we already have available to us.

This past weekend I attended a wedding. Two beautiful women who found each other in this crazy world, standing up to tell the world that they have found their soul mates. It was such a beautiful day. I was filled with so much gratitude for everything from the friendships I had there, the setting, the ceremony, the laughs, to having the love of my life to share it with. Weddings are the perfect setting to be in the moment. The bride and groom (or in this case, the bride and bride) are so wrapped up in their love for each other that nothing else seems to matter. Everyone is so focused on soaking up the love that the couple have to share that little things get pushed aside. The little moments are what matter on that day and they are plentiful. Everything is beautiful and shared. There is a sense of inclusiveness that is found nowhere else. It was an uplifting and beautiful day. I spent the entire day in the moment. I didn't think about tomorrow, I didn't worry about the future, I didn't worry that I wasn't good enough in the world. What a world I would live in if every day was as profound.
 
I grew up in a house where everyone else's needs were put first. Now that I have been freed, I have given myself permission to put me first, in all aspects of my life. I don't even know what that will look like. Don't get me wrong, I will still care for my family, but I will do it in a way that feels right for me, 100%. As I begin to think about it, I realised that I don't even know what I want to do from here on out. But I do know one thing for sure. Its not about what the future will look like. I want to figure out what my life should feel like. I need to figure out how I want to fill my soul and how I can hang on to that feeling, every day. I need to be present and make choices that reflect how I want to feel, not how it will get me ahead in life. I can't guarantee that this life will bring riches or luxury. I can guarantee that at the end of the day I will be happy with my life, whatever it turns out to be.   
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Before and After

I really don't love the idea of before and after photos when working out. It gives too many people that idea of our before picture was a less awesome version of you. All of the things you were before, you still are today. No matter what you weigh, no matter what size you are, you are beautiful. Everything about YOU is 100% awesomely yours. Start appreciating what your body can do. Feel beautiful at any size and any age. Next time your look in the mirror, say "Hey beautiful!".
 
I have struggled with weight and unhealthy eating habits for most of my life. I walked a hard road and was taught to eat my feelings, literally. I grew up not really knowing how to eat right and exercise. Its taken me much of my adult life to learn these things. I am still learning. I have also learned that its not about winning races, its about doing what you can do. Its not about looking like a fitness model, because you are beautiful too. Its not about "dieting" forever, its about a new lifestyle. I have learned to love myself no matter what and the number on a scale was just that, a number.
 
I'm not going to lie, I still tend to eat my feelings. And after going through what was probably the worst two years of my life, I had put on weight. I never knew for sure because I never stepped on a scale. At my yearly checkup this past week my doctor got me on that scale. I want to tell you what I weigh, to prove to you that weight doesn't matter. I weigh 212lbs. This bothered me. And I am the first to always tell people that weight doesn't matter. This time it did. I wrestled with it for a few days. Why did this number bother me? I talked it over with some close friends of mine one friend asked me how I felt? I had to let that one sit with me for a bit. I had been working so hard on improving my mental health, that I let me physical health slide. But now that I was really starting to feel better, I was noticing things I did not like. I had a hard time walking up stairs sometimes. I was having more issues with my asthma, and my knee was stating to ache. All of this made me realize that I had been taking advantage of my body and not giving it the proper nutrients it needed. I was filling my plate with high sugar and high fat foods, expecting them not to affect my health. So I made the decision to focus on my health, for the sake of my health, not my ego. I will not exercise like a manic and I will not diet. I am choosing to eat what my body needs and no more than that. I will no longer let my emotions choose the menu. I am actually sad that I will change shape. I love the beautiful curvy body that I have now. But I wan to be able to run with my kids, play basketball and kayak and all of the other things I love. I want to grow old for grandchildren. I want to have energy and I want to feel great, not just ok. So here is me in my before in all its curvy glory. All 212lbs of it. I post this knowing that all the awesomeness I am today, I will still be after.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

I will stand beside you.

When I was growing up I was always told that being gay was disgusting. It was wrong on every level. Men should not kiss other men. Women should not kiss other women. Men should never wear dresses or makeup. It was gross and should not be seen. Public displays of affection were ok, unless you were with the same sex. Then it was publically mocked. I always felt like she was wrong. My instincts told me that it was wrong to hate or mock someone. (This is one of many reasons I no longer have any sort of relationship with my mother.) When I was "experimenting" in college I always felt like I was doing something so wrong....that felt so great. It was then that I realized it didn't matter. Gay, straight, bisexual, whatever. Can we not just be and do what feels good?
 
I recently spent a week with my sister and her husband to get away from the daily grind. Since it was pride week we attended the city's pride parade. Say what you want about gay people, but what I saw was the most beautiful group of uninhibited people I had ever seen. The same can be said about my gay friends. They are the most genuinely authentic people I know. What I saw at that parade was true. There was no shame. People walked side by side and were beaming with love and light. I felt like I belonged and was accepted. 
 
When I got home yesterday I foolishly watched the news. I felt almost violated. How in this world today can there be such hate, for what? I want my kids to grow up in a world where they can be who they are, no matter what. I never want my kids to hear what I heard as a child. I never want them to feel alone because of who they are. So what can I do about it? The answer isn't simple and can't be found easily. But I do know that one simple act can be the start of something great. Today, I do the only thing I can do. I am writing this to tell the gay men and women in my life that I accept them. I love them for who they are. And whatever label you have on yourself, know that its not needed. You can be whoever you want to be and I will support you. I will stand beside you.