Wild American Dream on the outside, tasty on the inside.

It’s My Body, And I’ll Shave If I Want To

There’s been a lot of buzz about a somewhat new trend of women growing out their armpit hair, and even dying it.  I’ll admit, I don’t often shave my armpits; it’s never been a statement about my body, just a matter of laziness (and having delicate skin and cheap razors).  I’ve always shaved though when I was going to wear a tank top or bathing suit.

I also don’t frequently shave my legs.  I don’t really like wearing shorts, and I don’t often get to wear skirts in my line of work.  Nobody really sees my legs except for my husband, and he doesn’t particularly care if my legs are a tad furry.

However, I’ve started playing Ultimate Frisbee in the summers.  This means wearing running shorts.  This means having to shave before every game so my legs are presentable.

Yep, that’s what goes through my head on Monday mornings in the shower.  “I need to shave, otherwise, people will think I’m so gross!  Women who don’t shave are unclean, right?”

It wasn’t until I actually started thinking about what was going on in my head that I realized I was falling prey to something I’d always told myself I didn’t care about: I was objectifying myself.

I thought I was over that; I no longer “worry” about putting on makeup in the morning, or if my hair looks pretty, or if I’m wearing a “nice” outfit.  But I’ve still been doing it.  At some level, I still see my body as something that has to be attractive and acceptable to others.

I actually wore long yoga pants to play an Ultimate Frisbee game where it was over 80 degrees outside, because I’d forgotten to shave my legs that morning and I didn’t want to be late. I was worried about how I’d justify wearing shorts with hairy legs.

I was prepared to justify my right to exist in a public space.  My right to exist with leg hair, or with a blemish on my face unconcealed by makeup.  With my hair tangled and thrown in a pony tail.  With a shirt with a stain on it.  In sweatpants.  Every time the thought entered my head of “I can’t go out like that” I was telling myself that I had to earn or work for my right to occupy space in public.

I’ve stopped shaving my legs before going to Frisbee games.  And I still wear shorts.  Short shorts.  Because those are the appropriate shorts for running around in the heat and sun.

I still try to remember to shave my legs if I’m going to wear capris at work; let’s face it, there are scenarios in which people will judge you on your appearance, and that judgement can have a lasting impact on your life or position at work.  But if I miss a spot?  If I realize that I didn’t shave?  I don’t run home, and I no longer carry a razor with me in my car for “emergency situations”.

My legs aren’t there to be pretty.  They’re there to get me where I’m going.  My body exists to be strong and to carry me where I need to go to achieve my dreams. If I’m going to shave my legs and get dolled up, it’s because I want to, not because I have to.

 

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Introvert’s Workspace

I live in a smallish 1-bedroom apartment with a very extroverted husband.  This makes getting peace and quiet (and a space of my own) very difficult.

The solution?

A room divider that I can cubby around my desk.  Sure, it’s small, but it’s cozy and it’s my little slice of isolation in my busy world.  Here it is, in it’s natural state:

Introvert Desk

The screen itself is this Coaster Oriental 5-panel divider.*

*I’m not affiliated with Amazon or Coaster in any way, but I love this screen.  I’d get more in a flash.

“Skinny Enough”

If you’ve seen me, you would probably say I am skinny enough.  I would disagree.

Here’s why:

  1. My jeans don’t fit.  And dresses.  Heck, even shirts. Since last year, I’ve gone from a size 4 to a size 6.  Sure, that’s just one size. But what it really means is I’ve gained 4 inches on my waist, and I’d love to lose them.
  2. In the last year, I’ve gained 10% from my healthy weight from 2013.  Have you ever felt an additional 10%?  It’s not comfortable.
  3. My midsection wiggles when I walk, and it’s not comfortable. This isn’t even actually a weight thing, it’s a tone thing. I haven’t been able to do a decent set of proper sit ups in years, and I’d like to have abs again.
  4. My cholesterol is through the roof. Like over 260.  That puts me in the “high risk” category for heart disease, despite what the scale says.
  5. I eat like crap.  I eat a lot of fast food, fatty food, sugary food, and not nearly enough veggies.  Switching to a healthier diet alone is going to strip off some pounds.
  6. I live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, which isn’t good no matter what your waistline.
  7. You can appear skinny and be unhealthy. 

Despite all these facts, when I tell friends and family that I’m working hard to be healthier and lose weight, the reaction I inevitably get is: “But you’re so skinny!”

I get eye rolls when I pick a salad with grilled chicken over a burger and fries.  I get snarky laughs when I lament that I’ve been too busy to go to the gym.  Newsflash: you probably know nothing about my lifestyle.

I get it.  You think you’re being flattering.  But you’re not.  You’ve made an assumption about my health or my goals based on the size you think I should be, but that’s not what I want.  I want your support in living a healthier lifestyle.

I get that you’re worried that I’m anorexic, or have a body image issue.  Most people aren’t close enough to me to make that judgement call, and if that’s what you’re worried about, reinforcing my skinniness as a positive quality isn’t helping.

Just as it’s inappropriate to make comments on someone’s lifestyle or goals if you think they’re overweight, it’s inappropriate to make a judgement call about my body goals if you think I’m “skinny enough.”

So next time someone tells you that they have a goal to gain weight, lose weight, spend more time at the gym, or improve something about themselves that will make themselves feel better, be supportive.*  If you want to help, ask how; don’t assume.

 

 

 

*Unless you legitimately think they have an eating disorder/are in serious danger, in which case an intervention or serious conversation is more appropriate and effective than comments on their skinniness.  Remember, eating disorders are mental disorders too and can’t be “willed” away.

 

Whoops! The Common Cold Strikes Again!

Today was totally going to be the day I posted “Love Your Li-ion” but alas, my husband and I both have a terribad cold.  So instead of that amazing post that’s almost done, here’s a picture of the two of us at my company Christmas party from Friday.  Yes, he was probably the most dressed up man there.  He likes his clothes, almost as much as he likes his hockey.

ImageImage

I gotta say, company Christmas parties are pretty great.  Especially when there’s a decent bar within the convention center, so even though there’s no booze served for free, it’s not far away!  Entertainment was alright, but my coworkers were far more entertaining.

Everyone even had a good laugh at the boss’ expense, even the boss.  If you can’t laugh at yourself, why bother laughing at all?

Photobooth by Oh Snapp! Photo Booth of Bellingham, WA.

Christmas Cocktail Party

We had our first Christmas party ever this weekend! Of course, my blogger friend (as always) came equipped with her camera. Thanks again to Becca for helping to document my life! 😛

A True Thanksgiving Break

I love my devices.  And I love my social media.  One could almost say I’m addicted even.  I’m a part of the oversharing generation, devoted to documenting all the mundane things that happen, and even more so the important, fun or cool things that are going on.  This is especially true during the holidays, because my mother-in-law throws the BEST parties.

Yet I can’t help but acknowledge the irony of my social media and and the need to document life is really pulling me out of the moment, out of the fun, and out of the socializing of the holidays.

That’s why this Thanksgiving, I’m turning of my phone, tablet, and computers and simply enjoying the moment of company with my family and friends.

Even if it means missing an epic video of my niece and nephew doing something adorable, so that I can participate instead of simply document.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s Easier On A Laptop – Upcoming Blogs and Wedding Pictures!

The day has finally come!  I have acquired a fully functional laptop with a keyboard that has all its keys, a battery that holds a proper charge, and even Windows 7!  This means that I can finally write posts they way they were intended to be written: on a computer, not a phone or iPad.

Some posts you can expect to see soon:

-Love The Li-ion: A Brief Lesson in Battery Chemistry

-A Doctor Who 50th Review: Spoilers, Sweetie!

-Picking Passwords: Security Is Easier Than You Think

-Hindsight Is Useless: A Journey Through Memories of a Wedding

Pikegiffordwedding.wordpress.com

P.S.  Did you know?  I got married in August.  Check out this photo gallery I created, with all the AMAZING pictures courtesy of the extremely talented lens-slingers at ThreeSixtyPhotography.  I promise, I’ve got quite a few wedding posts in progress, but right now, I’m enjoying the process of NOT planning or thinking about a wedding.

On Accidental Spamming: A Public Apology

So, if you’re subscribed to my blog, you’ve probably seen a few bizzare posts show up and then quickly disappear. This is partly my fault, and partly the fault of a company which I no longer trust.

I purchased an item on NoMoreRack.com. I wanted to share a link to this website with ONE person: my husband. I specifially only authorized this link to be sent out to a single email address. I know this because I clicked “Unselect All” and then selected only one single check box next to his name.

Sadly, NoMoreRack decided to email every single email address in my address book. Including the email address I use to post remotely to WordPress, Facebook, and all the email addresses I’ve ever used to email to other companies, schools, etc.

This has resulted in a lot of spam for my friends, family, and companies I’ve worked with. This is extremely embarrassing, particularly for private clients who have received a very unprofessional email sent “with my permission” from a third party.

I. Am. So. Sorry.

I have already contacted NoMoreRack to let them know that A) They broke the promise on their page to not do exactly what they did B) If they didn’t intend to, their system is broken and C) I will never, ever, ever, be doing business with them again, because this embarrassment has caused me to lose quite a chunk of my reputation, and that has consequences.

It has also put a lot of stress on me as I run around trying to delete posts that were sent to Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr and clients, trying to undo the damage this has done to my internet profile.

But mostly, it’s put a lot of stress on me to explain, apologize for, and rebuild relationships with people who are confused, upset, and possibly a little angry for this intrusion and spam.

So again, I am so so sorry.

Tutorial: Adding A User To Your WordPress Blog

I was originally just going to email this to a friend of mine, but I figured why not blog it?

If you have a WordPress blog, or WordPress based website and you’d like to be able to grant multi-user access, it’s easy!  And, it’s a good idea.  Each user will have their OWN login information, which allows you to give posting permission to contributors and editors without exposing the main Admin account information.  Plus, each individual user will be able to post under their own name!  Exciting.

Step 1: Go to your blog’s dashboard and open the “Users” side tab.

Step1E

Step 2: Click “Invite New”

Step2E

Step 3: If you know the WordPress username of the person you want to add, you can just use that.  Otherwise, enter their email address.

Step3E

Step 5: Send the invite!  Your invited user will receive an email that looks something like this:

InviteCapE

Once they’ve accepted, your blog will show up in their account when they log in.  Violà!  You can now easily manage contributors and other admins.  Enjoy.

10 Questions Men Are Dying to Ask Their Women, But Apparently Are Too Afraid, According To Redbook

Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows I have a perhaps unhealthy love for everything on Jezebel (except the gossip; still not on that train).  Just this morning, they posted an article about  a Redbook men’s advice columnist in regards to a series of questions that men are dying to ask their girlfriends and wives about their confusing, mysterious behaviour. I’m not sure what the actual article suggested the answers were, but the answers given by Jezebel’s Tracy Moore were pretty spot on.  I couldn’t help but wonder, how would  answer those questions if asked by my man?  And thus, a blog post was born.

Why so many shoes?

My husband easily has as many pairs of shoes as I do, and half of my shoes are shoes he bought for me because he thought they were pretty.  So I’m unlikely to ever be asked this question, however, I would probably reply “Why so many ties?”  BECAUSE THEY’RE PRETTY.  Simple.

My wife chats about our sex life with her friends.  How can she do that?

It’s not just our sex life we talk about with our friends; it’s everything.  But let’s be clear: this is only with my closest friends.  Not every woman at work.  And why do I do it?  Because it’s reassuring to know that your husband isn’t the only one who sometimes leaves all his clothes on the sofa when he gets home from work, or leaves his towels in random places instead of hanging them back up.  It gives us a relaxing sense of normalcy, which is important when we’re trying to make sense of confusing menfolk.

Vampires? Really?

Nope.  Don’t do it for me at all.  Next question.

Do you think we don’t know it’s a padded bra?

I know you know it’s a padded bra, and I know you love the cleavage and squishiness anyway.

How can a woman hold it together for everyone else, but have such a short fuse with her husband?

Our homes are supposed to be our safehouses.  When we come home from work, especially after a crappy day, we know we can vent to you and tell you all our fears and anger and you won’t judge us.  We’re pretty sure the rest of the world would judge us, but not you, because we know you love us.  We also know we can snap at you a little bit when you haven’t done the dishes after you said you would, and then instantly forgive you because we love you so damn much.

Why do you buy uber-healthy food that you’re not going to eat?

Maybe I’m not eating it because you’re not supportive enough!  Did you ever think about that?  Huh?  HUH?  I know you say I’m pretty but I still think I’m fat!  But seriously, if your lady is trying to eat better and you constantly make remarks about that weird new things she’s eating, you’re A) creating more food issues and B) making her feel uncomfortable trying new things.  Shut up, she’s a big girl, she can eat whatever she wants and maybe you should take an interest.  She may be trying to subtly tell you that she can practically see your arteries clogging up and would like to try and get an extra 10 – 20 years out of your relationship.

Size does matter, doesn’t it?

You know how when I complain that I’m over my goal weight by 10lbs and you say that you still think I’m gorgeous?  Yeah, it’s like that.  It totally matters, but only a little, and we’d rather not deal with the emotional fallout from telling you it matters.  We’d rather just have sex.

Why is it so hard to talk women into sex?

If you’re trying to talk a woman into sex, you’re already doing it wrong.  If your lady isn’t in the mood, and you don’t know what turns her on, do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not start wildly groping her or nagging her.  Here’s a brief list of things to try and tell her you’re in the mood and paying attention to what she wants: Light a few candles, give her a random foot massage, pour her a nice drink, rub her shoulders.  If none of those work, she might just not want to have sex.  If you’re married, she probably has a different list of things she likes; I don’t know, and if you don’t either by now, you’ve got bigger problems.

Why won’t you admit The Notebook is a lousy film?

Never seen it.  Apparently I am only half a woman.

P.S.  Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

Image unapologetically yoinked from justhappyquotes.com

Image unapologetically yoinked from justhappyquotes.com

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