LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all


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Does Size Really Matter?!

The age old question that never seems to die… The answer to this question gets debated back and forth with such controversy… And yes, my lovely, you guessed it… today I am going there!!!! I am going to talk about it, give you my opinion, maybe even paint you a pretty picture, so hold on tight because HERE WE GO!!!

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My answer to this age old question only has two letters… and you guessed them ‘n’ and ‘o’!

Now is probably about the time to get your head out of the gutter, you sick perv, because you think you know what I am talking about, however you are oh so wrong. I know that you think that I’m talking about “that” and some of you were already excited to read what I was about to write, some of you were completely disgusted with me and have probably already stopped reading altogether by now, and then there were those who would never admit to wanting to read this, but secretly were pretty curious…

So if I’m not referring to “that” what the hell am I rambling about? Well I am going share with you my  journey of accepting myself the way that I am no matter what pant size I am. If you are so disappointed with this new topic, I understand if you quit reading, but I encourage you to come along for the ride, my lovely, the more the merrier! Stay tuned for tales from my double chin 🙂

Now, I’m not entirely sure at which point my mind was swallowed by society’s perception of what the perfect beach body was and how I so badly needed to obtain it to be a better person, but somewhere along the lines, it did. I think it was somewhere in my late teens or early twenties though. Throughout high school, I was always very athletic and active and never gave one thought as to what jean size I was because I truly did not care. That was such a wonderful feeling and I’m working on having that feeling back again.

I was never exactly a super scrawny rawny, nor was I obese, however I still was never happy with my body no matter what weight I was. I have always had a healthy lifestyle, I eat relatively healthy and also regularly go to the gym, however it didn’t seem to matter what I did or didn’t do, nothing was ever good enough. I would look at old pictures of myself and think to myself “man, I had a killer body back then… I wish that I appreciated it more back then, I would love to look like that again” and there were probably times that I said this to myself were I still looked the same… but when I looked in the mirror, the body I was looking at was not the body that I saw in old photos.

There was always something… too soft in one place, not enough muscle definition in another, etc… and I would focus only on that, I wouldn’t see the good parts. I used to frustrate my husband when we would take a picture together and force him to take another picture with me because I thought my face looked too fat in the first one. No matter what I ate or how hard I exercised, I was always able to find something to pick apart…

My poor husband has had to listen to me complain about how I look like a stuffed sausage in my jeans, how my body looked like a white whale in my bathing suit, etc, etc… and the poor guy endlessly told me how beautiful I was to him, but I wasn’t able to see myself through his eyes. (Much to his credit, he has never given up trying to make me see myself the same way that he sees me. And for that, I love him dearly.)

I’ve struggled for years with my weight, obsessing over it, shaming myself for it, and I have FINALLY come to realize that this bootylicious body of mine is the only one that I am ever going to get. I am 5’8″ and have been anywhere from a size 2 up to a size 10, and the size of my pants no longer controls me. I have somehow learnt to let go and to stop putting so much energy and attention on my own body image issues.

I’ve learnt that the size of my pants does not define me as a person. I’ve learnt that people aren’t going to talk about my body at my funeral, they are going to talk about what kind of person I was. I’ve learnt that I would hate for my own child to ever have negative thoughts about her body, and I that I need to ensure that she hears her Mom talk about how much she loves her body. I’ve learnt that my husband, family and closest friends do not give a single crap what size I am and that neither should I. I’ve learnt that people at the beach aren’t going to point and laugh at me, that they themselves likely have the same insecurities that I do. I’ve learnt that some years I will be a size 6 and some years I will be a size 10 and that is a-okay. I’ve learnt to accept myself the way that I am whether I ever obtain a “perfect” beach body or not. I’ve learnt that I would never in a million years talk to any other person the way that I talk to myself and that I need to start being nicer to myself.

I’ve learnt that I am a happier person when I allow myself to occasionally indulge and eat the white pasta with cream sauce, or to have a whole dessert all to myself. I am a happier person when stop I focusing on a caloric intake and outtake and just enjoy myself.
I’ve learnt not to let some symbols on a pair of pants define who I am as a person. I have learnt to fully accept myself and to own my bootlicious self no matter how licious my booty is that year…

I’ve learnt that my thighs will always be each others best friends, that they have such a strong bond that there is nothing that I can do to separate them. They keep each other company. They tell each other secrets. They cuddle and snuggle each other when comfort is needed. I’ve learnt that it’s okay if I’m never able to grate cheese off my stomach. It’s okay if my arms wave back at you a little bit when you wave to me… they are friendly and for that, I love them.

I’m more than the number says on the scale. I no longer allow that number to reflect who I am. I value so much more in this life than jeans that might be a little bit too snug. And that, my lovely, is why size does not matter.

Enjoy Life,
L

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Things You Most Definitely Want To Know

I’ve been hearing from my other fellow bloggers that their favourite posts to read are random facts about the Bloggee (Did I just invent that term, if so, I’m going to the Shark Tank ASAP… well, actually since I’m an alien in this country, I’ll have to go to the Canadian version called Dragon’s Den… alas, I’m putting a patent on that bad boy)

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So, if you are still reading this, you are being warned that here are some random, yet awesome and true facts about yours truly. And yes, I feel like a giant narcissist for actually writing this post but you do what you gotta do to make it to the Shark Tank right?!

Random Fact Numero Uno: I like big butts and I cannot lie. You other brothers cannot deny. That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face…   This is one of my favourite songs to exercise to, and I like to “talk” the lyrics rather than rap them in my mind. It’s a funny conversation.

Other Random Facts About Yours Truly:

  • I’ve gone sky diving twice from 15,000 ft and would go again every day if I could
  • I’ve gone bungee jumping from 134 meters and found that a lot more scary than skydiving

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    Where I went Bungee Jumping from… some call me crazy, some call me fun 🙂

  • I probably swear too much. No, that’s not true, I lied to you… I definitely swear to much. I just can’t help it. I’m the person who says “Shit, I didn’t mean to just say ‘shit’!”
  • Admitting my favourite kind of music is like admitting that your favourite foods are lobster and fish sticks… totally opposite ends of the spectrum. I like me some gangsta rap (John was so surprised when he scrolled through my I-pod for the first time), as well as the mushy and poppy stuff that’s on the radio.
  • My life revolves around a fondness and love of food. I have mentally accepted lugging around an extra ten pounds if that means indulging in cupcakes, rice krispie squares, white pasta and cheese.
  • As a kid I used to play with worms in the puddles. I probably even ate a few, who knows!
  • I absolutely adore baking. Mostly to lick the bowl.

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  • Long nails gross me out… cut those things, we aren’t cavemen.
  • I’ve had to dye my hair since I was 19 thanks to the grey hair gene that I received from both sides of my family. But I have enough hair to ensure that I won’t be cursed with baldness, so I guess I’d rather fight the hair colour battle
  • I don’t always know what to say to a baby, but I can carry on a conversation with a puppy like nobody’s business
  • I often wonder about which life choices I could have made differently so that I could have become a rapper (I got beatz, yo)IMG_0775
  •  I do not sing publicly. Never. I get shy and embarrassed. I won’t even sing to your baby if it’s crying in my arms if you can
    hear me.
  • If I absolutely had to, I could get by talking french in France… but please speak slowly to me in return.
  • My favourite gifts to give and to receive are experiences. I’d much rather create a memory with somebody or have somebody else create a memory then give them something in a box that they’ll forget about in a weeks time.
  • I like to literally drench my french toast/waffles in syrup… and only good syrup
  • John and I have had our kids names selected prior to even getting engaged… and I won’t tell a soul what they are
  • One of my fears is that our kids names will be ‘trendy’ or super common by the time we actually pop our kids out.
  • I had a speech impediment when I was a child and could not pronounce the letters “R” or “L” for the life of me.. my first name starts with “L” and my middle name starts with “R”. I tried to be considerate of our kid’s names when we chose them in case they inherit this from me as I inherited this from my Dad.photo 4
  • I almost drown in New Zealand on one of my first days there when I was 18. I got caught up in a super bad rip tide and had to be rescued. It was terrifying and I had no idea what a rip tide was at the time… now I sure do.
  • I also almost died when I was 18 in the hospital, the Doctor told me this later on when he knew that I was going to be okay. 18 was a solid year for me.photo 2
  • I am sensitive and take things to heart. I can’t change this. It’s also another reason why I love so deeply.
  • I would rather be told the truth the very first time. Do not ever lie to me please. Thank you.
  • I’m that annoying person who is always cold. When most people are recovering from heat stroke, I’m perfectly warm and content.
  • Lastly, I would choose white cake over chocolate cake any day of the week.

What are some of your random facts, my lovely?

Enjoy Life!
L


10 Comments

A Letter to My Closet Followers

Dear My Closet Followers,

Thank you. I appreciate your kind words, your support and your encouragement. I appreciate and understand your reasons for keeping your messages to me private, and I’d like to thank you for sending them. Whether the reason is that you do not want your message read by others, you are scared of what you fear others may think of you when they read your words to me, whether it’s because we aren’t friends anymore but you have the courage to reach out to me… thank you.

I know that there are people out there who don’t necessarily like what I have to say, and yes, of course that bothers me. Am I on a journey of intentionally writing things to upset people? No, absolutely not. There are so many other people out there writing wishy-washy blogs because they are scared of ‘saying the wrong thing’. If that is more your cup of tea, by all means drink up. However, I am more of a coffee drinker myself. If you don’t like my truth, that is a-okay. People who truly know me know that my intentions are nothing but pure.

My closet followers send me messages that make me feel like what I have to say is valid. They make me feel like something that I’ve said hits home to them. Others have sent me messages telling me that they are going through the exact same thing and that it’s nice to know that there’s somebody else out there who shares their feelings. Somebody else who has experienced the judgements that they are currently going through. And that’s what this journey of mine is all about. To make others feel like it’s okay to live outside of the box. To be different. To speak your mind. To do what you’ve always wanted to do and stop allowing others to put limitations on your dreams.

It’s ironic, the people who I am receiving criticism from isn’t from whom I thought I would receive it from. I’ve been told that I have poor spelling, that I have improper grammar. That my posts are a bit too “intense”, that I could be “insulting” people. I am getting suggestions on how to make one of my posts less “harsh”. How I should make a comment in one of my posts that “I have the opportunity and the plan to get a job.” (clearly, they did not get the message that I cannot get a job here). They say that I should make this comment because I am somehow delivering the message to people who don’t give up their jobs that they don’t value their family. That, my lovelies, is not my message at all and I hardly believe that this is the message that I am spreading.

I am just as much a fan of the working Mom who works 80 hours a week, takes their kids to soccer practice, puts dinner on the table as the next guy. I am a huge supporter of Sheryl Sandberg and would love to have dinner with her one day. I am just as much of a fan of a woman who chooses her career above all else. By no means am I suggesting that if you are a working Mom that you don’t put your children or husband first. In fact, I applaud you as I don’t know how you do it. I am sharing our story, our circumstances, the choices that we have made as a couple. And I am simply asking to hold all judgement for the choices that John and I have made.

I received this from a successful business person in response to my latest post:

“it warms my heart to see how things have turned out for you guys. I admire your strength and positive outlook on things. Your ability to charge into any situation and not just make the best of it, but turn it into something spectacular sets you apart from most. Anyways, I just wanted to say you give me hope and strength in knowing that being true to yourself and the things that are important to you are worth it through and through! Thanks for being someone that I look up to, even though you may not have known it.”

So, to my closet followers and all those who have also publicly sent me incredibly sweet, supportive and loving messages, I once again thank you. Because you are what makes me feel like maybe my words are worthy of being told.

Enjoy Life,
L


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Why I Gave Up the 8:00 to 5:00 Corporate Career

I had no idea how many people were interested in my career, my job, my 8 to 5 until I gave it up. I quit. Gave my two weeks. Totally doneski!

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I gave up my corporate career at one of the most incredible companies to work for in not only the city, not only the country, but the CONTINENT! A company who was a regular winner of all kinds of awards. What kind of awards you ask? Oh you know, the kind that you would kill for your employer to win such as:

– Canada’s Top 100 Employers (a winner of this award for over decade)
– Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
– Alberta’s Top 65 Employers
– The 2013 Achievers US Most Engaged Workplaces

And I left. Did I have another job in place? Nope. I know what you’re thinking… and no, I am not some spoiled fund baby, nor am I lazy, “new age”, or “one of those…”. Nope, not any of those at all in fact. I have always been ambitious, tend to bite off more than I can chew, and I have the highest level professional designations that you can obtain in my field.

What I am, is a loving wife who has always made it loud and clear that my family is first. It’s funny, TONS of people say it, but I’m uncertain how many people actually mean it. I am actually walking the walk… and I’m getting super judged for it. However, that’s okay, I’m walking side by side with the love of my life and I could not be happier.

And no, I did not come from some slack job where “I just don’t get it”. I came from a real career where I was surrounded by people who were glued to their phones during meetings, who were glued to their phones when they finally went home late at night, glued to their phones on their weekends. It’s absolutely incredible how many people will check their email first thing in the morning, prior to making their children breakfast or making sure they are ready for school. Check their phones while on vacation and find a local Starbucks in some far away island just to make sure that they can connect to Wifi to check their emails. Am I bashing those people? No. In fact, I likely would have become one of those people if we didn’t move to the US.

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Which brings me to why I quit my above average salary job. My husband is the most incredible man that I could ever dream up, and I am grateful every single day that I am able to call him my husband. My other half, my better half. My husband, John, was offered an opportunity of a lifetime to move to the US for his career. To start with a new employer, a new company, a new area of business. Simply put, John is a genius. Now, I’m sure as he is reading this, his face is the colour of a lobster, because you see, John is very, very humble about his career and his intelligence. I am so incredibly proud of how hard this man works and how far his hard work has taken him and I am that proud wife who occasionally shouts this from the rooftop, much to his absolute embarrassment.

I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!

I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!

Moving to the US meant that our lives would change forever. Even if his visa is only good for three years, those three years would impact the rest of our lives. As soon as John started getting these incredible opportunities dropped at his feet, I encouraged him to at least see what these opportunities would look like. He was hesitant at first, but after he talked to the first person, neither of us could stop dreaming of ‘what could be’. We knew things would be different, we knew that we would have to sell our 2,500+ square foot home and live in an apartment, we knew that we’d be kissing my sweet pension and benefits ‘bye bye’, we knew that our five year plan would be taking a real detour, but you know what? That’s okay. Isn’t life about living after all?

So we decided to go for it, fully aware that I would not be able to have a career in the US. I tried to see if my employer would allow me to work from Chicago, but the reality is is that it’s simply easier for them to replace me in Calgary. So they did. You see, a Canadian is unable to simply drive across the border and start looking for jobs as if they were still in the same country. The simplest way for a Canadian to work in the US is that you have to be on a list of professions through the NAFTA agreement. It is a privilege, an opportunity quite rare for a Canadian to work in the US.

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It’s really quite complicated and I will spare all the boring details of why I am unable to work in the US. The main reason behind is is that the unemployment rate is SO high in the US that I would be taking a job from a capable American. I would be thieving a job from right under the country’s own nose. Ridiculous as it seems, I can’t even work at a coffee shop or book store. I. Cannot. Work. Anywhere. Really!

When people found out that we were moving and that I wouldn’t be able to work, there was so much judgement. People can’t wrap their brain around that thought. Some hide it better from others, but I felt each and every single one of those eye rolls and smirky faces. Many don’t understand the simple fact that I am unable to work. Suddenly, mostly everybody who we encounter has plenty of career advice and has taken such a keen interest in my career. Few even knew that I obtained my Fellowship, hell few even KNEW WHAT I DID AT WORK (yes, I’m partially to blame for that as I do not like talking about myself.. strange that I’ve started I blog, isn’t it?!) Yet, they feel entitled to offer career advice. Thanks.  (Let me be clear that there were a select few who were very supportive and encouraging from the get go, and I’d like to genuinely thank you… you know who you are)

John or I are often asked why I don’t change my career and become a profession on the NAFTA list… well there are a few reasons in fact:

1) I don’t have any desire to be an Astronaut
2) Neither of us have any desire to fund my non-dream of becoming an Astronaut and pay the foreign tuition premium
3) We both knew that I wouldn’t be able to work, we decided to come here anyhow and WE ARE HAPPY! Happier than we could have imagined. We made this decision together, we stand by this decision together, so all those who want us to make another decision… sorry, not going to happen. Unless you would like to fund my non-dream of becoming an Astronaut, then maybe I’ll consider it.

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Both John or I will get comments such as:

“what is she going to do..?!”
“she’s going to be so bored!”
“she has to work… she just has to work”
“she’s using you for your money”
“she’s going to go stir crazy”
“she could be a nanny”

…. and you know what, neither of us have had the balls to stand up to these comments yet, but I am going to start.  I am not the nanny type – I would never nanny in Canada, so why would I start here? And I’ll answer those questions of “what do you do all day” in another post… because I am actually quite fun and my adventures deserve a post of their own. 🙂

Am I gold digger? No. I was the one who was the more diligent investor in our early relationship. If I were a gold digger, I would go after a man who doesn’t keep a spreadsheet  of our finances. But I love my spreadsheet keeping man. I love him more than all of the dolla bills in the world. Sure, my husband’s new job pays substantially more than his old one, but we are still a married couple on one income. Neither of us feel like it is “his money” and he has made it very clear to me from the start to never feel that way. And I don’t.

So although I agree that it is strange for a young wife without children to not have a job, it does not allow you to judge me, my husband, or OUR decision. Maybe what some people don’t understand is that I value my family over money. I value my family over my career. I value my husband becoming the best that he can be and achieving his dreams. I get more validation by being told by our doorman that I’m a nice person than by receiving a 20% bonus. And if that means living on one income, so be it.

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In this feminist whirlwind that we are living in, where “women are competing in a man’s world”, where “women are taking a backseat to men”, where I hear whispers of “she’ll never have it all”…. well, you know what? I already do have it all.

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Maybe I will work again one day. Maybe I won’t. Maybe our journey will take us to places we never would have expected. But, I know that no matter where we go, we will be together, we will be happy and we will always do what is best for our family no matter what that means.

On our wedding day, my husband and I didn’t have a conversation about writing our vows. It was just assumed that we would. When I wrote my vows, I put a lot of heart and thought into them. I knew that when I was going to look my husband in the eye at the altar, I was going to mean each and every single word I was saying and that I would forever stand by my vows. Below, I will share with you part of those vows that I said to my Husband on our special day:

“I vow to be by your side through whatever life may bring us and I will be honored to experience life with you side by side. As long as I have you next to me, I will know nothing but pure bliss and true love. Today and everyday, I give you my hand, my heart and my love.”

My Everything

My Everything

And that, my dear lovelies, is why I gave up my corporate career.

Thank you for reading. A “share” or “follow” is the biggest compliment of all and I appreciate each and every single one of them.

Enjoy Life,
L