Fatass Fabulous

by MrsFatass on October 27, 2014

Thing One was kind of a sick kid. He was happy and smiling and full of energy, but it was always sort of one thing after another. Rashes. Belly aches. Colds and ear infections. Right around his first birthday we determined he was lactose intolerant (he has since grown out of that). Seasonal allergies. Asthma. Breathing treatments and tubes and tonsils out and lawd amighty the amount of medicine that traveled through his little body the first 5 or 6 years of his life just makes me cringe.

He’s healthy now and not taking daily meds for anything anymore except Claritin during his worse allergy season and seems no worse for the wear I suppose. But I think a lot about all those chemicals and wonder what I could have done to heal him more naturally. I’d always been part hippie. I recycled long before it was a matter of taking it to the curb. I shunned perfumes and lotions for oils and sticks of pure cocoa butter. I dyed my hair with henna and toyed with vegetarianism. But once I had children, it wasn’t a game anymore. I really began to get serious about my hippie-ness. (What? That’s a word).

When I began looking for alternatives to grocery store cows milk for him to drink I found myself in this little organic co-op. This was 11 years ago. There was no Trader Joes or Whole Foods nearby, I was only just starting to see some organic baby food on the shelves, and could occasionally find soy milk in the regular grocery store. This little co-op was one of those tiny, funny smelling stores and I didn’t really know how it all worked and I walked in the first time, overwhelmed with first time mom craziness coursing through my veins, just sure I needed to overhaul my entire lifestyle in order to raise this baby properly. I showed up armed and ready to change The Fatass’s. Then of course I got sticker shock, and decided perhaps it best to prioritize and handle the eradication of harmful ingredients one item at a time.

Aside from being a wonderful spot to purchase organic meats, to find a cow-share program so I could get raw milk for my lactose intolerant boy, and always find a little something special on the shelves, the aisle I loved the most was along the back wall. Books. Books and books. Cookbooks and nutrition books and holistic healing books and essential oils books. There was a comfy chair at the end of the aisle, and on the days Thing One would fall asleep in his little baby bucket on the drive out there, I’d tiptoe him into the store, sit him next to the chair, and read for an hour. I browsed and I bought and I just loved reading about all the different, sort of non-mainstream things I wanted to do to keep my family healthy if only I had the (insert thing here: Money. Time. Confidence.)

It takes a certain kind of swagger to go against the grain, especially where babies are concerned. I remember being shy about discussing the raw milk we bought every week. Or the eggs fresh out of the chicken. I drove an hour each way for those items once a week and it kind of embarrassed me to talk about it. Like I always had to preface a conversation with “I know it probably sounds weird to you, but…” I convinced my mom to let me help on Thanksgiving by doing one of the turkeys and quietly ordered it from this store, and being that it was an organic bird it was teeny and I awkwardly defended the dang little thing. But it was delish and my family ate it up.

Now 11 years later, with a second child and dogs and life lessons and more and more information on what the stuff in our food (or hygiene items, or cleaning products, or medications, etc.) actually IS, I am more focused than ever on taking care of my family the best way I know how. And my confidence grows all the time.

Recently I gave my bathroom an overhaul, taking out the chemical laden shampoos and conditioners and lotions and deodorants and replaced them with natural, mostly homemade alternatives, and the heart of many of these products are Young Living Essential Oils. I’ve pulled out the dusty books from the little co-op (and loaded up my Kindle with new ones) and talked Samantha into taking another journey with me, and we very excitedly announce that Trio Fitness will now begin featuring Young Living Oils and Products at the studio. We have a lot of different ways we will share the information and the product line, the simplest of which is that we will be changing the soaps we use in the bathroom, and we’ll be adding a diffuser to the studio. We are going to begin making little changes, one at a time, and inviting you to learn and try and explore along with us.

Sam has also graciously allowed me to share some of the products I make at home using the oils with our members at the studio. I’ve done some different deodorants, made some products for the puppies, and also a room freshener with Vodka as a base (hiccup), but we decided in November to feature lip balms and lotion bars. If you’re local, you’ll be able to stop in and purchase them! And if you’re not local and are interested in trying some of MrsFatass’s concoctions, we’ll make that opportunity available here too. More to come on that…

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about Young Living or the power of essential oils, or if you are interested in making a purchase, we’d love it if you’d make it with us! Explore our website and of course contact me with all of your questions. You can shop through my website at any time, or if you’re here in town and want to save a couple bucks on shipping, I’ll do a bulk order once a month (I think the 15th is a good round number, don’t you? The 15th of the month). Some of my friends who are much smarter than I am gave me a list of some great books to guide you. I plan to talk about them down the road but if you are interested now just shoot me an email.

I’ve written here for 5 years about the ups and downs of weight loss and motherhood and business and sharting. I’m excited to breathe some new life into One Girl’s Journey from Fatass to Fabulous! Because it is indeed a journey, and we are indeed FABULOUS. And also when I post the video of my first experience making lip balm you can bet your sweet patootie it will be hilarious.

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the love of a tribe

by MrsFatass on September 6, 2014

linkup

Since my 18 hour Fitbloggin’ experience of ’14, I’ve been trying to author a follow up to the FitBlogger Tough Love session Steve and I led. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts and your follow up posts, and I am touched by the number of people who have come and checked in on me too. I haven’t written a whole lot since coming back from my whirlwind tour, mostly because, well, I just don’t know what to say.

I did what I said I’d do. I went to the doctor. I spilled my guts. I sat in front of this attractive thin young athletic looking woman and talked about how I don’t know why I’ve gained so much weight. I talked about tracking and macros and cross training and OWNING MY OWN FITNESS STUDIO and did my best to be heard. She ordered the thyroid test. But then she told me to check out Weight Watchers, too.

So the test revealed nothing and I have no follow up plans other than to not rejoin Weight Watchers.

Last May I got a new fitness certification for a program called R.I.P.P.E.D. It’s an athletic based workout that I fell in love with because it challenged me and because I could meet those challenges and really push myself. I also loved it because there is a nutrition piece. All summer I worked with a total of 30 or so people in camps, sweating through super fun workouts and sharing menu plans and over the course of the summer over 70 pounds were lost.

By all of them.

But not me.

I’ve done lots of other badass things this summer. I’ve worked hard on strength. I can see new sculpt in my thighs and my shoulders that I absolutely love to look at. My flexibility is a million times better than the weekend I spent in BodyFlow training. And so is my balance. I’m so much more grounded.

Emotionally too. This time of year is usually when I write about noticing a late summer resurgence in the garden, which is glaringly noticeable to me because September is when I’m doing the opposite. I’m usually retreating into the downside of my personal anxiety/depression cycle. But not so much this year. This year I feel pretty good. I grabbed getting treated by the balls. Did the therapy and the work. And for the first fall in a few years, I don’t feel defined by a symptom.

I know I’m more than a number on a tag on the back of my clothes. I don’t need anyone to tell me this. I’ve been posting selfies of me wearing a bikini in this body long before Shape Magazine got judgy. I’ve been eating clean long before Mamavation became our food watchdog. I’ve consistently been working out in my DIScomfort zone since I started this rag in 2009. None of that is going to change.

I’m still swinging.

And thanks to the beautiful Stephanie of Athlete at Heart, I’m snapping myself out of my writing rut and rejoining the ranks of all of you that I so desperately needed to soak up during my Fitbloggin’ drive by in Savannah. Her suggestion to do a Weekly Workout Linkup was just what I needed to put myself back in touch with my tribe.

This is a picture of what the life of a studio owner looks like:

calendar

During weeks where I teach my normal schedule plus our FitCamp, I’m on the platform about 11 times a week, in addition to the work it takes to market and run the studio. These aren’t MY workouts necessarily. These are the workouts I lead for our members. As an instructor I get sweaty and burn calories and do things similarly to students, but my focus isn’t on me, it’s on them. It’s on demonstrating levels and coaching form and moving around the room making sure everyone else is working at their peak. I may burn as many or sometimes more calories than a student, but it’s more in coaching energy than pushing my own. So to list them in my workout roundup seems odd without giving them an asterisk or an explanation. Because, while they are periods of time where I do move and burn and sweat, those are the workouts I do for my job. They don’t really belong to me.

I haven’t taken a lot of time to do workouts for just ME this past week. My ME time has been spent practicing new tracks for – you guessed it – work. And so I don’t have a lot to report for my first linkup.

I spent an hour working with a weighted hoop. FXP Fitness is coming to trio, and they sent me an amazing goodie box of the materials I’ll be using when I become licensed to teach. It’s a blend of disciplines – barre, yoga and pilates, using a weighted hoop as a prop – that is low impact on my almost 41 year old, over worked and over stressed body. I love it and am planning to do more.
I also took a new class at trio. A blend of Insanity and Power Yoga. I did it twice. And it was an amazing challenge. I forget sometimes how much I love being the student.

And I’m thinking today is a good day for a bike ride. One without dogs or children. One where I come home drenched in a sweat.
So thank you to all of you who have checked in with me since June. I appreciate the love of my tribe more than you could ever know.

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five days

by MrsFatass on August 1, 2014

It was a week ago that we packed up the van and headed to Greenville to audition for Shark Tank.

By the time we got on the road, I was already exhausted. We only found out about the audition maybe four days ahead of time. And it took another day or so to make the decision to go. So while some contestants take weeks to prepare their pitch, we took about 60 hours, minus time for our jobs, families, and a few minutes of sleep. Seriously, you guys?  One contestant watched every single episode of the show, wrote down every single question one of the sharks asked an entrepreneur, and then wrote two answers of his own to each one of those questions. Did he get a deal? Yep, I believe so. But seriously, that is a mountain of work.

Me? Well, I did a mini prep. I watched a ton of episodes of the show, and I analyzed our business. I spent hours pulling numbers and running reports and then kind of playing along with the show, listening to the questions and answering them myself. I did as much as I could fit in during those few days.

I did the application for both of us too. Holy crapballs, was that a task. Not because it was hard, but just because it was comprehensive. We only had one minute to pitch, so there is no real way to give a lot of backstory of the business there. The application, though, was all about the backstory. What we did leading up to the creation of the business, our mission and goals, our successes and our roadbumps. So I poured my heart into those pages, the good, bad and ugly, and between our partner issue and the instructor issue, I tried to strike a balance between not hiding something that would eventually come up should we advance, and not sounding like a total idiot for getting into business with someone who was so clearly, uh, not a businessperson.

So by Thursday morning I really felt like I’d done all I could do. I was up by 4 because I had to teach at 5:30, and Sam and I planned just to drive over sweaty as soon as class was over, just to get in line as soon as we could. They would guarantee a pitch to the first 500 in line, and we had no idea if there would be 100 people there or 1000 people. So as soon as we finished the last stretch in R.I.P.P.E.D., we grabbed The Things and headed to Greenville, practicing our pitch all along the way.

Photo Jul 24, 6 50 58 AM

As it turns out, it wasn’t swamped with people. They would start handing out wristbands at 9:00, and when we arrived around 7:45, even though the line went down a block and around a corner, we felt pretty sure we were sure to get one.

Photo Jul 24, 7 57 35 AM

We settled in on the sidewalk. Lots of people brought folding chairs, but we sat on a curb. And we began chatting with the people around us. In front of us, a man pitching his motorcross company. Behind us, some tech geeky NC State grads. I don’t have pics, but they were hippie fabulous in line, but later we would do a double take when the Birkenstock wearing, stubble sporting, DUDE saying guy showed back up in a suit. It was bright and sunny and hot and we were glad we hadn’t done any primping first because we were trying not to melt. Every now and again a casting person would walk through the line, one of them had a camera guy in tow, and they were randomly choosing one of us to do a quick interview with. Maybe the season starts with a clip show? I don’t know. She spoke to me for a couple of minutes, but never told the guy with the camera to start filming. I personally think that 2 fat chicks selling fitness is great television, but for just a second Sam and I were nervous about being the equivalent of the people on the American Idol audition episodes who can’t sing. I mean, we’re fabulous and confident and know we rock, but we are also human, and every now and again that self-doubt creeps in. The key, however, isn’t in pretending like those doubts don’t happen. The key is in shaking them off and moving forward anyway.

And then this happened.

Photo Jul 24, 9 25 41 AM

We only got one band, and Sam graciously let me be the one to wear it. SO EXCITING! Then the casting people came back through the line and gave us a time to come back. And we had a couple of hours to just go hang and relax.

We walked into this little café that was full of books and big comfy chairs. We got drinks and settled in to decide whether or not we were going to be nervous.

Photo Jul 24, 11 29 56 AMPhoto Jul 24, 11 29 52 AM

I decided I wasn’t going to be. Because at this point, the hard part was over. All the unknown. We’d done the research, we’d found our way, we got our wristband. At this point all we had to do was take a breath and say our lines. THAT is my comfort zone. All the other stuff? Not so much. So we found a quiet corner of the café and Sam and I practiced pitching

Photo Jul 24, 10 52 52 AM
to the practice sharks.

Photo Jul 24, 10 54 55 AM

And before we knew it, it was time to go back. All that hot, sunny weather had turned dark and rainy, but it let up just long enough for us to get back to the audition site and get under an awning. We hung out and talked in line for a while until it was time to go back in. We followed the signs

Photo Jul 24, 12 32 51 PM

to the Wading Room. Get it? Wading room? All of the signage stuck with the theme. In the Wading room was the Sand Bar, a place to grab a refreshment. And then we sat and listened to the head of casting tell us what was going to happen next.

Photo Jul 24, 12 35 02 PM

We would listen for our number, and then be taken behind the curtain to the pitch room. And the only piece of information any of us really wanted to know: If they wanted us to advance, they would call us in 5 days.

So, while we waited our turn, more photo ops with the cool Shark Tank signs!

Photo Jul 24, 12 46 39 PM

The kids said they wanted to come behind the curtain with us, so when our number was called we lined up together. It was a big room with 5 or so tables, and it was like waiting in line at Marshalls. As one entrepreneur finished up and exited, the next one was directed to the table.

Photo Jul 24, 1 03 00 PM

Now here’s where I admit that there was one table I didn’t want. One casting person that I didn’t get a great vibe from earlier. And of course that’s the table we were ushered to. But whatever. I handed Thing One my phone to snap pictures while we talked. The woman took our applications and turned one over to take notes on the back. She said to start whenever we were ready. So Sam and I looked at each other, took a breath, and got started.

Photo Jul 24, 1 11 25 PM

When we finished we got three follow up questions. Pretty standard ones. One about our revenue to date, one about our projected revenue through the end of the year, and one about what we plan to do with the money. Easy enough. We answered, she thanked us, and that was it.

Photo Jul 24, 1 10 34 PM

We took one more photo with the big sign. Those smiles are the smiles of pride. And relief. And exhaustion.

Photo Jul 24, 1 14 33 PM

We walked back to the car, and within minutes The Things were sound asleep.

Photo Jul 24, 1 53 36 PM

Well, we’ve passed the five day mark and the phone never rang. It would appear that the Shark Tank team took a pass on the awesomeness that is trio fitness.

That’s okay, though. Honestly, I feel really good about the whole experience. It is a pretty great thing to be a rock star in your kids eyes. He was right there with me every step of the way, watching all the episodes of the show with me, asking me questions, reading the application, and standing by our side for the actual audition. I think that it was good for him to see me in that situation, getting prepared, doing the legwork, and just jumping in to the day having absolutely no idea what was going to happen at any given moment. It was good for him to see me nervous and outside of my comfort zone, but taking a shot anyway. He’s going to middle school in a few weeks, and he’s not happy about it because of course ALL of his friends are going to a different one, so he’s scared and anxious. But he’s got to just do it anyway. He’s got to take his own swing at something, so maybe we can use Shark Tank as our example of just taking a breath and jumping in.

Photo Jul 28, 8 21 47 PM

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we’re gonna need a bigger boat

by MrsFatass on July 21, 2014

shark-tank

Shark Tank is kind of a hot topic in the Fatass family these days. Thing One is a fan. He and my dad have watched about a zillion episodes together, and then he always comes back to me to try to figure out how to get trio fitness in front of the sharks. You know how you play that game after you buy a lottery ticket? The whole what would we do with all that money if we really won game? Well, my boy and I have spent anywhere from ten thousand to a hundred thousand, and done everything from expanded into the space next door to building a trio on the moon. It has been fun to both strategize and daydream with my boy.

He’s got big dreams too. And even at eleven years old, he does a lot to work for them. He got a taste of real success this summer at basketball camp when he got his first trophy for actually WINNING instead of one for just PARTICIPATING. And now he’s like a shark smelling blood. You always hear the sound of the basketball outside. He works out at trio nearly every day. He talks about nutrition now, and while sometimes he still chooses the treat or wants the breakfast sandwich from Bojangles, more often than not he thinks about food as the way to fuel his physical goals. I don’t know if he’ll ever be in the NBA, but right now I’m watching him make a plan and follow a path to the next basketball season instead of just sitting back and expecting to play well simply because he loves the game. He’s not afraid of work or competition.

And he comes by that honestly.

Relentless. Aggressive. Obsessed. Laser focused. Competitive. All of these words have been used to describe me in one way or another throughout the trio fitness years. And more often in a bad way than a good one. I make no apology for being driven and for wanting to make trio into a profitable business. There are people who do what I do who make profitability a bad word. But it takes nothing away from the love I have for our members and for the awesome and amazing and bad ass things that happen in that studio every day for me to want to grow and expand and make a comfortable living at the same time I’m coaching people to healthier lifestyles. I mean, isn’t that when the magic happens? When you can marry your passion and a way to make a living?

When the boy and I sit back and talk about what we’d do with an investor, he always finishes with “you should try to get on that show, Mom. You can handle those guys.” And it kind of chokes me up. When your kid is 4, they think you can do anything. But Thing One is now 11, inching toward that age where he wants to be independent of me, so for him to still have this belief that his mom is unstoppable is really kind of major. So when we were driving down the road over the weekend and heard on the radio that Shark Tank is in NC this week holding an open casting, there was really only one thing to do. . .

I texted Samantha and said take the day off. We’ve gotta go jump in the tank.

We don’t have a lot of time to prepare and we may not have all the answers and holy crapballs I don’t even know if we’ll get there early enough to get one of the 500 interview slots. But what I do have is a kid who cracked a grin from ear to ear when I told him about the call, who has absolute faith in us.

So we’re going to take a shot.

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#justtrollin

by MrsFatass on July 3, 2014

Tough love session
Technically this was my fifth Fitbloggin,  but I’m not sure it actually counts. It was a drive-by attendance. I wasn’t in the group shot OR the 5 year attendee shot. While I was thrilled to make it for the Ignite session, I didn’t get to do a workout or participate in another session other than the ones I had the privilege of leading. And some of you know the twists and turns it took for me to get there – my usual plan was struck down due to work, so I retooled in order to be able to honor my commitments and still get to see my friends. But it was hard to let it go on for the fifth time while I was at work, getting texts from my friends who were conferencing. But whatever. I’ve said a hundred times – as long as there is a Fitbloggin’, I will be there. This conference has my loyalty and my heart. And let’s be honest, it is a huge reason why I don’t have to pay outrageous therapy bills. So if one year had to be a drive-by, so be it.

But it was truly a different experience for me. I had to cram the entire experience into 20 hours, and  I just couldn’t completely immerse myself in it. Half of my brain was still on work; our trio 800 number rings to my personal phone, so I still answered every inquiry and handled several Facebook PMs/email messages too. I was totally still working. And also? I brought a date. At some point after it was decided that I would be the one to stay back and run the studio this year, it opened up some time during the much-slower holiday week following the conference for me to help get my kids back and forth from my parent’s house in Florida. Part of that meant bringing my daughter to the conference. Which, while wonderful, did make for a very different Fitbloggin’ for MrsFatass.

I coasted into Savannah on fumes. For the fifth time I rolled in both needing my people AND needing to be needed by my people. The free hugs get a lot of press, and for being a person with intimacy issues, I am still able to handle those with aplomb. But what really makes the experience for me are those stolen conversations in tiny pockets of the hotel, where our handles melt away, and MrsFatass and DubyaWife and 265andFalling and MizFit and Roni’s Mom and I’m a Drama Mama and YummySushiPJs and KyraTX and Mission Meltdown and FitDawn and GlamNellie and NachoMama become Sue and Christine and Steve and Carla and Gerri and Thea and Heather and Kirsten and Dre and Dawn and Nelle and Margo. (There are so many more, but I couldn’t possibly list everyone) (but I know you get the point) (and yes I know that Thea and Steve have changed their blog names). I love those moments where the blogs disappear and we are really all just old friends. Or new friends with old history.

I look back over the things I’ve gone through with all of you Fitbloggers over the last five years. You all helped me get off of the floah and get help for my anxiety. And you wouldn’t let me just pop the pills; you held me accountable for the therapy too. You helped me form a new career, disallowing any “I’m too fat to do this” and pushed me way beyond Zumba teacher. You all made me a fitness professional. You wouldn’t let me eat another can of beans standing over the sink. You got in my pants. You quietly loved me even when you didn’t know exactly what was going on. And you freaking put on your bikinis!!

I don’t know how I would have made it through some of those experiences without you.

But it’s time to call myself out on a few things.

  1. It is impossible to hide the weight I have steadily put on over the last year. Maybe a little longer than a year. I don’t know for how long or exactly how much but it is at least 20 pounds in the wrong direction. I weigh more now than I did when I delivered my children.
  2. I don’t really know why I’m gaining weight.
  3. I am embarrassed to say that. There are so many people who want a new body without doing the work, and I swear that person is not me. I am not hiding a box of ho hos in my closet. I am not secretly making taco bell runs. I have all but given up sugar, soda, fast food, and there are rarely any processed foods in my pantry or freezer. I don’t eat cheese, for Pete’s sake. NO CHEESE! And in those moments when I make the choice to eat too much, or to eat something bad for me, I don’t lie about it or pretend it’s okay because I stay in my calorie range or turn a bad meal into a bad month. I don’t do that anymore. I am different now. Ask my friends – I have even been seen taking cucumber slices to a Mexican restaurant so I won’t eat the chips!
  4. But I am still gaining. And I fear that I’ll go to a doctor who won’t believe me, who will just hand me some bland “diet plan”, or who will assume I don’t know about healthy eating, healthy living, or weight loss. Or who will think I’m lying.
  5. I am worried about changing up medications and sacrificing the handling of My Crazy for being able to lose weight again.
  6. I love being strong. I love having endurance and being able to do mud runs and working out every day. My self-confidence is real. But I hate wearing regular clothes because none of mine fit. And I am fricking tired of being the fat fitness instructor. I want my body to reflect my work.
  7. When I sit on my bed with my laptop, my chin roll lays on the front of my neck, and it gets sweaty. And I can no longer see what I’m doing when I’m shaving my bikini area. I get lower back pain when I vacuum or work over my garden pots. None of these things makes me happy.

So yeah. There’s that.

But, fear isn’t a reason to let this take me back into the dark. So. Here is what I’m going to do.

I’m going to schedule my physical. I will call on Monday.

I’m going to make this a blog again. Holy crapballs I’ve missed writing with you guys. I’ve shied away because there are so many daily life people who come here now and so for a long time I felt like I couldn’t write with the same freedom that I once did. But you know what? This was my blog and you were my people first. So I’m just going to have to figure this out.

I’m going to set my MFP diary back to private. I have the worst case of diary anxiety you have ever seen. It’s irrational, but that’s kind of what anxiety is all based in, right? Irrationality? So yeah. It hasn’t really served me well since making it public a while back because it lost its honesty. So. I’m changing it back.

I’m going to keep doing the hard work. Even though I don’t have answers yet and I’m teetering on the brink of frustration and depression about my weight, I’m not going to give up my efforts. I will keep tracking, keep writing, keep moving, and keep trying to look at life through a positive lens. Because even if I had some totally rare disease that would make it impossible for me to ever lose another ounce, I’m not going to stop moving. I’m not going to curl up and die.

And next year when it’s my turn to be in Denver from beginning to end, I’m going to be one thankful bitch.

* This post was inspired by the session Fitblogger Tough Love, which encouraged us to be willing to both give AND receive more honest, accountable feedback as we pursue our health and fitness goals. Please join us in using the hashtag #JustTrollin or #TribeLove to highlight a comment or post as coming from a place of Fitblogger Tough Love (FTL?). Interested in catching what you missed at the session? Read the live blog summary HERE.

{ 15 comments }

silent ‘S’

by MrsFatass on June 23, 2014

apologyThis post has been a long time coming.

It’s been stirring around in my head and my heart since September 19, 2013 at 6:42AM when I opened the email that changed the face of my business – and the course of my life – all wrapped up with the phrase “I’m sorry for the inconvenience I am causing you guys.”

Inconvenience. I sat and blinked at that word. Really? She thought we would be inconvenienced? To me, it’s inconvenient to have an itch on the bottom of your foot when you already laced up your sneakers. It’s inconvenient to have to take a detour when you’re already running ten minutes late for work. But waking up one morning to find that the partner in your business, co-signer of your two year lease, one third of both the financial responsibility and manpower, says she’s no longer coming to work? Is way more than an inconvenience.

Even so, we never had a problem with her desire to leave. Owning a business is hard, and she obviously didn’t have skin thick enough. If she was miserable or unsupported or depressed or whatever she may have been, Sam and I were happy to negotiate an end to our partnership. The issue has never been personal; our business plan was built on the work and support of three partners. Just like you have at some point signed a lease on an apartment with roommates that committed you to a contribution of the total amount due every month, so has she personally guaranteed a portion of our lease and debts at trio. If one day you moved out, and didn’t leave a check for your share of what was left on the lease, you leave the other roommates vulnerable, financially burdened, and mentally taxed.

That’s the issue.

So her use of the word ‘inconvenience’ was a slap in the face.

I would love to make a joke here. Because it honestly is laughable that someone would think they could walk away from this kind of commitment expecting that her name just be erased. But that is what has happened, and even I can’t seem to find the humor in it. Not yet.

So, why do I put all of this out here now?

Because I’m accepting her apology.

Not the one she insulted us with that day she sent the email. The apology I’m accepting here now is the apology I’m never going to get. The one that addresses her name calling, her actively promoting instructors/classes/events in direct competition with the business her name is still on, the one that somehow explains why the stress the business caused her life was more important than the stress the business caused mine. The one that shows us that she understands that walking out without compensating the business in any way for her departure wasn’t inconvenient, it was wrong. Morally and ethically wrong. That’s the apology I’m accepting. The one I’ll never hear.

I’m not stupid. I realize I am not going to hear it because she isn’t sorry at all. If she had any concern for MY lost hours of sleep, missed field trips or soccer games or most of Fitbloggin’ birthday parties, my mental health, my relationship with my husband, (insert all of Sam’s circumstances here, too), then she wouldn’t have bailed in the first place. And if she were the business person she led us to believe she was in the beginning, she’d understand that our desire to have her buy her way out of the lease and debt had nothing to do with lining our own pockets and everything to do with keeping the business healthy. Sam and I understand that in all reality, she is probably just going to ride out the term of our lease and continue to be off scot-free, never having to do anything to pay a dime of the debt she signed her name to. She’s going to be free of it all because of the hard work of me and Sam. And she’ll never thank us and she’ll never apologize.

But I accept the apology anyway. I must. I have to. I have to find some peace in this situation and even though she’s not doing a thing to provide it, I’m taking it anyway. I know who has the moral “right” here. Sam and I never bailed on each other, and we never bailed on our people. I’ve got her and she’s got me and together we’ve got amazing women who come through our door every day and do absolutely badass things. Seriously, every single day somebody does something they didn’t know they could do. Every day somebody says how comfortable they are in our studio. Every day somebody says thank you for being here. Every. Effing. Day. We’ve done mud runs together. Gone on vacations. Taken care of each other’s kids. Cried on each other’s shoulders. Celebrated each other’s success. Gotten stronger together every single day.

Dirty Girl 5K with my dirty girls
We just celebrated our one-year anniversary. We had a big party and a pig pickin’ and raised $1,000 for charity.

Our fund raiser was for a canine rescue organization, The Maggie Society
Nobody asked about her. Nobody mentioned her. If I had to guess, I would say most people didn’t even realize she wasn’t there, our third ‘partner’. The silent S.

But I realized it. I even took a moment to miss her. And that’s when I decided I had to write it down and let it go. And to just accept the apology that I’ll never hear her say. Because the true inconvenience isn’t her leaving, it’s in the time I waste waiting for her to do the right thing.

So, I accept. On behalf of me, Sam, and everyone, I accept.

The reason why I never dread going to work.

{ 11 comments }

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by MrsFatass on May 18, 2014

Dear Woman Who Just Hung Up On Me;

I hate that our conversation ended that way. I think that everybody has a superpower, and I’m pretty sure mine is an ability to smooth over just about any situation of conflict with diplomacy, good listening, and positivity. But our conversation this morning was like my kryptonite – because the only thing you wanted, the ONLY thing that would appease you was something that I just wasn’t willing to hand over.

You wanted to come to my studio and take a class for free.

I get it. I do. Who doesn’t like getting something for free? And you know what? Maybe it’s terrible to say this, but I do give classes away for free. I do it all the time. I love to be able to surprise somebody with a pass, or to invite friends to help me practice, or to help out a member who is having a tight month financially or whatever. So what was so different about our conversation? Why couldn’t I just acquiesce and give you the free classes you wanted so badly?

“It’s not like it costs you anything to let us come in for free.”

Blink. Blink blink.

That was the statement. You said it four times in the 15 or so minutes we were on the phone. And I think, I hope, I PRAY that what you meant was “I am pretty naive about your line of work, but it would seem that having 3 or 4 extra bodies in a class wouldn’t be that big of a deal. If I’m wrong, please clarify” but the way you said what you did was more like “If I keep pushing, you’ll eventually give me what I want.” And in this instance, even though I could have, I didn’t. I didn’t give you the class for free.

I heard your case. I understand that you have looked around our town for a certain kind of class to take at a time that fits your very busy life, for a price you can afford. And I understand it frustrates you that different instructors charge different amounts. I get that when you called me, you thought you were calling somebody else who was offering a deal this month, giving the class you are interested in away for free. And you know what? I even give you props for suggesting that I should “price match” the special that this other teacher is running. That was creative! You’re right – Walmart does this. Best Buy does this. Why don’t we?

I wish I could have made you understand.  

Most instructors decide what to charge based on a few factors – what they think their demographic can pay, what they feel their product is worth, plus a little bit of gut feeling. I can’t explain to you why some instructors give their services away, or charge significantly less that I do. But I can tell you why I charge what I do. And I can also say that at my company, we provide great value. Our instructors aren’t just teachers of a format – they are fitness professionals. Along with the licenses they hold in the classes you enjoy participating in, they also hold industry-recognized, professional certifications from accredited entities, and to receive these certifications they had to learn at the very least some basic anatomy, biology, and kinesiology, and most of all, SAFETY. And they have to pass written and practical exams to prove proficiency in these areas. To keep these certifications current they have to participate in continuing education every year, so their skills stay current, and so they stay knowledgeable about cutting edge trends in fitness. Some of our instructors dedicated over 200 hours of their lives to get training in the format they teach. Some of our instructors are also personal trainers. Some have done special study in nutrition. All of them keep their CPR skills current so they can help take care of you should something unthinkable happen.  And they all pay for these licenses, certifications, credentials, continuing education, and incidental expenses out of their own pockets. For that reason alone, for their effort and dedication and study, I would say that they are worth what we charge, and far more.

What’s great about fitness is that you can do it anywhere. It doesn’t take a fancy gym. But the truth is, part of our price is also based on the environment we created. The platform, the stereo, the equipment, the paint colors, the cleanliness – it’s all part of the experience we provide when you are our customer.

So, our price is our price. Even when it’s the first time you walk through the door.

I guess the bigger point (that we were never really able to address in our conversation) is this: with what other service or in what other industry do you get your first visit free? When you started going to your hairdresser, were you charged for your first cut and style? Do restaurants give away meals if it’s the first time you’re eating there?

What about at your job? Did you do your first day of work for free?

My guess is that you probably never thought of it that way. And being that we ended with you hanging up on me, you may never get the chance to see it from this point of view. But it’s okay. I’m going to keep doing what I do, and in all honesty I hope that you find the free class because the bottom line is, there is a reason why I chose this business. I am passionate about bringing people to healthier, more active, more fit lifestyles, and whether you come to me or go to somebody else, I’m here to cheer and encourage and support you all along the way.

Had we had the chance to finish the conversation, that’s what I would have wanted to say.

Thanks for calling,

MrsFatass

{ 6 comments }

March 26, 2014

face for radio

There are those weeks, you know? The best of times, the worst of times, when you are walking around feeling half nauseous, but you’re not sure if it’s because of the awesome things, the awful things, or the stomach bug that is attacking the kid’s school like a plague. It’s a split-personality kind of week. […]

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March 17, 2014

tough love

I’m back at MyFitnessPal. I’ve said for years that when I track, I lose. But I have just never made myself keep up with tracking. Usually it’s because of an off day. How does one even log 6 beers and a bag of Ruffles without feeling like a total loser? But I’ve been doing some […]

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February 4, 2014

#hashtagged

I’m writing this with The Biggest Loser finale playing in the background. This show is big news where I live right now. One of the contestants is local, and since being eliminated, he’s been working out at the gym where I worked before opening trio. I’ve met him. He is nice and personable and is […]

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