why i thrive

by MrsFatass on April 3, 2017


So, last week I began to use the Le-Vel Premium Supplements that many people know by the name Thrive.

Yeah, I know. Some of you have seen my posts and let me know you find it hard to believe. Me, too, because before I knew anything about it, I assumed it was just another MLM company preying on those of us looking to lose weight, promising some great result without having to do anything or change anything about our current lifestyle or habits. Just slap on this patch and your life will be perfect!

But over time I began to see other ‘fitness’ people posting about Thrive. Other trainers, other group fitness people, other athletes. And their messages weren’t all about “weight loss made easy!” which, come on, we all know it’s not. But it was focused on increased performance; more energy, more stamina, more endurance, more gains, better results. And, as a trainer AND team captain for our Spartan Race team, those messages made me take notice.

I am going to admit here that there was a period of time in the not too distant past when I laughed out loud with other people about THAT PATCH. But the people I was laughing with? Used supplements. Heck, I used supplements. If you’ve ever used a protein powder or bar, that’s a supplement. If you’ve ever gulped down a Gatorade after a workout? Supplement. Pre-workout energy drink? Supplement. Chocolate milk after a long run? Supplement. Multivitamin? Folic acid? Probiotic? Magnesium? Fish oil? Supplements.

You get my point.

So once I understood that Thrive wasn’t trying to “cure” anything, I was able to listen a little more closely. I have often used protein powders, bars and amino drinks, and I have lots of friends and clients who have, too. Then, last November, when I began to follow the Wheat Belly protocol, I added a whole shelf full of supplements to my medicine cabinet (magnesium, fish oil, kelp, Vitamin D, probiotics, prebiotics, tryptophan, and I think some B vitamins as well. What am I missing?) The protocol is strict, and while I felt better when I would get the pattern right, I was often forgetting them, not sure if they were with food or without, running out of them, etc and eventually they kind of fell by the wayside. It took more effort than what I was able to expend.

So. When I finally had a talk with someone about Thrive and the basic 3-step delivery system, my ears picked up on things like ‘easy to follow’, ‘once a day’, and purchase once a month all together, so you aren’t running out of things at different times.

The other thing I heard that I liked was that the supplements are intended to bridge various nutritional gaps, NOT to replace nutrition from food altogether. The capsule, the drink or the patch – NONE of them are intended as meal replacements. Healthy whole food is best; this system supports that notion.

So, I’ve been living out loud my experience using this line of supplements. Here’s what I like:

  • I like the fact that they are all from the same place so they all work together.
  • It is super easy to use every day.
  • It is not a stimulant-driven product. I feel an increase of energy, but NOT in a jittery way. I haven’t been reaching for my morning (or afternoon) cup of coffee, I haven’t had an afternoon crash, I haven’t fallen asleep sitting up in my chair, and I haven’t felt increased butterflies or anxiety in my chest while using this product. (Now, there IS caffeine in the system, but in amounts equivalent to the morning coffee and afternoon coffee or soda I would have prior to Thrive. People who consumed zero caffeine before trying Thrive may need to consider easing into the required dosage). (Also, I don’t know anyone who consumes zero caffeine).
  • Aside from the 3-step basic system, I like being able to use a pre-workout drink that is similar to one I used to love that helps me have the same energy with my evening training groups as I have with my morning training groups.
  • I like that, in almost every product in their Plus line, the ingredients correspond closely to supplements I’ve taken either with Wheat Belly or Venice Nutrition (the company that certified me as a diet coach), so I am pretty comfortable talking about why they are good or valuable or legit.
  • I like what I hear OTHER people say about it. Probably 75% of the people I know who use it say they have better quality sleep. That’s so huge. At least that many people I know say the increased energy has helped them get to the gym or do more active things. I don’t know anyone using it right now who say they aren’t experiencing the energy lift. I know several people who say that using Thrive has helped them do what they needed to do to lose weight. The buzz is good, and I like that.
  • I like that if you’re interested in the business opportunity associated with the product, there are no hefty join fees, and it’s super easy to earn enough credit for you to get your basic 3 step system for free month after month. And I like that if you’re not interested in the business opportunity, that’s fine too.

Weight loss just isn’t a factor for me right now. I want it to be, but time after time I am disappointed, and it’s all in the hands of my endocrinologist and the 12 vials of blood he’s testing to find out why I have steadily put on about 10+ pounds a year. But many people (Trophy Husband included) have been able to take that energy boost and roll it into better workouts, which, in turn, makes him want to make good food choices, and yes, he’s losing weight. The jerk. That said, you still have to pick a clean eating plan and stick to it. My grain free/keto drive has waned a bit lately; a few “cheat meals” have found their way back into my eating, and the basketball tournament and warm spring weather have helped me pick up a few beers. But, whatever. That’s MY problem, not Thrive’s problem. In all other ways, I am a person who is experiencing the benefits of the product in a very textbook way, exactly the way the company said I would. No jitters. Immediate improvement in my energy level (which was my main complaint). Regularity! Woo hoo!

What don’t I like?

Well, I’ll be honest. I don’t love that whole MLM thing. While I understand that direct selling is a great opportunity for people, somehow it still has a stigma with me. I’m a person who has been working in health and fitness for a long time. I have a lot of experience with a lot of different methods and I am SUPER PROTECTIVE of my platform. My “upline” in this company is very knowledgeable and very successful, and the opportunity to make money with Thrive is real. But for me, I had to put the brakes on some of that in the beginning; I do not want to make an empty promise to someone who trusts me, I’m not going to pressure someone into selling OR buying, and I kind of just prefer to be left alone to do my own thing because I’m NEVER going to look at a client or a customer in terms of what they need to buy or do to benefit ME, to build MY personal business, or help ME bonus. I prefer to help you buy what is best for YOU. My whole way of doing what I love is based on what I can do to benefit a client. You know? So if you ever decide to try Thrive as either a customer or a promoter with me, I will do everything I can do to help you succeed, but I’m not going to push anyone into anything.

The business model also utilizes lots of conference and 3-way calls. I don’t love that either. I mean, I’m cool with it if YOU want to call me or WE plan a 3-way, wink, but the idea that I’m supposed to put my friends, colleagues, contacts, clients…my people on calls with uplines and such is not a notion I love just yet.

It’s also taken more effort for me to find the information to learn about the products than it has to find the information about how to sell the products. I don’t love that.

Myy apprehensions all have a bit of a theme. I don’t want my network to feel like a giant dollar sign to me. But again, that’s MY issue, not Thrive’s issue.

Today is my 10th day on the product. I’m 100% staying with it for the full 8 weeks, and if I continue to feel the benefits, I’ll use it indefinitely. This post is called why i thrive, and right now I thrive because I can make it through my day without a nap. The fatigue I’ve been fighting the last couple of years has been ridiculous, and makes doing my job seem like an impossible task at times. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and until I can figure out how to turn this weight gain around, I’ll take gladly take daily energy in the meantime.

This week I am also incorporating a couple of the Plus products that are focused on increasing my results in the gym. Activate is a pre-workout supplement to help me have stamina for a workout, and Form is a post-workout recovery shot. With all of the heavy lifting, bodyweight work, and stop and start training I’m doing to be ready for Spartan, I’m super gains-focused, and feel good about adding these products.

And aside from all that, I am recommitting to getting the grains back out SEVEN days a week, not four or five. And recommitting to the low carb way of eating that makes me feel good.

If you’re interested in talking about it or learning more, whether you ultimately decide to try or not, feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll give you MY straight scoop. Or, if you’d rather browse on your own, you can set up your own free customer account. All it takes is your name and email – you don’t have to add any other personal information unless you decide to make a purchase.

And if this is not your thing, I get it. Just go out and do something GOOD for you!

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as time goes by

by MrsFatass on March 27, 2017

Well, I’m once again sitting here starting out another post with “well, it’s been a while.” It was my goal at the beginning of the year to write once a week. Then time passed, and my goal was once a month. Now, writing for the first time in the first quarter of 2017, I’m again wondering what purpose this space is serving in my life and my path. I’m still journaling, and doing a lot of bullet pointing. I still connect with lots of you on Facebook and Instagram. And with the podcast, Margo has given me a huge gift. I’m really enjoying our collaboration there. So, I haven’t disappeared from the scene. But I can’t ever seem to make myself take my post ideas and write them, when there are so many other ways to work them out.

Yet, I still can’t give up this space.

Part of me feels overwhelmed by the idea of playing catch-up here, but the other part of me says to just take my list of post titles that I’ve been scribbling in my notebook, and turn them into bullet points. And once we are caught up, maybe it won’t seem like such a chore to come here to write. So here goes.

  • Does this Wheat Belly make my butt look big? The last part of 2016 was about my last-ditch effort to heal myself. I was at my butt’s wit’s end about the pain I was living with, and all that resulted from my colonoscopy and follow up visits was zero about the underlying cause of the problem, and chemicals and surgery to manage the symptoms, that may or may not just keep coming back over and over again. I could write pages and pages about my WB experience, but this is a bullet point post, so I’ll keep it short. Removing grains and adding some supplements made me feel better almost instantly. Wheat Belly books gave me great ideas about how to get started with some ingredients new to me. I met some lovely people in the WB Detox forum that became my personal FB friends that I can talk to and exchange ideas with. Without reservation, I can recommend the WB books and basic tenants to anyone. The downside? While 95% of the Wheat Belly community is fantastic, the 5% that is not fantastic is really NOT FANTASTIC. The plan has a LOT of rules, and you are expected to follow ALL OF THEM 100%. Any deviation is considered a CHEAT, and I put that in all caps not because I’m dramatic, but because there are WB followers who are extremely passionate about REMAINING COMPLIANT. For me, being someone in the health/fitness/weight loss tribe, I look at this kind of extreme obedience to the program as it’s own version of disordered eating. I’m more of a “do the best you can with what you’ve got” kind of girl, and I refuse to assign moral value to food. Food is nutrition, food is fuel, and I refuse to allow myself one more day of self-hatred or guilt for a food choice. But there is a Wheat Belly militia that act as the muscle for Dr. Davis, who himself has a very positive and encouraging demeanor. So. My take is that the info is great, some principles really helped me, and if you can scroll past drama, then join the group, but the culture can be just too intense for me.

  • Save the drama for your mama…After a couple of years of, um, lots of intensity in my life, I have committed to dealing with the challenges as they come by trusting my own instinct. I have a very strong inner voice, but over the years have allowed it to be drowned out by forces around me because of insecurity, or lack of discipline, or fear, groupthink, or laziness. But at the end of certain situations, I would usually end up saying to myself “if you would have just paid attention to your gut, you wouldn’t be in this mess.” When I decided to step away from the studio and go out on my own, it set things in motion for me to trust my inner voice, without being guilted or manipulated otherwise. Now, big changes don’t happen overnight, and I certainly didn’t get everything right the first time. But that awareness was a start. And last year, as life was happening around me, and I was again leaning on my circle for support, that inner voice of mine was telling me that something wasn’t right. The way I was being encouraged to cope, the activities I was encouraged to partake in, the priorities I was encouraged to make, for many months just seemed, I don’t know, just off. And instead of coming apart about it, I stayed still. I took breaths. I listened. It can make you feel a little crazy, you know, feeling like things aren’t what they seem, and when nobody will give you honest answers, it can be kind of a make or break time for your sanity. But I trusted my gut and my choices, and before I knew it, the background noise was gone. I am comfortable in the fact that today, I am living a very authentic life. Comfortable in my skin, my choices, my relationships, my parenting, my marriage. It certainly doesn’t mean there is a lack of dramatic situations in my life, no, but it does mean that there is no drama. There’s a difference. And now I understand that.

  • No! More! Wire! Hangers! Evahhhhhh!!! So you know how some days, seeing a wire hanger in the closet can make you hit people with cans of comet cleanser? No? Well, how about when the asshole in front of you is going slow in the fast lane and you can’t get around him and you use every curse word you know yelling at him? Or when you go to your favorite coffee shop and it’s somebody new behind the counter who insists that the coffee order you come get every single day that is no longer on the menu but they make it for you anyway only this new chick says she can’t and you want to come across the counter and throat punch her for interfering with your first caffeine intake of the day? Those are all examples of a small dramatic situation bringing out very big drama. And they can ruin your whole day if you let them. But for me, 2017 is The Year of the Spartan (Race), and when we signed on to spend the year training together, I decided as Team Captain to devote myself to study. And those Spartans were some tough mother you know what-ers. And whether or not you ever decide to do a Spartan race, I recommend reading Spartan Up! and Spartan Fit! and then take a moment to consider if you’re navigating the obstacle course of your life highly trained and prepared for anything, or only able to handle the most predictable of situations. My experience training for this race and with this team has me forever changed. For the better.

  • Is that a fat bomb in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? So this trend you’re seeing of being open to experience, but not to drama, continues on when I decide that the COMPLIANCE of Wheat Belly was too much, and I changed my focus to Keto and Pinterest. Still low carb and ultimately grain free, but less focused on 6 hour cycles, and timing of supplements, and feeling like I need to hide it when I don’t set up a creamery and make my own cheese. My goal at the end of 2016 was to be a grain free athlete; I amend that now to be keto athlete. Those Keto (and Paleo) people seem to be a bit more go with the flow.

  • First do no harm…The focus on my inner voice has also taken over my pursuit of better health. Google is not a doctor, I agree with that. But you know what? Even doctors or nurses or PAs don’t always get it right the first time. It took me a long time to pursue the nagging feeling that gluten and grains were bad for me simply because I know someone who makes fun of the “gluten free fad” and so I kept ignoring my symptoms. Even though I knew I was feeling awful. And 7 days into going grain free, I was 100% changed. So, I continue to seek answers to why, when I eat clean, log my food, and train like a Spartan, I have put on close to 50 pounds in the last 5 years. After a series of appointments I am now in the care of an Endo who believes me, and I’m awaiting the results of 150,000 tests and the thing I like about him the best is that he said “while I think this testing with turn something up, if it doesn’t, I won’t just turn you loose. It just means we’ll have to keep looking.” I’m feeling very good about finding Dr. Awesome Two Point Oh. Don’t let anyone intimidate you when you’re trying to get healthy!

  • Time to THRIVE. So, this bullet is going to become an actual post, but I have to mention it because, if you follow me on IG or are friends with me on FB, then you know I’ve begun using Thrive products as my supplement of choice. And you know I’ll give you the straight scoop about it. So we’ll save this one for later.

  • You like me, you REALLY like me! Almost a year ago now, I was fired from my job at the gym across town. Nobody likes being fired, of course, and I’m no different. Even though it was truly a blessing to be set free from the intimidation and the surveillance and the insults and the threats, at the time of The Firing, even some of my very closest friends suggested I should have done a better job of, uh, trying to fit in and get along with my boss. And I really don’t know why, considering what I was living though, what the motive was in saying I should stay there, but it doesn’t matter now because, once again, my inner voice knew something was off. Today, I am still working as a personal trainer, and I have a team of clients who are succeeding. I am continuing my education in fitness, and we are trying new things, we work as a team, with positivity and accountability. Some days, I am busy enough that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get to everyone. And other days, instead of scheduling a workout, we schedule a social and we laugh as hard as we’ve worked. And even though there are stresses and challenges, there is also great joy. We train in parks and driveways and tracks and parking lots. We have a spring and summer full of events, obstacle courses, races, (holy crapballs) an open water tri, and the Spartan. We have focus, and we have each other’s backs in a way that just wasn’t possible in the other environment. And last Friday, late in the afternoon, I learned that I won first place in our local newspaper’s Reader’s Choice Award for Favorite Fitness Trainer. Apparently 130,000 votes were cast, and I snagged enough of those votes to get myself a ribbon to post on my Facebook. And I love it. It’s a super fun little piece of validation that my inner voice knows her shit, and I’m so thankful I decided to listen to her.

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my wheat belly

by MrsFatass on October 3, 2016


If we are friends on Facebook (and if we’re not, why AREN’T we?), then you may have seen that I recently decided to go grain free.

I’ll just let that sink in for a moment.

One step further than gluten, being GRAIN free rules out a whole lot of food I love. Warm tortillas, flour OR corn. Chips that so deliciously scoop salsa and guacamole. Egg rolls. Sticky sushi rice. Wonton Egg Drop soup. A toasted onion bagel that holds heaping piles of cream cheese and smoked salmon and tomato an onion.

Not to mention the basics. Bread. Pasta. BEER.

I haven’t felt right in a long time. I haven’t lost a single pound in a long time. I’ve known something was going on inside me but any time I talked with a doctor about it I just wasn’t being heard. Labs just didn’t seem to be revealing much, and every symptom I listed was met with either some level of disbelief, or a prescription. Irregular cycles? Birth control. Anxiety? Celexa. Constipation? Stool softener. Hemorrhoid? Lidocaine and hydrocortisone. Weight gain? Phentermine. And a lecture about calories in versus calories out.

Sluggishness, fatigue, mood swings, joint aches, puffy and swollen hands and feet, breakouts. Falling asleep sitting up in a chair after coming home from training group. Not being able to catch my breath in yoga. Feeling “hung over” in the morning, even when I hadn’t had anything to drink the day before. And no matter how I ate, no matter how dirty or how clean, I just never really felt nourished.

I’ve said more than once that working in fitness has put weight on me. I have gained steadily since first becoming a fitness instructor in 2011. I’ve also said more than once that the harder I train, the more severe my symptoms. Remember when I ended up in the ER not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES in a weekend? I was hitting Couch to 5K hard and heavy. The next time I had that particular problem, I was training for the Las Vegas RnR Half. I cancelled on several races I was registered for so far in 2016, not because I wasn’t training, but because I was training and training and not getting anywhere. No gains. And my heinie discomfort was at an all time high (I’ll spare you from another lengthy paragraph about the 8 months worth of constant, around the clock pain in my beehole) and I just lost the motivation to run and swim and sit on a bike seat.

My daughter turned 9 in September, and on her big day we indulged in a lot of once in while foods, all at once. A biscuit with breakfast, pasta at lunch, doughnut holes at the class party, and a dinner that included breaded meat and gravy. It was 7PM and I could barely keep my eyes open, and the next morning when the alarm went off, there was that old, familiar, hung over feeling. Except I hadn’t had a sip of alcohol.

I’d been suspicious of gluten and it’s effects on my body before, but had my concerns dismissed more than once by a PA. If you don’t have celiac, then going gluten free probably isn’t going to much for you. Gluten-free is just the newest fad. But for whatever reason THAT morning, I didn’t turn to a doctor or PA, I turned of course to Facebook.

Well, the next step in my quest to figure out some things about my health that I can’t get a doctor to diagnose: I’m pretty sure I just decided to see if I have a gluten intolerance.

And within minutes the comments filled up with support. I wish I’d typed that update months ago, but I kept hearing in the back of my head “gluten-free is a fad” and lord knows I don’t want another fad diet in my life. But here were so many people that described similar symptoms and uplifting stories of cutting things out and feeling better. And one of my friends recommended the book Wheat Belly. And within minutes I was reading a book about my life.

For me, though there were a ton of ah-ha moments, what it really it boiled down to were a couple of major realizations about my MOST major/obvious complaints, weight gain and digestive problems leading to bootyhole issues.

  1. I’ve steadily GAINED weight since beginning my fitness career in 2011.
  2. The harder I train, the more issues I have.

Well. In the last 5 years, in an effort to EAT HEALTHY, SCULPT MUSCLE and RACE I have dramatically increased my intake of two things: Healthy! Whole! Grains! and whey protein.

BOOM.

It explained so much.

So I decided to go all in and see what would happen if I took the time to follow the detox program 100%. The elimination diet AND the supplements. Ten days of detox promised a few things: low energy, feeling like you have the flu, feeling kind of overwhelmed at the rules and the timing and all.

But by day three? I also was 100% pain free. 100%! That alone was worth the time and effort. But by day four I was going to the bathroom daily. By day five I’d noticed my fingers and toes weren’t puffy in the mornings. I’ve also had some bursts of energy and noticed that I can get through lots of housework without having to sit down and take a break. I don’t feel like I’m going to crack by 7PM under the stress of trying to stay awake past my children’s bedtimes. Today is day 10, the final day of the ‘detox’, and I definitely feel a weight lifting.

And speaking of weight, there are so many success stories in the book of all the pounds that folks lost during detox and beyond. I did lose a few. Maybe not as many as I hoped, but now I actually HAVE hope that it will come. With more time, and more gut repair, I think that this is a major step toward reclaiming my health. While I’m still pretty convinced I need to keep pushing thyroid testing, in the meantime I have this, and I’ll be patient with the process.

The past 10 days has done more for making me feel right again than any of the appointments and testing and prescriptions of the last year. So here’s to hope.

 

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birthday blessings

by MrsFatass on September 26, 2016


I celebrated my birthday last week.

Now, I have had some pretty wonderful birthdays. When I turned 9 I was completely gobsmacked when my parents gave me a piano. How does one move a beautiful upright piano into a house completely unnoticed? Well, THEY did and I was blown away. When I turned 20, my best friend organized a party of people so near and dear to me to gather at my favorite bistro that I cried my mascara off within minutes. Twenty one? Car keys in a box. Turning 25 was shared with another September 22 baby who gave me a button to wear that said “Kiss Me, It’s My Birthday” and it kicked off a whole year of throwing ridiculously cool theme birthday parties for each person in my circle of friends. My mom, husband and best friend conspired to throw me a surprise party when I turned 30, which was THE thing to help me feel like I was getting my groove back after having had my son earlier that year. Thirty Nine was spent in Baltimore with several hundred of my favorite bloggers, teaching a Zumba master class, wearing a hat that said “It’s My F$*%ING Birthday”, and truly believing that we were able to get #effbomb38 to trend on Twitter, if only for a moment. Forty was equally epic, having a glow-party BASH at the studio, raising money for rescue dogs. And when I turned 41, Trophy Husband surprised me again by coordinating with friends from back home who drove all night long, showed up on my front porch and yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY while I blinked and cried in disbelief.

Every year, big celebration or small, I am always sure that THAT particular birthday was the best one yet.

2016 has brought its challenges. There have been times that I’ve felt pain, unease, sadness or sorrow. While I haven’t stayed stuck in any of the low moments, I still acknowledge they happened. It’s important, I think, to hold on to hard times for a while. To be still with them, and learn. Like LEARN learn – not the lesson “they” think you need, people, or gawkers or haters – but the lesson that comes from a place bigger than man. For me, that place is God, but for others it could be anything. The Universe.

That’s why I would argue that this year has actually been pretty great. Character building, yes. But great.  Because for every craptastical situation that has happened, true GOOD that has emerged. REAL good. Adult, grown up good. Like knowing that when something bad happens, my family comes TOGETHER and rallies, regardless of past grudges or hurts or disagreements. Like sitting down face to face with somebody I wronged, and being given the opportunity to apologize. Or like seeing my daughter being carefree, confidently playing with friends without stress or worry.

Sometimes the people we love do unlovable things. Sometimes WE do unlovable things. When it happens, we will either be who we always were and act like we’ve always acted, or we will take the opportunity to learn, change and grow.

My 42nd year has taught me some big lessons. Some may just be human lessons, but I think some are GOD lessons. Like, MEME worthy lessons about people and loyalty and trust and family.

I’ve learned that true wisdom does not boast; if someone is telling you how wise they are, they are making an attempt to manipulate you. It’s up to you whether or not you fall for it.

I’ve learned that the act of making a mistake isn’t the big deal; it’s the response to the mistake that matters.

I’ve learned that BEING a good or positive person has nothing to do with SAYING you’re a good or positive person.  

I think those lessons are some pretty wonderful gifts. Happy Birthday to me!

I had a spectacular birthday this year. Colorful bags full of carefully chosen gifts, thoughtful notes written in heartfelt hilarious cards, crepe paper streamers, dinner dates, surprise texts, phone calls, and more hugs and Happy Birthdays then I can even count. The celebration spilled over into a few days, but the ACTUAL one I quietly enjoyed with my husband, holding hands and sitting on the same side of the booth at lunch, and with my children, who skipped the traditional birthday cards and wrote me letters instead.

It was the best one yet.

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Did we just eat that out loud?

by MrsFatass on September 20, 2016

We’ve teased. Alluded. Mentioned. Vaguebooked.

It’s time for an announcement already, isn’t it yall?

Okay. Here goes. I am super excited to present to you a collaboration that brings about great social change  espouses deep provocative thoughts   presents life changing information  provides lighthearted entertainment while you are in the gym getting your cardio!

Yes, Nacho Mama and MrsFatass present for your listening and laughing pleasure

Did I just Eat That Out Loud?
the podcast
available on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher

Yes, this used to be the name of my blog, but times they did change. For one, it was too long a title! For Pete’s sake, it took up all kinds of room on my business cards and there is a whole lot of room for a typo in there. So as my blog evolved, so did the name of it. However, the IDEA still hung in the air that the title could be used for something because, darnit, its GOOD. Quite possibly my cleverist quip. Evah.

Even so, five years ago THIS WEEK I relaunched the Did I Just Eat That Out Loud blog and unveiled the new MrsFatass, which I think has held up pretty well. It no longer has that new-blog smell, but neither do I. So. Anyway, the title was put on the shelf for a while.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when Margo messaged me with a question. Or more like an invitation to brainstorm, really, on helping her find someone who would be interested in helping her create a podcast that would be rooted in health/wellness/weight loss, but would do it in a different way then it was currently being done. Because the current well was dry. Airquote Like there isn’t enough Astroglide in the world kind of dry Airquote.

She said she was looking for someone who was funny, irreverent, identifiable, unconventional, spontaneous, effing SMART, and a professional in the field of wellness.

I said I didn’t know a soul, but if she picked me, we could use the title. Hence the birth of Did I Just Eat That Out Loud? The Podcast!

So here’s the thing. We wanted to create something that would touch on pretty much any healthy living topic our feisty little brains could come up with, but not really for the purpose of HELPING PEOPLE. I mean, come ON. Really, we just wanted a place to be OURSELVES talking about topics interesting to those involved in the health and fitness hustle. We don’t discuss topics beforehand, we don’t rehearse, it’s pretty spontaneous just like a conversation with your sisterfriends would be, because really we’ve all BEEN THERE and DONE THAT. We keep you relaxed while you do your THANG. We are your support system while you nervously make your way to the weight rack or the stair mill or the smoothie bar. We are your partners in crime. Your frans.

Plus, Margo’s funny.

So, please check out our podcast! We are on the web here! You can get us on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher. You can also find us YouTube , Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Much like political ads and pumpkin spice, we are EVERYWHERE, and are working to get more Funny! Irreverant! Effing Smart! content up as we speak. And if you listen and like, email us! Because certainly there must be SOMETHING  you think we should mention or be aware of, so send a message to didijusteatthatoutloud@gmail.com. Haters can reach us there as well! *wink*

And if you aren’t already familiar with the lovely and amazing Margo Porras, you SHOULD be! So be a ‘subbie’ on her YouTube channel, find her on IG and Twitter, check out her blog, or run into her at a taco truck!

Also, if you’re wondering who is eating it all out loud in our artwork, please meet our cover girl Thea here.

Not going to lie, I’m SUPER excited to hear what you think!

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taking it personally

by MrsFatass on September 18, 2016

To my sweet Thing Two;

Last week we celebrated your ninth birthday. NINE! It’s so hard for me to believe, mostly because, as time was whizzing by, you were leaping into one adventure after another, and all of a sudden I stepped back to see that you are about as worldly as they come. I’m not sure if it is that you are brave, or if you are truly fearless, but you have a confidence and a presence that is more poised than many adults. You threw yourself into being elected class president. You tried out for TWO plays, singing and dancing your heart out, and loving every second of your onstage debut as a guppy in The Little Mermaid. You played basketball on a team and for the very first time it was your brother in the stands cheering for you. You love learning about space and you still talk about the day you spent at the Kennedy Space Center, and you’re pretty sure when you grow up you’ll either be a star on Nickelodeon or an astronaut.

You are mature and confident and dependable, and it’s easy to think that you’re older than 9. Yet, at the same time, you are entirely comfortable being a little girl, and really aren’t (YET) interested in things that are beyond your years.

There are so many things that I want to remember about you at this age; your laugh and your femininity and the way you love to make people happy. You are responsible; you do your chores and take care of the dogs and finish your homework with very little complaint. At school your teachers always tell me that you are bright, and you are thorough, and you stay on task. But all this is not to say that you never cut loose, because you sure do. You love the idea of playing a prank, and I enjoy seeing your eyes turn mischievous as you execute your plan. And when it works (or when it “works”), there is no better sound than your laugh, the laugh so hard you gasp for air and snort a little bit laugh, and we all can’t help but join in.

For your birthday this year, WE pranked YOU and it was fabulous! There were only a few things you asked for in celebrating your big day. You wanted family dinner and conversation, you wanted me to come to school to have lunch with you, you wanted to decorate your own cake, and you wanted a set of Russian nesting dolls.

You ALSO wanted a phone. Your friends have phones, your brother has a phone, everyone has phones, and you wanted one too. But our ‘rule’ has been to wait until you are 10. So even though you wanted one, it didn’t make the list because you knew our rule and you accepted it.

Except that we broke the rule. In a BIG way. Even your brother was in on it and was excited to surprise you. You weren’t asking for a phone because you were dying to talk with your friends or to take it to school and show it off, you wanted a phone so that you could text with your grandparents, first and foremost. How could we say no to that? I wrapped up the phone and hid it behind a chair, and after you opened all of your presents, you began excitedly taking apart your dolls to see how tiny the littlest one was. And then your brother called your phone. So you heard it ring. And you had to go looking for it.

When you opened it, I thought you would explode with joy.It was full of texts from your most favorite people, and you read each message out loud, and returned every single one. Within minutes you were calling your Papoo. And my favorite photo from the evening is the one of you playing with the dolls, holding the phone to your ear as you spoke with him.

That’s just like you. You are happy. You are content. Your love for gifts has no price tag.

You have had many many ups this year, but you have also had a couple of downs.

After being cast in the first show you ever tried out for, you received your first rejection when you tried out for the second. While you have as much stage presence as anyone else, you were auditioning with other girls who have been in many shows, who have had advanced vocal training beyond just the singing you do in the bathtub and the car, and who have auditioned many more times than you, who have kind of paid their dues. But you? You had no idea. You marched in there with spunk and sass and had a great time learning the song and the dance. You ENJOYED yourself. And when the call didn’t come, you were quiet for a few minutes. You took some time to process your disappointment. And then, in all of your 8 year old wisdom, you said “I’m not going to be sad mommy. I’m going to be happy for my friends who got parts. Can we go see it when it starts?”

That made me as proud as if you were cast in the lead.

Your social circle has changed quite a bit, too. For so long, YOUR friends have basically been the children of OUR friends, and our activities kind of just matched up. But you’re older now, and more discerning, and have begun to experience the cliquishness that seems to come along with being a little girl. You’ve been picked on a little bit, and you’re beginning to experience your first peer pressure. So far, you remain self-assured. You don’t really care who is “popular”, you care about who is kind, and you simply play with who you like, regardless of what others may think. You have also decided that there are some you DON’T want to play with, which is also a good thing. You are not obligated to give yourself to people, my sweet bear. Even at the ripe old age of 9, you have the power to say NO – to play dates or sleepovers or sitting together on the bus. You don’t have to give your phone number to someone just because they ask for it. You don’t have to be pressured on the playground to play mermaids instead of basketball. While there will be many situations in your life where you don’t get to choose who you work or study or interact with, you ALWAYS have a choice about who you let in to your inner circle. And beginning to practice that skill at nine just may save you a lot of irritation or even heartache down the road.

As much as you prefer to be happy, you are a person who feels LOTS of emotions and you feel them strongly. It’s interesting to watch this grow in you, because it’s not as simple as saying you’re moody or emotional. That’s not exactly it. You’re direct. You’re honest. You tell it like it is. When something irritates you, you say so. When something feels off to you, you ask why. When something seems unjust, you call it out. You express your feelings and you expect others to do the same.

The thing is, most people are NOT that way. More often, people avoid confronting an issue or a problem, and instead they are more comfortable talking ABOUT you then they are talking right TO you. And as much as I’d like to offer you words of comfort about how that changes as you get older, I can’t. Because it doesn’t. And already, at 9, you have experienced the hurt feelings and frustration that comes along with being let down by a friend, and being told “you really shouldn’t take things so personally.” Which, to you, is an impossible task. 

Here is what I want you to hear from me, my beautiful girl. Do not let the world make you feel bad for being who you are. Because who you are is pretty spectacular. You are positive, and happy, and loyal, and smart, and strong, and girly, and feminine, and resilient, and emotional, and sensitive, and content. You have such a strong connection to your family; yes you are a daddy’s girl, and you love me and your brother. But your love for your grandparents and your cousins and your aunts and uncles and your history and your TRIBE is something that I’ve never really seen in such a young person. And there is no better friend than you. 

You take EVERYTHING personally, the good with the bad, and I’m pretty sure that THAT is the quality that is going to help you change the world. I am amazed by all of the wonderful and interesting parts of you that emerge as you grow and mature, my sweet angel. You are truly one of a kind. 

I love you, Care Bear. I’m so glad you had a happy birthday.

Mama

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train the trainer

by MrsFatass on August 21, 2016


It’s no secret I have had kind of a challenging year.

For about seven months I have been living with varying degrees of near-constant pain in my ass. And not the figurative my husband and kids are driving me nuts kind of pain in my ass, I mean literal honest to goodness I can’t sit I can’t stand I can’t think straight pain. In my ass.

If you’ve been reading here a while then you know that butt problems are kind of a fact of life for me. The beauty of pregnancy and childbirth has resulted not only in two amazing children, but also a whole group of visitors back there who make themselves known every now and again, usually leading up to some important trip or race or vacation or even just a long weekend where I am secretly in agony but can’t really share much about it because believe it or not, in real life there ARE topics that even I don’t bring up in most social situations. And having those issues treated here in this small town means that very often I’m lying on the examining table having my buttcheek lifted by somebody who will later turn up in a Zumba class, or answering two hundred and fifty seven questions about my poop that are being asked by someone I have partied with at an Ugly Prom. For real.

So, the bottom line is this: I had symptoms return, snowball, and eventually take over my life, make me frustrated, weepy and bleak. Even though I was going to work and taking care of my kids and getting them through basketball and play rehearsal and the end of school, even though I was walking the dogs and getting the laundry done and doing all of the things that I normally do, underneath it all I was in pain. A lot of pain.  And while I should have called the doctor, because I have had so many symptoms so many times, I did what many of us do when we have a recurring health issue, I pulled out the last bit of medicine that was prescribed the last time, and tried to handle things myself.

But it got worse.

And worse.

And one day I was crying and Googling and I found an article about butt problems, and in scanning the comments I realized that these? These were my people. Talking about the constant pain and the around the clock obsession with it, the fear of eating, the hours spent in the bathtub, the frustration with trying to make your spouse understand. And I realized that I wasn’t dealing with what I had dealt with before. Nope. The journey of my butt problems had progressed from THROMBOSED HEMMHOROID to FISSURE.

Yeah, I put that all in all caps.

A fissure is a tear in there where the poop comes out and basically if you eat, then you will eventually have to poop, and if you have to poop and you have a fissure then every time it passes through it basically scrapes across that tear and can make it worse, and your body wants to tense up because OH MY GOSH IT HURTS, and THAT can make it worse, and also once you have finally gotten through the actual going to the bathroom part, you also can experience this kind of spasm for hours afterward that is kind of like your whole colon flipping you a big giant bird for making it go through that whole painful pooping process in the first place, and it is just this never ending process of the before pain, the during pain, and the after pain. PLUS your bathroom ends up looking like a crime scene.

Can you see why people don’t talk about this?

Well. Once I realized that what was happening this time was different than what has happened in the past, I hightailed it to the doctor for yet another embarrassing appointment where I knew not one, but TWO of the nurses asking me questions about my poop and assisting with the examination. But whatever. By that point all I wanted was a cure. And that cure came in the form of a cream that helps increase the blood flow to the area (ummmm, REALLY? THAT’S how we cure this thing? MORE blood flow??) but I took it, and I also became the model patient in terms of hydration, fiber intake, and avoiding that which would make me constipated.

Oy.

And it took a few tries and the better part of the summer, but finally after many long months and many sitz baths, I have healed. Thank you jesus. As confirmed by a colonoscopy, the fissure has mended and though there is a referral to the surgeon for a consult on the other guys, my colon is healthy and happier than it has been in a very long time.

Now, if you can believe it, that whole saga was just exposition. This post? Is about yoga. Because, while it was the medicine that healed my body, my spirit got pretty banged up through all of this. I mean, I know that there are many people that go through way worse, but for me, this was the worst physical pain I have ever felt in my life, and somehow that got compounded by the fact that it was all about my booty. I guess because it seemed kind of taboo to talk about it, or because it carried some kind of shame, or maybe because it was constant and it made it hard for me to want to do pretty much anything, it really just made me depressed.

But I couldn’t just curl up in a sitz bath ball and hide away from life like I wanted to. I had to work. I had to move. I had to be positive and motivating and encouraging and happy.

And then I’d come home and be exhausted and moody and sad.

It was hard to want to work out and eat right and do all the things I coach others to do. I cancelled on two races I had trained for. I was short with my family. I got into a pretty negative headspace. And even as my body slowly began to feel better, I just wasn’t myself.

Then one morning at the park as I was picking up after a training group, one of my clients mentioned doing yoga with her husband the day before.  The words rolled around in my brain for an hour afterward.

It was like the sun coming out from behind the clouds.

By the end of the day I was a gym member once again.

In a few weeks, it will be the 8 year anniversary of moving to this town. I pouted for a good year once we got here; I didn’t want to pack up and leave my family and friends back home. It took a while to even want to open up and meet people, and once I did, it took a while to find the right people. One day something inside me steered my car into the parking lot of the Y, and in the packet of information I collected was a group fitness calendar.  Even before I did Zumba or Spin or any of the classes that led to where I am today as a trainer, I practiced yoga, first in college, later in a trendy Hot Yoga studio near my hometown, and then at this little family YMCA. Several years ago, attending these classes helped redefine my outlook. I could love it for being a fantastic workout, for the flexibility and endorphins, and because my practice was my own. I could make it as challenging or as gentle as I needed on any given day. It felt good.

Yoga gave me my smile back.

So I went back to that gym to get signed up again, and to grab a new calendar. There were some butterflies walking back in, after having worked there for a while, and then leaving to open Trio. But they flew away quickly. Within minutes I was greeted with a warm hug from a former coworker, and as we talked, several others came by to say hello and to catch up. Before I knew it, a half an hour had passed, full of laughs and talking with the folks who trained me long before I got up in front of a class myself. As we chatted, I shared a little bit about why I was back; that I had gone through some heath things that had basically stolen my personal motivation, and that if I was going to keep working both for myself AND for my clients, I needed to get my  happy back.

There wasn’t one person in the group who didn’t understand that in some way. It felt good to have that connection with others who do what I do, who could relate to feeling discouraged to do for themselves what they were paid to do for others.

Since that first day, I’ve gone in several times for class or to work out, and I am usually asked by someone if I’m going to teach Zumba again, or if the Y will let me bring BodyFlow or RIPPED or KNOCKOUT. While I appreciate the sentiment, my answer is always the same: my purpose for being back here is my own. I want to take some time to be the member, to be taught and trained, and to do things that will replenish the excitement and passion that became so depleted over the last few months.

It’s been a good thing, reconnecting. While there may be those who might not love that I’m working out there again, it’s okay. Everyone can choose their own experience, and mine has been wonderful. It has given me a lot of joy to catch up with people I used to see every day, to be invited to various classes, and to sweat and swear and try not to die alongside of folks who are happy to share their enthusiasm with me. We can let our personal challenges stifle us, or we can evolve, the choice is ours. I choose transformation.

At Trio, I would occasionally end a fitcamp session with a class called Train the Trainer; basically the clients would lead, and I’d be the one to DO it all. They enjoyed seeing me get my butt kicked, and I’d enjoy just getting to be the student again.

I am enjoying being the student again.

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August 8, 2016

our ordinary summer

To my precious Thing One and Thing Two, It’s been a while since I’ve written you two a letter. I’ve missed some birthdays and some sweet conversations and there are so many moments of ours that I’ve wanted to preserve here and I just haven’t. I haven’t taken the time. I haven’t made it a […]

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March 14, 2016

by any other name

We had our first meeting at the gym, me, the Fitness Director, and the owner, and I made it through with minimal flopsweat. It was fun, actually, talking through my resume and hearing about somebody else’s business plans and vision. And I managed not to use the word fatass even once, not even when we […]

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February 26, 2016

thirtyfive inches

Back in 2014, when I had to do a driveby spent 18 glorious hours in Savannah with my Fitbloggin’ family, I had the honor of cohosting a conversation with Steve titled “Fitblogger Tough Love”. We tackled the idea that the very thing that makes our tribe so awesome – our supportiveness, understanding, and positivity- could […]

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