It’s almost 10pm here in Phuket, and let me tell you: It’s been one weird ass day.  I can’t recall the last time I had such a low and such a high in the same 5 hour period.  This must be what  bipolar feels like….

First off, the day kinda disappeared into nowhere.  By 6pm my husband and I were ready to get out of the house.  We decided we were going to go check out what “a massage by a blind person” was all about.  In Phuket, there is a massage joint about every block.  Often, 2 in 1 block is not uncommon, but a massage by a blind person?  Hadn’t experienced that one yet.  We pulled out of the driveway, and turned the corner.  About halfway down the neighbouring street to us, we see a woman in the street on her knees getting bashed by a man.

Now, over the past nearly 6 years, my Husband and I have come across a handful of incidents were we thought we may have smelt foul play.  Often it was when we were leaving an event later in the evening, and happened to walk past a bar on our way back to the car.  Most times, there would be some kind of drunken lovers drama, but nonetheless, if a man seemed to be getting aggressive in the slightest bit, he and I would step in.  Never have we had to get physical.

Tonight was a bit different.  This man, who wasn’t too much bigger than the woman (minus his beer gut), was standing in the street with a can of something in his right hand, and a belt in his left.  We stopped in the middle of the street about 100 feet before them.  Looking around, there was only one other person outside, who happened to be a man washing his truck.  He didn’t seem to pay attention whatsoever to this ‘situation’.

As we crept closer, we watched this man kick this woman in the face with a front kick, then proceed to whip her with his belt.  She wasn’t crying, or making any noises.  As we got closer, I could see he had a phone in the same hand that had the belt.  At first it almost looked like he was recording the whole thing, but then it appeared like he was showing her evidence of something.  My husband and I sat there in shock.

The woman got up and walked off, then was whiped back into getting on her knees.  Still, no cries for help.  We started to put the car in park.  My husband said to me, “you ready to show this cunt what a woman can do?”.  Now in any normal situation, and normal meaning in a western, first world country where English is the first language, I’d already been out of the car running down the street.  But for some reason, my intuition said “stay put”.

I said, “no.  wait.”.  We sat there for a second and I quickly explained why we needed a plan B this time.  I dialled what I thought was the equivalent of 911 or 000, but no one answered.  I then directed him to drive back around the block and pull in front of the landlords house, except we weren’t entirely sure which house it was.  Then, I decided to call the agent who let us the house we’re renting.  I quickly explained to her what we had just witnessed and said, “is this normal for your country?”.  In her half broken English, she replied, “this normal”.

We drove off.  Both of us feeling sick.  Selfish.  Defeated.  Angry.  Upset.  and like a traitor.

After about 10 minutes of driving in silence, I got a hold of a local girlfriend who’s from Australia, but has lived here for the past few years.  She concurred that we did the best thing and that if the situation got out of hand, the cops will always help the locals.  Furthermore we could have been deported, insert etc etc etc.

For the next hour, I sat in cold blooded anger.  I also justified the “why’s”.  Living a block away from this guy, and knowing that this type of behaviour is serial, I doubt us intervening would have helped the situation.  Also another friend that I’ve met today, messaged me back and said that he’s known guys who’ve been stabbed for intervening.

So by this stage, I HATE this place.

Fast forward an hour, and we’re laying down getting a massage each by a blind man.  My guy was a bit younger, and my Husband’s guy was a bit older, but funny AF!!!! At one stage, he partially said “u o-ta mayt?”.  In other words, my husband was holding his breath, so the guy asked him if he was OK.  My husband struggled to say “yes”, and I lost my shit.  I started laughing, then the old man started laughing, then MY guy started laughing at the same time my husband started laughing, and we couldn’t stop.  We all 4 sat there and laughed so goddamn hard, I thought I was going to puke.

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I hadn’t laughed that hard since the last laughter yoga session I led nearly 2 years ago.  You know when you laugh so hard it’s like you had an ab workout?  It was like that-  Then for the next 45 minutes, the older man kept trying to teach my husband a few words in thai.  At one point saying “sexy sexy” and twerking his nipples.  I nearly fell off the table laughing.

To be laying there with my tits out, across the table from my husband, having 2 blind men massage us, and laughing our asses off, was one realllllllllllllly bizarre experience.  The most bizarre part of it, was going from such an angry state to one of complete bliss.  Laughter truly is the best medicine.

I know that acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today, but there are some things I’m just not ready to accept.  And that is violence against women.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do about it and this particular situation.  My initial thinking (in congruence with my husband), was to stop by the police station and ask for their permission/blessing to go and beat this man’s ass, together, as a loving couple.

But violence does not solve violence my friends-

Oh, almost forgot… to top it all off, the nightcap of strangeness for the day, was catching an article/video of a funeral of a young man who was embalmed, and sat upright in a chair with his eyes OPEN to ‘rest in peace’.

Anyway, more to come.  Long story short, I’m adapting well to my new country, as usual.  And, I’m also getting ready to leave again, as usual.  Blasting off Wednesday for California.  See you all in LA <3

The post How I Hated & Loved Phuket All In 1 Day appeared first on Kortney Olson >> Konfidence By Kortney.

Good Day Grrrlfriends!

It’s your MFCEO Kortney “KO” Olson here.  Captain Thunder Thighs at your service.  Today I write to you from my new country Thailand.  I was meant to go watch #UFC196 with my partner at an Irish Pub this early afternoon, but decided to head back to the village (lol) so I could do some work.  This resulted in me ‘watching’ the game via text message with my Brother.

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After getting word that Holm got knocked out without tapping, I was caught between a slight moment of disappointment, and a slight moment of pride.  Then the thoughts started trailing in, hence why I’m here to share.

As a society, we are bred to put an immense amount of importance on being “winners”.  Think back to when either yourself, or your kids, were up for “field day races”.  Your excitement for “winning” that blue ribbon, or the excitement you felt when your kid(s) brought home a blue ribbon, filled you with pride and excitement.  Or how about your high school basketball team and the level of disappointment you felt when you lost the championship game.  Or as an adult, that feeling of “not winning” because you have a 1997 Toyota Corolla in the driveway of a house you pay rent on, with too many credit cards to pay back before purchasing something newer, more “winner-like”.

We are bred, especially as females, to see everyone else around us competition.  Inadvertently, we encourage kids from a young age to not work as a team, and to be concerned with satisfying the expectations of others, when it pertains to their lives.  I.e. our parents were more concerned about us winning, then we were.

Instead of getting rewarded for training our best, and actually showing up to have an experience, we get rewarded for “being the best”, as opposed to just being-  Keep in mind, we are human doings, not human beings……

Holly Holm is a goddamn champion.  She is the epitome of what a role model looks like.  She does not boast about herself, nor does she brag.  She simply just is-  She’s just a spirit having a human experience free from harsh judgement of herself and of others. (and yes, I’m sure there is some level of judgement- especially as a professional athlete.  you would not be human if you had zero judgement)

The GRRRL brand has been built off the foundation of this: We don’t do shit to fit in.  We don’t do shit to be better than other grrrls.  We support each other and feel connected.  She don’t place our worth on whether or not we are “winners” because we are already ALL born “winners”.

We are one.  We are #grrrlarmy !!!!

XOKO

Sitting here having a little cry.  Yup bitches, every few months I seem to get myself so overwhelmed that I have a bit of a cry.  I suppose a majority of it comes from trying to live my own will, as opposed to “God’s will”.  Now, if you’re not a spiritual hippy,  in 12-step recovery for a while, or have not been following my blog for the past 5 years, then you’re probably wondering ‘what the actual truck’ I’m talking about.

Simply put, that means on a daily basis, I ask for a power greater than myself to help guide me, and that I put 110% faith into he/she doing so.  Us humans think we have the answer to everything, and we either operate out of love or fear.  Whenever I feel full of fear like I am at the moment, I know that it’s time for me to get my ass to a meeting and get centred again.

I’m sitting here in a foreign country, where I cannot even read the back of an ingredient/nutritional content label, feeling stressed about everything you can possibly think of.  I’m even still stressing about the spider that was above my bed last night, after thinking I left those hand-sized spiders behind in Australia.

I’m stressing about growing an international clothing line and furthering a revolution, let alone running it on a day to day basis with not even having a desk established yet.  And I’m REALLY stressed about not having a whiteboard.  (hahaha!  who can feel me on that one?!)

I’m stressed that I have not found where to buy supplements, basic food, household items (shit’s really expensive out here come to find out).  I’m stressed that my dogs are going to be unhappy when they arrive in a couple hours.  They both have small-person-syndrome and don’t socialise real well.  They’ve gone from living on an acre, to living inside.  I’m stressed that I’m leaving in 10 days for America, and appearing on TV again, without knowing exactly what it is I’m doing, and that I’m not ripped up enough (then again, I’m NEVER ripped up enough in my eyes!).  I’m stressed that ________________________________________________________.

I could go on.  And on. And on some more……

But you know what?  NONE of this shit matters.  It truly does not matter one bit.  If I was living in a headspace of love, I’d be content knowing that God/Goddess has my back and that everything will be taken care of.   I’d remember that it’s a MIRACLE that I’m even alive right now to type this. As most of you know, I should have been dead on numerous occasions in my past due to my excessive drinking and drugging.

I’d remember that my ONE AND ONLY JOB ON THIS EARTH, is to stay clean and sober, and to help others achieve sobriety and freedom.  I would immediately cease suffering from this
dis-ease of “never enough”, and I’d remember that I am 110% enough/perfect, and that all of these fears are simply mind-based stories.  They are stories associated with the incessant chatter of my mind that is either living in the past or living in the future.  Both places are spaces where we cannot experience lasting joy.  Even thinking in the future about trip coming up to paradise will cease to give us lasting joy. (if that shit made zero sense, may I suggest picking up Eckart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”)

On the flight over from Melbourne to Bangkok, I happened to watch the most remarkable documentary about a grrrl named Malala.  I’ve know very little about Malala other than she stood up to the Taliban several years ago, advocating her rights to be able to get an education.  She was shot point blank in the head, and miraculously survived.  The program I ran for teenage girls called Kamp Konfidence, had a section where we discussed “first world problems” and prospective.  We discussed how a lot of Western girls want to drop out of school because of the “drama”, and how they should be so FUCKING LUCKY to have the right to go to school in the first place.

This documentary reminded me that when you have a cause, and make something your life mission, you are prepared to do whatever it takes.  It also helped me dissolve some subconscious resentments I had towards the Muslim religion.

I’m rather content with living a simple life.  It’s like there is zero stress in trying to make shit match at our new place hahahaha!!

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OK, I’ve rambled on long enough.  I guess the point of this blog is to remind us all that whenever we feel stressed, it’s coming from a place of fear (unless you’ve been backed into a corner with a 10 foot tall black bear staring down at you).  And fear, can be dissolved by placing your faith into a force or power greater than yourself, and asking it to guide you to live out a will that is for the greater good of mankind, and not our own selfish ego-based will (meaning God’s will is more than likely for me to enjoy life while being an inspiration for others to live an authentic life, achieve equality and have freedom from addiction.  Whereas MY will thinks I should have been on Oprah AND Ellen by now… hahahahahaha!).

Also, perspective is a really powerful tool.  Having “things” and possessions, truly is a weight.  We don’t need them to be empowered.

And do be sure to watch that documentary on Malala.  She’s a modern day Mother Theresa and one mind blowing inspiration.  If I didn’t hate getting tattoos so much, I’d get her face tattooed on my body somewhere.

Love Me

 

The post Living Like Malala appeared first on Kortney Olson >> Konfidence By Kortney.

I promise this will be one of the FEW food posts I write on here! I hate food blogs as I am NOT a foodie at all! I just NEEEEED to clear up some thangsssss! 

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Since my weight loss comparison pic, I’ve had an influx of people messaging me, asking about my food and recipes (happy to share some of the recipe’s I used to use!!) all my food is carefully monitored (in phases) by coach Stephanie Parsons. To be honest, there are no ‘recipes’ per se, my food comes to me in a rigid plan (just the way I like it) and I follow it, simples. This is a day of food for me (during phase 1) Roughly 1780 calories. Steak, kangaroo, chicken and vegetables. And yes, that is BUTTER, not cheese.

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I have dabbled with so many different methods of food and I think it’s great to keep the body guessing! I’ve most recently used IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and as much as I love this method and the notion of being able to eat ‘what I want’ so long as it fits my macros (protein carbs and fats), underlying binge eating issues were rising for me. I just can’t have ice cream or chocolate in my house. Even if I’m weighing it out to precision, I still know it’s there In The freezer… Give me a stressful situation and I’ve eaten that entire bar of chocolate or tub of ice cream in 15 mins without even realising. So until I fix my food issues, I’m not going to go back to IIFYM. I prefer a cleaner alternative with what I’m eating laid out for me daily, however, everybody is different. What I’m eating may not suit the next person. My BMR is different to everyone else’s and unfortunately I’m not yet qualified to write anyone a plan or tell you which option would be best for you… But as I said before I’m happy to share older recipes that are clean and delicious if you are looking to swap to a more cleaner way of eating 🙂
Clean foods make my body feel lighter and, well, ‘cleaner’. Much like when you put premium petrol in your car you can feel the difference, when you eat cleaner food you feel the difference. Mentally and physically. My energy levels are UP, those 3PM crashes are over and my metabolism seems to be on fire.
Also, yes meal prepping is a bitch. It bores me, takes up space in my kitchen and I’m so OCD about shit on the bench, and there’s plenty I could be doing with my time rather than sweating my hole out cooking steak and steaming broccoli, BELIEVE ME! But then again I know I am prepared for the coming few days and it makes it worth it. Please don’t use the excuse of not having time, I’m usually up to midnight meal prepping because I generally work 9-7 5 days a week, plus school 2 nights a week and all day Saturday. If you want something that bad, no excuse will be strong enough. Stay up that hour later, wake up that hour earlier, meal prep when your baby is sleeping during the day. Skip drinks with the girls (or boys) and get it done. Be stronger than your excuses ??

do you really need to ask how I feel about ‘Valentine’s day’ ? It’s a money making ‘hallmark holiday’ that we have been conditioned to believe is the ONE DAY we SHOULD show over the top love for someone special…. Why are we not showing that kind of love DAILY?…

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Anyhow, since this is MY blog, I am going to share a lil conundrum I am having at the moment, and I called upon my lil special Mentor today to help pep talk me out of the negative headspace I was in. Soooo.. There’s this guy (isn’t there ALWAYS?!) whom I’ve become quite attached to, the sexual tension is there, it’s great, we get along like a house on fire, I told him I liked him, he (sort of) says it back blah blah . Anyway, there seems to be all these excuses; some valid, some seem a bit ‘cop out’ style and some just hardly make sense to me… But for the past few weeks I have felt like he’s pulled away a little, so we have the conversation and he fully whips out the ‘no relationship’ ‘no strings attached’ deal, which I FULLY admit, at the start, worked for me too, but as I got to know him, my feelings grew (typical female, eh?!) .However, he doesn’t want anything serious, so, I wondered to myself ‘what could possibly be wrong with ME?!’ And I’ve been doing these epic head miles for about 2 weeks now, fully convincing myself that I am not good enough. Telling myself ‘I need to change allllll these things about myself  to make him like  me’.

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Krista, Krista, KRISTA! What?! Listen to yourself speak, woman! Why are you letting the woman you built yourself up to be, question herself? Better yet, why are you allowing a MAN to let you question yourself?! So, I realised, the more insecure I got, the more clingy I got, and the more he ultimately kept putting space between us. The way Kortney explained it to me, was that I was striking him with lightening. Wanting something so damn badly, and manifesting it so powerfully, you add a bit too much snap, crackle and pop and you end up smothering the shit out of them and keeping them away with demmmm powerful lightening strikes.. Like the most annoying person to ever walk the planet who keeps messaging you and you just stop replying because they WONT. GET. THE .POINT? Yeah, that’s how bad my lightening was getting… Cool the fuck off!

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However, one massive thing I am learning here is not just that ‘I am indeed good enough for him, I am actually OVERQUALIFIED for him’ but just to love myself and to become secure with who I am and exactly what I want. Because, to be honest I don’t know what I want? I’m 23, I’m a baby! I’m studying, working full time, training, prepping to play football, spending time with family and friends and just getting to know myself. Without saying too much about this fella, he doesn’t really fit in there. To be honest, I think I just wanted sex and someone to cuddle me afterwards? Which, by the way, isn’t going to happen.

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The big lesson here is to just learn to love me. To Love Krista fucking Bednarz. To become so secure with myself and what I want, that it won’t matter to me if the person I like isn’t interested or doesn’t want to be with me or what-have-you. I won’t need to chase. To put my energy into finding myself and not chasing after a crystal when I KNOW I deserve a diamond. I read this the other day; ‘don’t remove jewels from your crown of it gets to heavy for your man to carry. You don’t need a smaller crown, you need a man with bigger hands.’ ain’t that the truth?!

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The past 2 years I have learned to love my own company ? it’s fabulous. I was my own Valentine this year and it was amazing! However, developing yourself as a person and truly finding out what makes you ‘tick’, what you’re really into, likes, dislikes, sexual preference, and indeed sorting out some very old skeletons in your metaphorical closet that make you so uncomfortable to even think about… That’s where the real power is. Having developed yourself into this amazing person who is unbreakable, and has a shit-tonne of bounce back-ability!

Today, I read someone’s status that said ‘I found the love of my life when I stopped trying to fix others and fixed myself instead’. Read above. Fixing yourself, and finding who you truly are is the best thing you can do. I’m a massive empath, It’s a trait of mine to always go after ‘broken’ people in the hopes of being able to CHANGE them, or help them in some way, ultimately giving all of who I am… And in the end I ‘fail’ because (let’s be honest) people can and will only change when it comes from THEM. They will only be ‘fixed’ when they decide they want to be fixed.. Interesting thought, isn’t it??

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Another thing I would love to add about being insecure about yourself and being in a relationship is… It ALWAYS shows up. It ALWAYS brings the drama. It ALWAYS causes fights. Later on, I will touch more on the subject of self love BEFORE a relationship, but for now, I will say this; THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL EVER BE ABLE TO ACCEPT SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE IS IF YOU FORST LOVE YOURSELF. Cliche bullshit? Sounds like it… But the truth? 100 fucking percent. I bet anyone who is in an insecure relationship right now is stressing out that your partner just liked something on Instagram that offends you (ie: liking another girl’s picture)  when you should be saying ‘he likes me every day- why does one picture matter?’ Believe me, I’ve been there 😉

if you feel confused, my great friend Tegan sent me the link to this Amazing article; it reads about the ‘types’ of men to stay away from (ie; players and fixer-up-ers) obviously, you can see it from another point of view and read it from the ‘types of women to avoid’ of course! It’s great and made me giggle as I can see my patterns of choosing the same type of man over and over again…

Anyway, my little rant is over, I’m tired and need to meditate. #sorrynotsorry for all the little pics that depict my situation. Anyone else just save them up and display when the time feels right? HAHA! I’ll leave with just ONE more…

NB: I will note that not ONCE has the man mentioned in this post ever asked me to change anything about myself. He’s actually mentioned before that he likes who I am and how driven and determined I am- it’s just my own head telling me I’m not good enough..image

 

 

Never allow the opposite sex (or your ‘love interest’ whether you be straight, gay or bi-sexual) determine your self worth. Please, just don’t. 

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First of all, anyone making shitty, cop out excuses is never worth your:  time, energy or tears (especially when, as a woman, I pay $58 for a mascara.) stop giving away your power, doll!

Know YOUR personal worth and stand up for what you believe in. Have high standards and never settle for anything less… Even if your ‘potential’ is a totally babe but they are presenting red flags, yet you believe “but he/she looks exactly how I want my partner to look!!” DO NOT fall into that trap.

You are literally worth so much more than to settle for someone’s looks; it is very important to realise that beauty will fade with time, but nothing will ever crush a beautiful heart, mind and soul… And I’m sorry, but integrity shits all over superficial shit and sweet nothings. PLEASE remember that.

 

??ANY person in life who makes you feel intentionally jealous is not worth having. ??ANY love interest you may have (who admits it’s ‘mutual’) should never be making you ask questions about where you actually stand. Just know that if someone truly has feelings for you, they will make like Beyoncé and ‘put a ring on it’ (OK, Metaphorically because it’s weird if they’re proposing in the early dayzzz. That’s a red flag, stay away from that!) However, they will make it VERY known to you that they do like you. They’ll make that time and effort in the early stages. They put in the work. Driving or getting transport out to you is not an issue at all. For instance, this guy I like…. He will happily drive 45 mins out of his way for a ‘fuck buddy’ he previously had (or probably still has, I do NOT want to know.) but won’t bother with a (probably equal amount of time) trip to come see me just to hang out, eat food, chat, and the like. ?? THAT’S a red flag. And it says more about him than he knows. Actions speak louder than words… This is alllllll the truth and whoever once told me actions spoke louder than words, and I dismissed it- I am so sorry! You were right!

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I just want to make it known to you, Incase nobody has reassured you… You are an absolute King/queen and you deserve that attention and affection that you believe you do. None of that shit should be half assed. AND IF IT IS????  SWERVE! Dump that and go on a quest to find someone who actually appreciates YOU and all that you do and are (and has better grammar and punctuation skills, HA!)! Or better yet, just do you. Love yourself and let that self love radiate to the world and show others how you SHOULD be treated. Work on a project you love. Have a facial. Start to study something you really want to study. Go for a walk, have coffee with a  friend, go on a road trip. Learn to love who you are. Truly, madly, deeply.

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Honestly though, in the end, if you don’t believe in yourself and love yourself..who will?

I’m not so much motivated by anyone’s body or physique anymore; I’m much more motivated by those women who WORK HARD FOR THAT PHYSIQUE DAY IN & DAY OUT! 

These days, social media is absolutely flooded with snaps of girls with blonde hair and abs with the newest protein/fat burner products (and a ridiculously clean kitchen?! Who the fuck has time to have a spotless house?!!!) posing in a crop top and booty shorts, pretending like they’re in a serious photo shoot with a Samsung quality camera… Roping in the instagram ‘likes’ as an ambassador of a company or products that (occasionally) they DON’T EVEN USE THEMSELVES! Anyway, some of these girls have worked hard for their bodies, some are naturally thin, and some have (sadly) been ruled by eating disorders (I should NEVER have looked up those hashtags when my sister was diagnosed with an ED!). However, it’s The women who work hard, day in and out, that I personally look up to. Those people who clearly hustle every day and work so hard to look how they do. I absolutely admire the shit out of that hard work that goes in and that’s what motivates and inspires me. Not some Kardashian shit.

People’s transformations and life changes also really inspire me and motivate me-because they might not have rock hard abs or capped shoulders; However,the before and after picture comparisons speak for themselves- You can see the work that’s been put in daily and consistently. I have massive respect for anyone who commits to this sort of a life change. I, myself, have made the commitment to turn my life around and nearly 50 kilograms later I can see my end goal in clear damn sight!

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On Instagram , i personally choose to only follow people who inspire me, so that if I ever feel down about myself or where I’m at in my transformation/journey, I can always go and have a sneaky look at the instagram accounts of the ladies who inspire me and I am instantly motivated. It makes me believe that truly anything is possible-physique wise- if you work hard. Yes, genetics play a big part in someone’s physique…however I believe that if you work with what you’ve got, your best shape will appear.

My fave Insta gals who are puttin’ in that werkkkkkk:

Amenah ❤️? @onestrongnurse

 

image Dem LEGS though ? I’m constantly messaging her asking ‘HOW DO YOU GET YOUR THIGHS SOOOOW THICK?!’ Bitches love quads like a boss ?? thanks for the stair run drills ?? and thanks for inspiring me daily and boosting me up when I don’t feel so great.

KO  ❤️? @kortney_olson

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Femininely BADASS as fuqqqqqq. This woman sets it STRAIGHT. CEO of GRRRL clothing for whom I am proudly an athlete for, Kortney is out there breaking the barriers for all women! SHE HAS THE WORLD’s DAMN DEADLIEST THIGHS FOR GOD SAKES ? A true gem who I look up to… She’s not only a great big sister, but someone who has THAT much compassion and who is genuinely one of the nicest and supportive people I’ve ever spoken to. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Bonnie ❤️? @bonnie_g_australia

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From the second I met this firecracker back in 2013, her contagious energy was something I never forgot. Reunited last year, I was lucky enough to attend Bonnie’s boxing classes on Monday’s in Blacktown (that’s like 2 hours on the train, mind you!), putting in the hard work. She’s a fucking beast and I love how she never ever has any excuses and continues to work hard no matter what. I believe this attitude is a true gift and her spirit and hard work is definitely what I look up to most. Work ethic at its finest ?

Shari  ❤️? @sharionley

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I said I admired hard work right? If there was one person I look up to, it’s Shari- no joke. I can’t even remember how I found her Instagram.. I think I was sitting with my friend at Nutrition station one day (when I was really fat and JUST starting to turn my life around) and Vini, my friend, starts telling me how she wants me to cone play gridiron with her for UTS and I was soooo skeptical then some how we got on the subject of LFL and she showed me Shari’s Instagram account and scrolling through it, it didn’t take long for me to see the hard work she puts into her physique, and a lot of positive talk in the captions. I think I quickly followed her and never turned back! Her attitude towards training is magic and I am inspired by the work ethic. If you want something, chase it. I think right now, I’m looking up to her more than I have before, because I’m injured and depressed about not being able to train and I look back to the time she tore her ACL and rehabbed it and I don’t feel so upset… If someone I look up to so greatly can overcome something so devastating, then I can overcome this damn back-joint sprain ?? Another thing I feel inspired by is her ‘no fucks’ attitude which has helped me (slowly) to overcome constant anxiety over what other people think of me. I am yet to meet her aaaaand I’m nearly 90% sure we’ll meet next year when she most likely knocks me out on the field… Ha! I’m also obsessed with reading her blog when I feel down so…. Feast your eyes: AlphaLux

Everyone who is reading this post HAS to head to GRRRL.com and visit GRRRL clothing’s Instagram, and browse the rad threads and accessories ❤️❤️ And if you choose to buy, use my code ‘Krista’ for 10% off (who doesn’t love discounts?!!) eeeeeeven on sale items ?✌?️ Then make sure you tag me in your  Instagramposts so I can see you alllll happy and shit ??

Also can I just say… I’ve encountered a lot of people from Instagram in real life, having been a flight attendant. I was meeting people I used to look up to (ie; those blonde girls posing in booty shorts and crop tops in their clean kitchen with alllllll the likes) and these people with 200K follows on Instagram didn’t even look me in the eye or acknowledge me. I’ve also asked an ‘ambassador’ of a supplement company for advice on some of their products before… And this particular person told me they haven’t even used the product… They just do it for the ‘Insta fame’ (but THAT’S for another time ??) …

Being injured and laid up and off training is causing ALL kids of feels. Ahhhhh not being able to train and release emotions in a healthy way is causing some VERY old patterns to come forth. The first pattern being quite a taboo subject, something I NEVER thought was an actual issue or was a ‘problem’… BINGE EATING. image

It’s much more common than you actually think.. And I never actually thought I had a ‘problem’ because I never followed a binge up with a trip to the toilet bowl for a sneaky spew or laxative induced poo. However, the amount of people I’ve reached out to to seek guidance from revealed that they too have experienced much the same… If not worse.

A lot of my binges, I’ve noticed, have begun because I am tired…my body feels like I am craving energy.. And I can obtain it all by simple sugars for the quick hit. However, as soon as I dig into that ice cream tub, I black the fuck out and as soon as I know it, I’m putting the spoon into the sink and I’ve mindlessly just eaten an entire litre of ice cream. Well mother fucker…HOW DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?! Literally, my brain shuts off and I’m mindlessly stuffing my face with ice cream and trying to obtain comfort from food…. Which I used to do in high school and woah daddy, did I blow out in every way!

I think it may be time to go a little deeper into maybe WHY I am doing this (bingeing)?? (Aka here is a list of some of my life problems…)

  • I’m injured and upset about not being able to train and lift properly. I’m sick of being in constant niggly pain with this join sprain in my lower back.
  • I HATE my job at LJ. I’m no longer passionate about what I do and I feel uncomfortable trying to sell a ‘size 8’ lifestyle to people when I’m not, myself, a size 8.
  • Ironic, but, feeling like I’m not losing all the weight I want to lose, so I feel like ‘what’s the fucking point in keeping on?!’ (That makes me so embarrassed to say, because it’s so contradictory…but that’s how my brain’s working at the mo!) I think ‘why do I even bother being healthy when I’m not getting to where I wanna be?!
  • I don’t have my car at the moment and I am actually really upset by the inconvenience. It’s my own fault, but food seems to comfort me- this has to STOP!
  • feeling restricted by ‘dieting’…. I’m not even ON a diet… I aim to eat clean and for a while I’ve been dabbling in the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) method…. BUT…. I find myself a bit disorganised and having chocolate in the house because sometimes I can ‘fit it in’ = a disaster cos I WILL eat the whole thing. I have no stop button. If it tastes good, bitch, I am eating it all! (Thanks comfort eating pattern!) I do much prefer a rigid system what’s written out black and white for me. Ahhhhh that makes my inner anxious-self happy. Hahaha talk about OCD.

Can I just say the only GOOD thing right now is the fact that I’m really, really poor (let’s say I have $1 to my name…for real!) and I can’t afford to buy junk food haha! I would never go as far to start bingeing on things that don’t ‘comfort’ me… Forget bingeing on the rice packets and tuna i have in my cupboards at home!!

You see, I think a lot of people associate ‘binge eating’ with bulimia.. And that’s why we never really talk about it. But I’m here to break the barrier and talk about these kinds of subjects!

I purchased ‘brain over binge’ online last week and I am SUPER excited to start reading it and reading into more of the mental side of things!

Omg so depressing that THIS is my first blog post but not ashamed as this is my thechnological thoughts. Everyone should have a diary! Welcome to my world mother fuckers ❤️❤️ And enjoy the ride!

Hello Friends!

This June/July 2016 I will be attempting to swim the lower 120 miles of the Hudson River! This summer is the 6th annual N.Y.O.W 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim. It is the longest marathon swim in the world. It is a bridge to bridge swim with an average distance of 17.2 miles per day, over 7 consecutive days. For you geography/bridge buffs, it includes: Rip Van Winkle | Kingston-Rhinecliff | Mid-Hudson | Newburgh-Beacon | Bear Mountain | Tappan Zee | George Washington | Verrazano Narrows Bridges. The Hudson River has played a fundamental role in the rich history of our great nation, and during the swim I will be passing iconic sights such as: West Point, Manhattan Island, and The Statue of Liberty (huge motivation)!

The 8 Bridges Swim promotes the health and enjoyment of the Hudson River. Swimmers can sign up to swim as many days as they want… or they can attempt “The Odyssey,” all 7 stages over 7 days. This swim is a new challenge for me, and one where the recovery training is just as important as the swimming training itself.

After swimming the English Channel in 2014, my dear parents, brother and I needed to have a year to recharge, organize, and graduate from our respective colleges (Cam from University of Washington, and for me, Smith College), before deciding on a new swimming challenge. After much consideration and planning, this summer provides the best opportunity to do a big swim.

I have been training for the past few months, and am proud to be sponsored by  GRRRLVOMAXVermont Peanut Butter Co.BRL Sports Nutrition.

I will keep this blog alive (even though its still called theenglishchannelgrind.wordpress.com) and continue to give updates and answer questions! Thank you so much for all the support, and I look forward to taking you along on this journey!

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IMG_4169Hudson River via The Bear Mountain Bridge near The Hastings Center (where I did my bioethics  fellowship late 2015!)

 

 

Keeping alive the Seven Sisters tradition (started by Emma Reim and Mackenzie Bradley from Smith College and continued by Ika Kovacikova from Wellesley, all whom I consider my Channel godmothers) is to write a brief synopsis of the swim. Enjoy!

If there is one thing that I have learned these past 12 days it is that even the best, most well trained and prepared swimmer can never be 100% ready for what the channel has in store for them. There is a reason that only 1 out of every 10 individuals who attempt the crossing make it. You are not only fighting the obvious: winds, waves, and fickle weather, but also hypothermia (a big risk for me due to sheer size), jellyfish stings, swelling/burning of the lips and throat due to salt water, chaffing, exhaustion, sea sickness, mental thoughts and the cruel illusion that is the French coast  (visible at the halfway mark, only to appear the same distance way for 6 hours, no matter how hard you feel you are swimming).

But this challenge is much more than the swim itself, it is the mental tax of waiting day after day for weather that will cooperate for 12-16 hours. Bad weather, not good, is the norm in Dover. The decision is solely the captains. You live in 12-hour windows. No matter where you are you can get called and told you must be ready because you will be swimming the next night or day, which means you could swim the entire course in the dark if that’s all the weather provides you with.  We (my dedicated family, coach and support swimmer) experienced this at its finest with 2-3 false starts. My official window was August 17-24, we arrived on the 12th, and the very last day of my window I finally got my chance. As the swimmer, I knew what my job entailed, but I can only imagine what my coach and parents had to go through…. Simply grueling.

Once we arrived to the dock in the morning I met my boat captain for the first time. Captain Oram was as I had expected: hardcore, opinionated and ready to do whatever it takes to make the crossing successful. My former Smith Swimming captain Emma Reim had also had Mike, and told me that”he is the best for a reason, you may not want to hear what he has to say at times, but know that your success is his success”. Thanks Emma 😉

Jumping out of the boat and swimming to Shakespeare beach (for the official start) was very surreal. Four years in the works and it was finally my time. While standing there and waiting for the captain to sound the alarm indicating the start of my journey between two countries, my heart was pounding, those are the moments you live for.

The first mile I was burning off total adrenaline. The channel has the reputation of giving you the early rounds, knowing that you’ll tire later in the match. There is absolutely no gimme here. My strategy was to take the swim in pieces rather than any thoughts of the entirety: swimming from the beach to the first shipping lane- 6miles, swimming through the first shipping lane-4 miles, through the transitional lane-1.5 miles, through the second shipping lane- 6miles, and finally to the French shore- 5miles. The English Channel shipping lanes are the busiest in the world. You have to contend with the supertanker and cargo liner’s enormous displacement of ocean and wake. This was every 25-30min.  Captain Oram remained in constant communication with all vessels as well as the British and French coast guards.

My swim position was always on the wind-less side of the boat. Captain Oram did his best to keep both heavy wake and wind from affecting my forward progression. This was not possible at all times and I had to get used to the high swells at 3-4 meters, created by the passing ships wake.

The transitional zone between the Channels shipping lanes is known as “jelly fish alley.” Up until that point I thought I had maybe dodged this well-known nuisance. Then, the stings began. Their greeting was a light reminder, then followed by more potent assault on any exposed skin- face, chest, hands, legs.  I counted a total of 48 seen, from the size of a baseball to a basketball. Because there is no shipping traffic, the jellies flourish here. I picked up the pace, as I was cattle-prodded through.

Into the second shipping lane (about hour 5-6) I found it more difficult to hold down my liquid nutrition on the 30-minute by 30-second feeding intervals, due to the roll and tumble of the waves. Seasickness had taken its grip. My hope was that I would be digesting whatever I could to prevent a dreaded “bonk” due to insufficient caloric intake. I was so nasceous. The liquid designed for me was a combination of high carbohydrate, some protein and some caffeine. Most importantly, the solution needed to be at a stomach osmolarity of 30 or less which allows for quick absorption. Occasionally I would try to devour and digest a Twix or Mars bar due to the high caloric value of both. The Brit’s seem to favor Mars bars.

I don’t recall ever doubting my ability to finish the swim, however the tides, water temperature, winds and physical capacity would determine that fate. I just needed to move forward trying to remain in a thought process of success. Communicating with my support crew became more vital as the hours went by. Human connection and positivity were so key into the later rounds of this challenge, and that was my support crew’s specialty. Coach Bierwert definitely gets the best supporting role as he stood dutifully along the boats rail for the full 12 hours and 55 minutes I swam (the channel official said, “how can one go so long without using the restroom?”). He was incredible.

At hour ten, the sun began to set as I felt whatever warmth it provided begin to dissipate- it was like the channels last chance to break me, the dreaded hypothermia challenge. There was no denying it; I was beginning to get cold. I was well aware of Susan Taylor’s 2013 Channel attempt and resultant death at this very point in her swim, hallmarked by initially by her decreasing stroke rate, and eventual collapse in the water resulting in her death. I fought those thoughts back as much as I could. My dad and I talked about how this may feel, as the body goes into a survival mode; blood drains away from the extremities and the brain, you become incoherent, confused and then motor weakness to loss. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t frightened at this point. The support team continued to raise the temperature of my drinks, but the effect was short lived.  I did not want an astute observer or Captain Oram to suspect a chance of hypothermia and stop my attempt, which by right they could and will do at anytime. At this point in the swim, the challenge is all above the shoulders. I told myself that I just needed to pound this out and reached for the last bit of energy I had, “not much longer, not much further, I am strong and I can do this.”  I remembered the repetitions of positive affirmations one of my Channel godmothers, Ika Kovacikova had done at this point. It picked me up in a way that was indescribable.

At hour 11 my support swimmer Mackenzie Bradley (Smith College ’13) was called in to swim alongside, but never ahead of me (your support swimmer is crucial at a time like this). The rules are very specific, she is not allowed to lead the way, so she remained two feet behind but still making eye contact. Mackenzie deserves a badge of honor for not only entering the dangerous waters of the Channel again, but for also being a constant source of positivity throughout. I will be eternally grateful for her generosity and dedication. From his cockpit, Captain Oram began to snap the whip, I knew I was closing in on Wissiant beach, further south than Calais, France, due to the end of a Neap tide raising its ugly head once again- thus the serpentine swim pattern typical of a crossing. Captain Oram knew that picking up the pace would allow a soft sand finish, but any longer could cause me to drift further south onto the large, sharp rocks of Cap Gris Nez, France. With a voice that could be heard all the way back to Dover, Captain Oram yelled, “1800 yards, get your a** in gear.” I knew I was on the homestretch when the boat stopped moving forward, as that is as far in as they can go without striking bottom.

Like an opponent accepting defeat, the beach waves of Wissiant pushed from behind at the last 50 yards as I felt my knees strike sand. I stumbled to my feet and cleared the water, onto dry beach, turned and faced the boat and signaled with both arms up that my bout with the channel was over. I was emotionally and physically exhausted as the boat blew the triumphant horn, done for only successful crossings. As I looked back at the boat, I could see the silhouettes of my coach, my family, my observer and the boat captain with their arms waving. This swim was truly one part Paige; three parts the support of my team. The flurry of thoughts and feelings were just overwhelming as I stood there is France realizing I had beaten the Channel. I was one of less than 350 women who have actually done this,…. No WE did this.

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I may be biased, but in my opinion, girls who lift weights are like an absolute gem in this world. And I’m sure most men would agree. Girls with muscle send out vibes of self-sufficiency, confidence, good health, and strong minds because lifting weight requires dedication and persistence making it a hard, yet admirable grind. So it’s not rocket science that guys would be attracted to it. I’m honestly flattered when people take time out of their day to approach me and talk to me about what it is I do to look the way I do. But let me tell you, it gets old quick when some of the same questions and statements are repeated over and over and over again by strangers who half the time are not listening and only interested in what that booty do, for lack of a better term. Ladies, I’m sure you’ve heard a few of these questions time and time again. Here is how I answer these questions vs. what I’m really thinking:

 

IF I HAD A DIME FOR EVERYTIME A GUY ASKED OR TOLD ME…

  1. “Do You Work Out?”

My response: Haha yeah you could say that.

What I’m Really Thinking: *insert sarcasm* No Bitch, actually, I look like this by doing absolutely nothing. No big deal man, genetics hooked me up… Obviously, I work out dude. And I already know that you knew that so pick something a little more creative to break the ice next time because I’m hearing this so much that I’m starting to think that it looks like I actually don’t work out.

 

  1. “How Much Do You Bench?”

My Response: I don’t know. I never bench.

What I’m Really Thinking: I am an Olympic Weightlifter, NOT a powerlifter. I literally just spent maybe six minutes of my time that I could’ve spent rolling out this knot in my quad at the gym before training explaining to you exactly what weightlifting was and the different lifts and how its nothing like powerlifting at all and how I never bench, and after all that, you’re STILL going to ask how much I bench? Like why? Why?

 

  1. “You Could Lift Me Over Your Head”

My Response: hah Probably.

What I’m Really Thinking: I could power snatch your ass for a triple fool.

 

  1. “You Could Squat Me”

My Response: For sure.

What I’m Really Thinking: I could squat four of you. For reps… and multiple sets.

 

  1. “Are a Lot of Guys Intimidated By You?”

My Response: I mean, I don’t know, maybe?

What I’m Really Thinking: I seriously don’t understand this question, like I never know how to respond. What do you mean? Intimidated to talk to me? Intimidated to look at me? Intimidated to ask me out? Are you asking this because I’m single? Are you asking this because I intimidate you? Are you asking this because you want to ask me out? How would I know if a guy was intimidated by me? If he was intimidated by me, that would mean he would never talk to me, and I would never know him, therefore I would never know he was intimidated by me. You see how that works? It doesn’t, and neither does this question, so don’t ask this question. Stupid question.

 

  1. “You Could Probably Kick My Ass”

 My Response: Nah I’m a lover, not a fighter.

What I’m Really Thinking: How original. But seriously, why do guys say this? Like, it’s a little creepy. Do you want your ass kicked? Is this like a fetish thing for you? Or are you just trying to be funny? Because frankly, I think that’d be humiliating for you and such a turn off for me if I could actually kick your ass. But yes, I could definitely kick your ass. For sure. No doubt.

 

  1. You Make Me Question My Manhood”

My Response: Sorry? My bad?

What I’m Really Thinking: I don’t know what you want me to say to this one fam. Whatever it takes to be more of a man, you do that. I myself am a woman, so I have no advice for you other than to stop being a little bitch.

 

  1. “I Repped (insert number of) Plates on the Leg Press the Other Day”

My Response: Oh wow, that’s dope.

What I’m Really Thinking: I don’t even know what you’re talking about. What does that even mean? Why did you walk all the way over here to tell me this? Chances are, you’re probably not doing it right, and in reality, you probably can’t squat for shit because your mobility is so poor and your legs and back are so weak from sitting down in weight machines all day. Man, I almost want to ask you to do an air squat now just to see that form.

 

  1. How Do I Get Big?”

My Response: Not sure. Maybe high reps as heavy as you can go.

What I’m Really Thinking: OMG. Again, I literally just explained to you I am not a bodybuilder. I don’t know how to “get big”. I only know how to get strong with a lot of hard ass work. When you wanna mess with that, hit a girl up. And damn, do I really look that big today? Dooope.

 

 

…ID SERIOUSLY HAVE A LOT OF MONEY

 

The other day I was talking with a coworker about snowboarding telling him how badly I wanted to go this season. He asked if I wanted to make a day trip up to Big Bear. I told him about my training schedule and expressed that I wanted to, but I couldn’t and he said “what’s the point of living if you can’t do what you want.”

 

I thought about it for a quick second, and quickly changed my response. “Its not that I can’t, its that I CHOOSE not to.” He said, “fair enough, if you change your mind just let me know.”

 

All in all, he brought up a good point, something I am certain most, if not all, athletes encounter in their athletic career: how much are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goals?

 

I choose this life I live because I’m the only who has the power to do so. I make my choices and stand by them because in the end I control my own destiny and if I make a poor decision, I have no one else to blame but myself. I’ve missed out on a lot of shit. Yes, I decline invites to go snowboarding because I don’t want to risk injury. Yes, I’ve missed out on MANY nights out with the homies because I had training the next day. Yes, I’ve missed birthdays and weddings because it conflicted with training. And as a highly social person and a people pleaser, it’s hard to say “no” and reject invites and not show up to events. To be completely honest, sometimes, I feel like I’m missing out on life because I know I’m never going to get this time back. Every now and then, when the stress piles up, things aren’t going my way, I question if this is really what I want to do. Doubt sinks in. Do I want to keep making these sacrifices and give up all my spare time to this sport? Is it really worth it?

 

And then I think about training. I think about the excitement I get when I look to the board to see what’s programmed for the day. I think about the speed and power I feel when I lift. I think about the grind, good and bad, I get to go through with my team and I remember I have a goal that makes it all worth it. I don’t put in hours of work every damn day for multiple days a week for nothing. I’m here to build something. And in the end, choosing to say no to my dream would be completely unforgivable than choosing to say no to snowboarding trip. I realize that sacrificing things I want to do now for the things I really want to do in the future is never easy, but is necessary for the things I am going to do in the future.

My advice for reaching your goal/goals in 2016:

 

  1. Write it down

I never believed this to be true. Trust me, I thought it made no difference. It took me years of multiple people telling me to do it before I finally did, but when you write things down, they really begin to happen. Most days, the world will throw something new at you to break your routine, get you off track, and make you lose sight of your goal. If you write it down and have it somewhere visible, you can always refer back to it and hold yourself accountable.

 

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

As simple as it sounds, I know sometimes its easier said than done. But really, you are in control of your life. No one knows you, your goals or your grind better than you. And you can’t expect them to understand it either. If you think for a second it will throw you off track of where you really want to be, just say no.

 

  1. Be Consistent

The more routine you make your life, the easier it will be to achieve what you want. You’ll create a pattern that will eventually become second nature and that structure will become the building blocks to your success.

 

 

May 2016 bring all of you lots of success. And lots of gains!

 

132kg/291lb clean at the 2015 American Open in Reno, Nevada

Growing up, I was completely self-conscious of my body.  #TeamThighs was not something I was proud of, and DEFINITELY not something I would have advertised.  Naturally, I was just taller and bigger than most girls my age. I mean, my dad is 6’5, it was inevitable.    When I heard any comment, negative or positive, about my legs, height, or my size, it would get to me.  And I mean REALLY get to me.  From a very young age, I was always the one people would come to, to find comfort or seek advice but the matter of the fact was that I was never comfortable in my own skin and I didn’t know how to express this to anyone. So I stayed strong and never let it show.  The absolute number one thing I loathed the most about my body were my legs.  They were big, they stuck out, and they just didn’t look like the legs that everyone considered beautiful.  But they were strong.  One particular moment I will remember forever was track practice in 8th grade.  One day they had all the girls learn how to throw the shot put so they could add the event into the big track meet at the end of the season.  So the coaches had us all stand in line to give it a shot.  A few girls went before me and made their measly attempts at tossing.  Coaches were unimpressed, spiritless, distracted, and all the girls were in line whining about being bored.  I was next.  I spun (with absolutely no idea what I was doing, and most likely with horrible technique as well) launched it, and the shotput flew.  I laugh now because thinking back it seriously FLEW. And I was completely mortified.  Completely embarrassed.  Embarrassed because of how strong I was.  I had never seen a head whip so fast as I had seen my coaches when he checked to see who had just thrown that shot put.  He paced quickly to read where it landed, jotted down something on his clipboard, and dismissed us.  He pulled me aside and informed me that I had broken the school record that had not been set since years prior (mind you, it was only middle school).  He told me that I should consider throwing in high school and meeting the coach.  Had I’d known then how much my life revolves around power and strength now, obviously, my answer would have been extremely different.  But back then, it was an easy and thoughtless “thanks, but no thanks” kind of deal.  Yet part of me deep down really wanted to meet with that coach because I knew I had potential to be great at something, but I was too afraid of what others would say and the way people would perceive me.  Point is, I spent my whole childhood and teenage life trying to hide my strength scared of people’s judgement.  I didn’t know how to embrace it.  What kind of girl would I be if I could throw a ball further than the guys? It just wouldn’t be normal and I did anything to reject my true talents and true self to stay in that lane of normality.

About two years after high school is where my perception of “normal” began to change.  I heard about Crossfit and decided to try it out with one intention in mind: to lose weight.  As time went on, without realizing it, my mentality began to change.  There was no exact moment, it just sort of happened before I even knew it was happening.  I was no longer going back to the box everyday for my initial intention, but rather to get better at being faster, stronger, and more efficient because pushing myself to be better was where my true happiness was radiating from.  I started to care less about my appearance and more about the time I was posting for every workout.  And more importantly, I had finally found a place where strength was accepted.  People admired me for what I could do with my body (uhh mostly how much I could squat) and ultimately, it allowed me to start loving my body as well.  Loving what my body could do.  And in turn, loving myself.  At last, I was comfortable in my own skin and it led to a vulnerability, finally a point in my life where I was comfortable enough with myself to open up to others. I was proud to talk about my strengths just as well as my weaknesses, with absolutely no shame.  I began to fully accept and embrace the way I was made and I found the confidence I had been lacking all those years prior, trying to hide myself.

Fast-forward three years to present time and it’s shocking sometimes at where I’m at now.  The strength I spent most of my life being ashamed of is now the thing I am most proud of and it is what my life revolves around.  The part of my body I was once absolutely embarrassed of has now become what I am most grateful for.  The sport of Olympic Weightlifting has given me the opportunity to come full circle because of the beauty and power it allows me to see in my body and myself.  It’s constantly pushing my body past the boundaries that my mind has previously set, teaching me the most important lesson I’ve learned thus far: Your mind is far stronger than your physical strength.  With a strong mind, what you and your body can do is limitless.  Be you, accept yourself, and love yourself.  Don’t settle for the basic because at the end of the day, who wants to be basic?

 

Oh my GOD!

I wish you could see me typing this blog right now.  I’m literally on all 4’s with my ass up in the air.  I have the WORST stomach pains at the moment, and cannot for the life of me figure out why.  OK- so now that I’ve set the scene up for ya, let me explain the “harsh realisation”…

As most of you know, I’m 34.  I can hardly be bothered putting on makeup but maybe, once… possibly, twice a year.  In fact, just last month I sold my entire makeup collection that I’ve been adding to since early 2000’s.  I had close to 40 mac eye shadows!  Most of them used maybe 3-4 times.  This wasn’t because I had a shopping problem by the way-  I’d usually get my makeup done at a mac counter before a photoshoot.  When doing so, you have to buy a certain amount of product.  Anyway….

Earlier this morning I was putting on makeup to get ready for a product shoot for GRRRL Clothing.  In case you’ve been under a rock for the past 6 months, I’m the MFCEO-  and I decided that we weren’t using any goddamn photoshop on our models.  ZERO!

As I was brushing something on my face (can’t remember if it was eye shadow or foundation), it suddenly dawned on me that I looked fucking old today!  Since I hardly look in the mirror at my face (I usually only look at my body and what muscles are visible!), I was surprised to feel this way about myself.  Then after a few seconds, it dawned on me that I could recall feeling this way about myself since I was in my early 20’s!!!!!  I remembered back at a handful of times where I distinctly felt like my face was no longer this beautiful pallet (hope I spelled that shit right, and didn’t spell ‘pallet’ like a pallet of hay! hahahahaha!) of one colour.  I’d see broken blood vessels on my cheeks from smashing my face into the mats doing BJJ.  Or other times I’d notice brown spots from the sun and birth control.  Or feeling like I had ‘crows feet’ around my eyes.

But today, I could see heaps of different marks on my face, and thought, “fuck! I thought this shit was bad 10 years ago!  I can’t believe it!”.  Then I had the harsh realisation that it is so disheartening to think that such a young person could think they weren’t enough.  That she was ‘too old’ ‘too wrinkled’ ‘too spotty’, too whatever……

To be frank, I didn’t really give a rats ass that I looked old today.  I had to question if that was because I’ve found my soul mate.  I’m married to a man who wakes up after 5 years, and will still get tears in his eyes over “my breathtaking beauty” (yeah then that shit goes out the window as soon as I smile and rip ass! hahahahahaha!!!!! )((this is why you can NEVER compare your life to someone else’s on social media!  might look amazing from the outside looking in, but you can’t smell anything in cyber space, can ya?!))

Then I had a little wonder about all the other women out there who haven’t found a partner who happens to be their best friend, and lover- and who shows unconditional love each and every day of their life towards the other.  I had to wonder how she copes with these feelings of “getting old”.

It’s just amazing to me how programmed and conditioned we all are as human beings.  Well, most of us in western, first world societies I suppose.

This is why we created GRRRL.  This movement was created to celebrate the fact that ALL females are beautiful regardless of size and looks.  There is nothing “perfectly imperfect” about fucking any of us.  It’s called “real life”- and not these false, air-brushed, fake ass images we’ve been brainwashed with since conception.  If women weren’t so busy worrying about how they looked, we’d be busy bonding and not seeing each other as competition.  Then we could get on with improving the state of the planet-

If people truly understood how much power all forms of media and advertising had on the subconscious mind, I believe we’d have a much more liberated world.

Everybody is waiting for somebody else to go first.  And going first can be difficult sometimes.  Seeing yourself and putting yourself out there, as you are- can be risky.  But you know what?  I’d rather be a risk taker than a drone amongst a pack of drones, following a crowd of drones.

#ILOVEMYHAIRYTOES #ILOVEMYHAIRYTOES

This, was a shit blog.  As soon as I get over to my new country next week and settled, (oh wait)… I get settled then head back to Merica!  Ok, as soon as I get moved, take my trip over to Merica, THEN get back and get settled, I assure you I’ll have my blog roll back in full force.

<3

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unreal

 

I suppose just reading the title of this blog could have pissed a few of you off.  Why I hate Valentines Day, is the same as to why I hate every Hallmark holiday.  Let me break it down for ya real quick like-

The man in this photo here, as I’m sure you guessed, is my soul mate.  He also happens to be one of the most creative, talented marketing professionals in the world.  One day early on in our relationship, we were having a conversation around the power of the media.  We somehow got onto the topic of Christmas.  It was from that conversation he taught me a little history surrounding “Father Christmas”.

I knew I’d seen images of Santa wearing a red suit with GREEN trim, somewhere before in my childhood past.  But could only visualise Santa with a red suit and WHITE trim.  So what’s the go?  Well, coke-a-cola back in the day, decided to take over Christmas, and changed Santa’s get-up to red and white, to resemble their brand colours.

I’m not sure at what age I started to frown upon holidays, but it certainly was a while ago.  I feel like it’s sad that we need a designated day to take time out to tell someone, or show someone how much they mean to you.

I also dislike holidays because it is such a screwed up construct for people to mentally feel like they are alone in the world.  It heightens feelings of depression beyond the stratosphere.

Ah, look- I’ve ran out of time to write more on the topic, but if you are alone today, PRAISE AMEN AND REJOICE BITCHES!  YOU GET TO SPEND TIME WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE, Y O U !!!!!!!!!!

In my experience, once I stopped looking for someone to fix, and decided to completely focus on fixing MY shit- the man of MY DREAMS fell into my lap.  Well, technically he stepped on my foot in a coffee shop in Melbourne, but you must be picking up what I’m laying down.

<3 and if no one has told you today, I love you.

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The woman who crushes watermelons with her THIGHS… and jokes her fearsome strength scared off pro-rape creep ‘Roosh the Douche’ from Australia

  • Fitness guru Kortney Olson crushed a watermelon with her thighs
  • The Gold Coast crushed the fruit in a five second Facebook video
  • She took aim at ‘pro-rape’ blogger Daryush ‘Roosh’ Valizadeh
  • ‘He saw my watermelon video and cancelled plans,’ she said
  • The video has had more than 5,700,000 views on Facebook

By LAUREN GROUNSELL FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA

PUBLISHED: 16:53 EST, 10 February 2016 | UPDATED: 18:46 EST, 10 February 2016

1kshares

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She was Australia’s first female arm wrestling champion, but Kortney Olson’s strength extends beyond her bulging biceps.

The Gold Coast fitness guru has shared a video of herself crushing a whole watermelon with her bare thighs in an incredible show of strength.

She posted the video alongside the hashtags #YourHeadHereHomeboy and #RooshTheDouche in an apparent attempt to scare ‘pro-rape’ blogger Daryush ‘Roosh’ Valizadeh who planned to visit Australia.

When ‘Roosh the Douche’ abandoned his trip, she wrote: ‘he saw my watermelon video and cancelled plans’

Kortney crushes a whole watermelon with her THIGHS
Show of strength: Kortney Olson posted a video to Facebook of herself crushing a whole watermelon with her thighs

Show of strength: Kortney Olson posted a video to Facebook of herself crushing a whole watermelon with her thighs

'Quads of the Gods': The fitness guru was able to turn the fruit in to juice in just five seconds

‘Quads of the Gods’: The fitness guru was able to turn the fruit in to juice in just five seconds

#RooshTheDouche: She said her watermelon video is what prompted 'pro-rape' blogger Daryush 'Roosh' Valizadeh to cancel his plans to visit Australia

#RooshTheDouche: She said her watermelon video is what prompted ‘pro-rape’ blogger Daryush ‘Roosh’ Valizadeh to cancel his plans to visit Australia

Kortney posted the video to her Facebook page on February 5 and it has gone on to be viewed more than 5,700,000 times.

She captioned the video with a watermelon emoji and a series of hashtags.

‘#watermelonGRRRL #legs #likeAgrrrl #watermelonthighsqueeze #quadsofthegods #legsfordays #yourheadherehomeboy #rooshthedouche #returnofthequeens #LDB #legdaybitch,’ she wrote.

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So what are my Afterthoughts And Aftermath Of Competing?

Well, pull up a piece of carpet and I’ll tell ya….

You may recall from one of my last blogs on the topic, that I was deemed “too big” for the IFBB Physique category.  I had a little rant about it there.  I also had a little rant about competing a month or so prior as well, and had decided that competing was a ‘good thing’ after weighing up the pros and cons.  But- history would prove that I’ve gone and done it again: I’ve changed my mind.  FULL STOP.

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’d know that I’d decided to try my hand at the “physique” category in the IFBB federation.  Back when I started competing in 2009, that category wasn’t a thing.  However, toward my last show, it started to emerge.  But it was too late for me at that point.  I’d already had enough with body building, since I couldn’t compete with the non-tested girls, and I found the tested federations were ran like a bunch of ass clowns.

Anyway-  I dieted and trained with 110% intensity and commitment for 8 months.  Then, November 28th, competed in Australia’s first ‘olympia’ and was shocked to discover that I was “too muscular”.  November 30th, I stepped on a plane, and flew back home to California to organise and execute the launch of our newly released clothing line, www.grrrl.com alongside our epic sponsored athlete, Holly Holm (yeah…. pretty unreal.  Have a listen to an interview here http://smallbusinessbigmarketing.com/holly-holm-sponsorship/ ).  Once touching down in Los Angeles, we basically got wind that operations in the US were not going so well.  In fact, they weren’t going AT ALL.  It’s a long story, but needless to say, when you’ve been trading for nearly 2 weeks and a single item hadn’t been shipped, it’s not really a time of optimism.

All I can say is, I will forever have my family’s back.

OK- so from December 1-11th, was one of the most stressful times of my life.  Add in the holiday’s, traveling with working from 7am – 1am in the morning, consecutive days in a row, and not training, I picked up a new habit of eating, and eating whatever I damn well pleased.  Usually, it takes me 4 days to start a new habit.  So by time we landed back in Australia December 13th, I was well and true into my “new habit”.

For the first time in my life, I truly lived the silly season.  Because I’d dieted so hard, and for so long, I ate pretty much every food I’ve denied myself since I was 15.  Then again, it wasn’t like I denied myself, I just didn’t have an interest in shit food because I never ate it.  Therefor never craved it, never missed it.

So on top of slowly putting weight back on (and wouldn’t you know, I gave away a ton of clothes that I’d “never wear again” because I felt like I’d be 10 kilos lighter for the rest of my life), and not having much motivation to train anymore, I also didn’t take into account that I’d abruptly stopped taking oestrogen blockers the day after my show.  #notsmart  I’d done a fair bit of research, and knew that it was best to tapper off of the stuff, but didn’t really have a choice in seeing that I was traveling internationally the day after my show.

This was also the first time I’d taken them, and have had no previous experience in the rebound from it.  I read about it from several sources, that no matter what, all women rebound hard from taking them, but that didn’t really sink in.  So here I was at the end of January, at the heaviest I’ve ever been, and wanting to blow my head off.

Females in particular, are brought up in a society (in western culture) where our worth is determined by the shape of our body.  If we don’t immolate what is presented in mainstream media and advertising, we grow up thinking something is wrong with us.  If we don’t conform to society’s standard of ‘what the fuck’ beauty is, we’re “weird”, “gross” or “need help”.  Think back to when civilised society started taking shape… it was seen as a sign of wealth and prosperity if you were overweight.  It was sought after in women…. (this blog isn’t about that- I digress…)

Psychologically speaking, competing is a mental mind fuck.  But come to find out, the aftermath is WAY more of a mind fuck that the actual preparation.  It’s funny, because previously in my experience, I never had “post blues” because I wasn’t taking anything, and wasn’t so militant with my food (hence why I never “won” lol!).  I’ve always had great mass in my legs (duh), but never really focused as much as I had for this last round of shows.

But now that I’ve gone through the ‘post blues’, I’d have to say competing is DEF something you need to have a coach for to take you out the other side.  If you plan on competing, do NOT go all the way through with a show, then stop working with your coach.  Your “de-prep” is just as important as your prep, maybe even more important.

Personally, I’m finally able to close the door on it.  I always toyed around with the idea of physique, did it- and can now say “fuck that shit!”.  I belong on a mat or a table, where things are black and white.  I dislike being judged by someone who looks like they haven’t stepped foot in the gym themselves in years, and happen to be coaching and/or fucking my competitors.

Oh, and I might end on I’m still craving brown rice.  All day, every day.  Like I want to bathe in it.

 

 

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Here’s what this blog is not: me pretending I’m a MMA expert. That would make me a lousy human being. Equally as lousy as the fight/ football experts that come along during a big fight/ finals season. Folks if you love MMA, NFL or NRL so much try watching a gazillion games during the regular season. Follow a team all season, you might even learn something about the sport.
 
 
ROUSEY vs HOLM
  
Let’s be clear: I have always been and will continue to be a fan of Rousey. Growing up, I can’t remember any strong females that weren’t superheros or video game characters that I had to look up to. For real, Wonder Woman, Mortal Kombat’s Kitana and Milena, these guys were my idols, if you could call them that. Rousey is like the female Rock but more legit, she’s transcended into film, is highly marketable and has become a household name. She is not afraid to stand up and tell the world who she is and her views on things. She’s done some great things not just for MMA but for women in general. I like that. The world is lacking strong, alpha female role models for our youth, I truly believe that. But we’re here to change that, read on.
  
There are people who don’t like MMA; the blood shed, the violence. I also feel that the majority of people out there are uneducated on the sport as a whole. I remember watching the original UFCs on VHS.  It was kickboxer vs jui jitsu.  There were no crossbreeds and no disciplines meshed. These days, we have these entire hybrid warrior freaks. With Rousey vs Holm, we had two world class athletes testing the skills they have spent their entire lives harnessing.  There is so much mental skill and toughness involved. Should there be a rematch? Highly likely. But this is Hollys time to rejoice and bask in her victory.
 
 
Brutal beginnings of the UFC. Image source Fox Sports
 
Me? I was stoked that Holm had a dominant, clear win. She did some serious damage landing head shots in Round 1 and completely dominated in Round 2.  It was not a close call, a lucky shot or a win that can be discounted by any means, she dominated Rousey the way that Rousey typically dominates her opponents with a clear one sided victory. If Holm had won on points or landed one lucky shot to seal the win, imagine what the online experts would be saying then!!? The media is brutal!
 
 
DON’T BE SHEEP
 
Here is what is not cool sheeple: jumping on the bandwagon to diss Ronda now that she has lost one fight; she’s human and that’s the nature of sport. Who in the history of the world was undefeated forever?! Come to think of it Laila Ali retired from boxing undefeated after 24 wins. When your favourite sports team is failing to perform do you jump ship on them? No, you stick by them through thick and thin endlessly (Chicago Bears fans, I wouldn’t blame if you jumped though). That’s loyalty. Ronda is still and always will be a legend despite the cocky way she handled herself leading up to the bout. I want all females to win and these ladies both have, Ronda has taken the sport to new levels for women and paved the way for someone like Holly to come through! I’m reading so much garbage online, trolling is not cool – if you’re someone who willy nilly leaves your negative comments just for the sake of owning a keyboard and internet connection wake up sunshine. Even Rondas arch nemesis Floyd Mayweather is being supportive, sheesh.  
 
I feel as though these online trolls could be the same commenting ‘looks like a guy’ on fit girls photos. Now it’s part of having a public forum that people will give you their input even though you may not give a single you know what about it. I have a few things to say to said troll, for now let’s refer to him/ her as ‘Weasel’…
 
 1.       No Weasel, they don’t look like guys they look like women, who exercise. Probably more than you.
 
2.       Weasel if you want people to take you seriously get a profile pic. You’re a faceless box and nobody likes to engage with faceless boxes.
 
3.       Perhaps society has failed to distinguish them as womanly because cultures have been so behind the times participating in womens exercise programs; most people don’t realise what a strong, healthy woman looks like.
 
4.       The world has evolved Weasel and chipmunks are on their way out. All your small minded comments do is prevent other women from lifting or working out and enjoying a long healthy life. Young ladies have access to the net you know, your comment might (god forbid) influence some poor soul. Has the world forgotten that children are always listening?
 
5.       In the future Weasel, don’t be a dodo, high chance that the lady who posted the image reads your comments, chuckles, envisages stomping on you wrapping your limp body in her loin cloth we’re all cave women. I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR! *Insert eye roll here*
 
People can get so tied up with what’s happening online. You’ll be judged on your appearance by others who are insecure about themselves. Don’t let online fool you. There’s people with 10 likes that have plenty of friends, there’s people with 1000’s of likes that are lonely as hell. There’s couples posting lovey dovey pics that are in ugly, deceitful relationships yet private couples with no photos online in divine, genuine relationships. There’s people doing things they’re uncomfortable with in an effort to gain likes that aren’t real to get recognition from people who mean nothing to them, if they even know them at all. There’s people who spend all their money on designer clothes who are broke as hell yet wealthy people who are outside busy making this world a better place for all mankind. There’s people with broken hearts who put on a brave face for the sole purpose of showing the person who broke theirs that they’re surviving without them, but they’re barely. Online is great as long as we use it for good, not evil purposes. For motivation not jealousy, for adequacy not inadequacy. Life’s moments of value are spent looking into eyes, skies or plates of delicious food, not staring into a screen.
   
 
 
 
HERE’S WHATS NOT COOL
 
Being a punk. I was not cool with Ronda not touching gloves. Trust and respect by others is hard earned, yet can be permanently lost over the smallest thing. Now it’s no secret I am a complete asshole on the gridiron but not touching gloves is the equivalent of not shaking hands with the captains after the coin toss. You can bet your ass I hate you while we’re playing, that’s just the competitive frame of mind I get into, but the moment that final whistle goes and we are done playing I respect any female that is willing to go into battle and face an opposition ESPECIALLY in a contact sport or a non-traditional sport for women to play. That’s the greatest part when you all line up, smile, shake hands, hug and admire one another. And it’s not always the winners you’re admiring, perhaps it’s the one who got the bejesus smacked out of her, got back up and ran the ball again. Perhaps it’s the one you overheard encouraging her team mates when they were all down. Perhaps it’s the tiniest person out there courageous enough to mix it with the giants. In case you haven’t realised ladies, we’re all on the same god damn team! It’s for equality, it’s to flip the middle finger up to all the haters and naysayers who think football, MMA, rugby, cricket or soccer are mens sports, that women shouldn’t be taking part in that sort of thing. We are in fact unique snowflakes! We should be building one another up, not tearing down and criticising one another. Hey you know what, you can keep doing your thing (whatever that is) while we do ours.  It’s time we stopped passing judgement on others, that’s cool if you wanna be a DNB  I ain’t hating on you I just know I want to do something different.
  
 
GRRRL POWER
 
I’ll let you in on a secret, even lil ol me this confident, ballsy woman comfortable in her own skin has insecurities. As an athlete you’re always chasing your peak performance and your peak physique. You have goals to reach in your off season, pre-season, during season and along with your training & nutrition comes physical changes. I’ve always trained for my sport, not to appear a certain way, the way I look is a by-product of my workload.  It’s tricky not to make that comparison to when you were in your best shape. So when you book a photo shoot there is generally that sense of ‘uh-oh I should look my best’. Don’t get me wrong it’s cool to love yourself and also want to improve. So I booked a shoot for November a few months back and in the lead up had some fairly quiet, back of brain, muffled thoughts of ‘remember you have that shoot coming up’. Thinking back even though I had those thoughts I didn’t alter my normal routine and I’m proud of that. Once  I came to my fucking senses I realised the brand I was shooting for believed that women have more important things to worry about than conforming to media stereotypes of what they should or should NOT look like. For too long the fashion industry has misled women about how other women look. Then in the days leading up to the shoot as I heard more about creative direction of the shoot I had anticipation, excitement, hope for all womankind that FINALLY we would have a brand that represented us!!! We who represent the brand are not strong female cyborgs, we’re strong female HUMAN BEINGS who still occasionally have these thoughts but we’ve learnt to muffle them. We hope that through sharing our experience and profiles you can damn well muffle or silence your negative voices too.
 
 
 
Hollys first release of shirts sold out quick. Image source: Instagram Holly Holm
 
The athletes working with this brand are so inspiring and remarkable not to mention bad ass. This is where Holly Holm comes in. Yeah Holly’s with us, but you CAN sit with us! Just don’t be swearing as much as I do cause she ain’t into that. This special group of GRRRL athletes from around the globe were all quietly rooting for Holly before the rest of the world decided to take notice after she won her fight. We are beyond proud of our GRRRL Holly and not modest in sharing how amazing our sisterhood is! I don’t put my name and face to many brands so you know this brand is the essence of me and how I live my life. I am actually so grateful they found me but that’s how the universe works right?

Image source: grrrl.com Arnaud Domange

 

 
 
I want to share a truckload of things I loved about shooting the GRRRL campaign but I’ll chop it down for ya’all;
  
 •I was allowed to look like me, it was my choice to wear makeup but they would have been cool if I just wore my soul.
  
•Their sizing is not S, M or L it’s a particular athlete size, see below.
  
•It is their STRONG belief that a woman has 100% of the decision making power over how she looks.
 
 •They agreed to NEVER EVER airbrush, photoshop or otherwise manipulate images of their athletes (in advertising or on the website) what other companies and media outlets see as “imperfections”. Women are perfection already. Period.
 
 Kortney Olson (you may have seen her crush watermelons with her thighs ) and David who are running the show are an absolute pleasure to be around. Arnaud Domange with his French humour and wit behind the lens made it difficult for me to keep a straight face and Sir Gino Payne waving his magic wand just creating magic as Spielberg does.  They create this incredible aura (probably unknowingly) that oozes positivity and non judgement and made me want to hang around all day.
 
 

It might take you a moment to get used to the sizing code, which athlete are you??

Go check out the site here and get yourself some cool shit. Use 10% off discount code ‘shari’ and you’ll get your cool shit cheaper, even sale items.

 
YOUR CLIQUE
 
So Albuqerque New Mexico has another claim to fame, after Breaking Bad put them on the map, now it’s Holly Holm. The UFC promo footage of Holly training in the desert, did anyone else think ‘hey that’s where Walter and Jesse drove the van to cook meth!’ I digress. Holly is a hero to so many girls now, not just girls who compete, this kind of courage can transcend into anything in your freaking life. Holly created one of the biggest upsets in sporting history. She was distinctive, different even. Her aura was intriguing. People would stare. She was intimidating outside, but caring and soft inside. Holly talked alot about her team of coaches, her family that there was so much love around her. There was actually way more love for Ronda which is unfortunately human nature. Holly talked about how many times she would sit in her car and cry after training after a bad performance then get back in the gym that night and keep working on perfecting her weaknesses.
 
 
Image Source: hollyholm.com
Which is why this is so relevant to everyone reading this. If your inner team, coaches, friends, family, people who you spend your time with are not supportive and offer you the love and support you need in life its time to pack up and move on. If you don’t, how will you ever know how great you could be, whether that’s with your career, fitness or other goals. Know what you have to offer is plenty, anyone who wants to walk away from that is on them. I also think it’s important to accept the fact you will grow apart from people you’ve had significant relationships with. You should be able to understand when someone no longer positively affects your life and let them go. Don’t hinder your damn growth! Thoughts are powerful cosmic waves in the universal sea of energy we live in. Don’t you dare be put down by anyone close to you saying things like “who do you think you are trying to accomplish that”.
 
You know that self image that is formed of ourselves growing up? The one that’s unconsciously formed from our achievements and failures, our embarrassments, our victories, the way others have related to us (especially in early childhood). Our behaviour, feelings AND our abilities are always consistent with this self image. They’re not always valid thoughts just programmed from birth and now so ingrained they’re automatic. These thoughts aren’t “the truth”, they’re handed down through generations someone put them there a long time ago. They’re nothing more than SPECIFIC NEURAL PATTERNS in your brain. Neurological research shows 95-99 % of all your behaviours are automatic. This is why we set goals, but don’t reach them. Setting them is a function of the conscious mind. Reaching them is a function of the subconscious mind. The subconcious mind is in the driving seat. Not the conscious mind. My point here is if you want to, you can reroute your entire existence.
  
Now your outer clique, these are random people of the world who share their opinions with you, the ‘Weasels’  either inadvertadely or otherwise, face to face or online networks. WHY do you care so much for their opinion? If Holly listened or cared for the opinions of those do you think she would have won? No chance in world could she have those thoughts creep into her mind, that sort of negative self talk would have her completely off her game.  Whats the message here??? Others opinions do not matter one bit. If you think of all the times in the world when you’ve let someone elses opinion stop you or affect you, all for what?? Nada. Go forth and conquer my disciples. 
 
Dear Samantha,
 
In regards to your article 10 Struggles of Women with Big Thighs I must say I disagree largely with a lot of your points, in fact felt so strongly I have responded below. To my readers, feel free to leave your comments via my facebook page or here on the blog as I am interested in the thoughts of the population.
 
 
1.        My pants NEVER fall down with big thighs.
 
Yes, they are often loose at the waist from going up a size to accommodate the thighs, but the thighs are the catchment preventing them from ever falling down. Perhaps you’re into baggy fireman pants. But yes, jean shopping absolutely sucks; denim with stretch is a must, and generally a high waisted fit is superior, as they taper at the waist instead of cropping wider at the hip.
 





 
3.         ‘Just the act of wearing shorts in general is terrifying’
 
It’s not terrifying; it’s fabulous to wear shorts with big thighs. I hope you are trying to communicate that shorts are difficult to purchase for the thick lower half/ small waist girls, but surely a few unconfident women just threw another negative log into their fire. The real problem here is fashion labels and society are constantly catering for and promoting unrealistic ideals. Magazines and advertorials generally feature models instead of looking at how most women are truly built and making clothing that accommodates them. If we refer to the renaissance in museums all over the world, there is a full spectrum of how women are built.

 
 
4.              ‘A thigh gap was never in the cards for you ‘
 
We should NOT be promoting the thigh gap as a benchmark for women. Nor am I suggesting we promote the thigh chafe as a benchmark. In reality a thigh gap can be more about the angle that your pelvis tilts than how big your thighs are. Sure, occasionally they chafe, you could always try body glide: it’s not some raunchy lubricant; it’s an anti-chafe product providing non-greasy protection against skin problems caused by rubbing.
 

 

 

 

5.              I agree: running can literally be irritating.
 
I choose to take fewer steps at a higher intensity.  Up a hill, for example. No exercise is terribly comfortable, but it still has to be done.  Expect it or prevent it and get on with it.

 

6.         ‘When a guy has smaller thighs than you (which is pretty standard) you immediately want to curl up in a ball’
 
This is laughable – reality is the complete opposite he’s the one that wants to curl up in a ball. It’s absolutely a compliment to your distinctiveness and hard work. If any man has a problem with them, pop his weasly head (no jacked dude will have an issue with your thighs; he’ll be jealous) between your legs, gently squeeze his neck until his cheeks turn blue and his eyeballs start to rupture blood vessels … sorry, I got carried away there. I digress; the point I’m trying to make is that women often care far more about their bodies than men do.  Ultimately, confidence is more attractive than thigh gaps or lack thereof. Rock whatever thighs you have with a smile and leave the conversation with smaller thigh boy who ironically now has self esteem issues of his own, knowing you’re a BAMF (sorry boys, I’m generalising greatly here.  Equality at its best, I realise).
 
 
  
7.        Even if the rest of your body is tiny and fit, exposing your bare thighs to the world is your nightmare”
 
I could not disagree with this more! Rock your bikini bottoms and your curves in them, and perhaps pop a sarong around if you’re more comfortable. Hold your head higher and your shoulders back a little more and remember that you’re a magnet to every thought you think. We as women should be proud of our bodies – that means all parts of it. Instead of listing the things we don’t like, focus on the things we do and how wonderful it is to be a woman. It is never about how much I weigh, it’s always about how I feel; I will never search for validation on a set of scales. Scales cannot remind me of how infectious my smile is, how purposeful my life is or how great my perseverance is when tested. I believe it is your responsibility as a journalist delivering lifestyle/ healthy living/ fitness related articles via the juggernaut that is the Huffington Post to be a more positive force!
 
 
 
8.              I’m an advocate for Turkish sausage legs over hot dogs legs
I’m the poster girl for the former, but BOTH versions are beautiful! Women experience an average of 13 negative thoughts about their body each day, while 97% of women admit to having at least one “I hate my body” moment each day. That is appalling. Telling you to “love your body” is about as helpful as placing an opened packet of Tim Tams in front of you after a break up.  It’s time to muzzle your inner mean girl by combating those thoughts and topping up with a positive one. It’s proven that positive thoughts are waaaay more powerful than negative, so keep an eye on that self esteem invoice  making sure you go to sleep having paid the days bill for your thoughts!
 









If combating thoughts is proving difficult, you should start to seriously research how to rewire your brain! Our self-image is something we form while we’re growing up. It’s unconsciously formed from our achievements and failures, our embarrassments, our victories and the way others have related to us-especially in early childhood. Our behaviour, feelings and our abilities are always consistent with this self-image. They’re not always valid thoughts just programmed from birth and now so ingrained they’re automatic. Newsflash: these thoughts aren’t “the truth”; they’re handed down through generations from someone who put them there a long time ago. They’re nothing more than specific neural patterns in your brain. Neurological research shows 95-99 % of all your behaviour is automatic. This is why we set goals but don’t reach them. Setting them is a function of the conscious mind, whereas reaching them is a function of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is in the driving seat. Not the conscious mind. The point I’m making is if you want to, you can reroute your entire existence.
 

 9.         ‘When will thighs have their moment?’
WHENEVER YOU ALLOW THEM! My thighs are currently having their moment. All my thick friends thighs have been having their moment; every damn day! This gorgeous girl below Nicole Mejia  a model and fitness personality out of Miami, known for her natural curves and motivating perspective, has been inspiring women all over the world to accept and better themselves in a natural and holistic way. Nicole and her Fit and Thick movement are currently on a nationwide tour to bring the message to the women of America.  Nicole also started the hashtag  #thickthighappreciationday which I believe is on October 21.



Image Martin Murillo

Perhaps you’ll join the movement, we need more recruits if we’re going to get this positivity message through to a lot of ladies.

 
Sincerely,
 
Shari Onley
A woman with strong, thick thighs who loves every inch of them; whether they’re toned or soft, pale or tanned, covered or uncovered whatever they look like I LOVE THEM.

PS I briefly checked your website, some of your content is cool and light hearted so don’t take this too harshly, I think you’re alright  😉

‘Don’t be delicate – be vast and luminous’

 

 



I’m finally back in Sydney after being caught up in the fascination of Chicago. What a sublime city, I love so many things about the spectacular town and it’s charming people. I’m still not sure whether it’s like the brand new shiny toy that you love to bits until one day the excitement wears off. WARNING; this blog will make a hell of lot of generalizations so don’t get your titties tangled. It’s purely my experience. I’m sure I’ve only seen a fraction of what Chicago has to offer. 


Before I relocated to the Windy City my head coach at the Bliss said you’re going to love this city so much you’ll never want to leave. I already knew I would love it, every yank I’d met was awesome, dry sarcastic humour, loud and obnoxious, larger than normal humans and liked to swear… a lot. I’m an intelligent, classy, well educated woman who was perhaps a wharfie in a past life so I knew I’d fit right in.

Once I got to Chitown I realised, not only is the city visually stunning, rich in history and character, the mid west folk are friendly. My coach said ‘well you’re a pretty girl with a nice accent, of course they’re going to like you.’ Man they froth over the accent. Some team mates wanted Aussie lessons it was so popular (you can start by pronouncing it Ozzie). I was even told together with my eyes it’s an aphrodisiac, decent line right, we’ll get to the boys in a bit.


Chitown by night
Pic courtesy of Friedman Archives 
I was born and raised in Sydney, know it well. Whilst visiting 90% of Americans told me Australia is on top of their bucket list.  I am grateful to live 5 minutes from this breathtaking harbour. Now you yanks have someone to come and visit, me!

Sydney Harbour by night, ain’t no place like home toto
Pic courtesy of Layover Guide


Here goes….

COFFEE

Lets break this one into nations. The standard in US is drip brewed or filtered coffee, like you get on a plane. They pour water over roasted ground coffee beans in a filter, water seeps through coffee and passes through the bottom of the filter. Here they add “cream” (which is more like part cream/part milk) and sugar. While I could get my latte at Starbucks it was always burnt.

I did have the pleasure of sipping Costa Rican coffee fresh off the plantation while in Central America. A blissful, tranquil experience. Those beans were magic, the location may have contributed slightly. 

A typical Australian coffee is generally a latte or flat white. Coffee espresso shot filled with heated frothed milk add sugar. I fell in love with Malt Supper Club when last visiting Perth, the venue took me to an era I’m drawn to, through it’s music and the other wordly interior. I’d been up since 5am doing radio interviews, media and promos in the harsh sun. I was beat. I walked up to the bar wondering if they would have a coffee machine. I was greeted at the bar, ‘ciao bella’ a gorgeous Italian man dressed in a crisp white shirt, bow tie and braces. He took my hand over the bar and asked what I would like. If I wasn’t playing the Legends Cup the following day (have I mentioned we won?) my answer would have been your finest scotch whisky sir. Not only did he have a coffee machine he proceeded to make me an amazing latte, within a few minutes he had another 10 orders from my team mates. 

Winner: OZ When baristas make lattes all day long they get damn good at them. Anyone serious about coffee may find it difficult to get a decent cup in US.

Tally: Oz- 1 USA- 0


GYM 

I was a passport member at Xsport Fitness, I could visit any franchise across Chicago for $35 a month. The staff at my local Pipers Alley were super friendly and welcoming. The location had a lot to offer (albeit jammed into a small space) it was open 24hrs and came complete with a pool, indoor basketball, rock climbing, spa, sauna, beauty & tanning salons, yoga and crèche.

I also frequented Lifetime Fitness which was the absolute mecca everything Xsport had and more, a freaking creche for adults – lounges and plasmas everywhere, water slides, the works. Huge well kept facilities, everything you need to get distracted from what you should be there to do… hard work.


Interior of a David Barton Gym


David Barton Gym was an absolute standout. These facilities are opulent, Dubai nightclub luxurious. No expense spared on the fit out, décor and sound system. Bathroom products so quality we may have taken some home. A completely unique gym experience. Lighting so low it was a safety issue around free weights.



When I enquired at Lifetime about an olympic lifting platform or somewhere I could drop a bar from the overhead position he said I could anywhere. Dude Stop. At all Chicago gyms I visited the plates were jagged, they land unevenly and could jump out and seriously injure myself or those near me, not to mention the racket it would create without suitable flooring. Deadlifting for example; the bar touches on a jagged edge rather than flat edge on one of the plates, you’re twisted out of position on each rep. Resetting your foot position each rep is kinda fucking annoying.

I did have a great throw down with the cool cats at Crossfit New Lennox where the plates were round, unfortunately once I moved downtown the location was too difficult to get to.



In Sydney the plates are round everywhere, newsflash they don’t roll away from you. You can find gyms that aren’t crossfit with olympic lifting stations or bumper plates relatively easily. Although Sydney has 24 hour gyms they are the typically the fast food of the fitness world. As a side note you have to bring your own towel which you don’t in Chicago.

Winner: It’s a tie, I loved the luxury of spending my days training, recovering and relaxing at one facility before going off to practice at night. But Chicago you drastically loose points for those retched plates. 

Tally: Oz – 2 USA – 1


HOSPITALITY
 
You can be drunk in Chicago and still order drinks, you can be drunk, stumble into a bar and be welcomed by the security, you can be rowdy with your friends inside the club and not be warned/ thrown out. This is all via observation of course, I’m always on my best behaviour. You can do none of these things in Sydney. How is it Chicago is so much more laxidazy and I didn’t see one fight break out?


A special mention to Underground Chicago. Every club owner should take note of what these guys are doing. Every night of the week this place PUMPS. Different themes but one thing remains, the party is always on point. They call is the sexiest place in the world. Don’t know about sexiest, they lost that title when they let me in wearing gum boots after a festival but all the cool kids wear Hunters boots. The GM Scott is particularly personable. Always immaculately dressed in a three piece suit and oh so hospitable, the security guys are my favourite. I could go on but it would begin to sound like adoration.

Underground standard night

Rooftop bars are scattered all over the city, plenty of places are buzzing by lunch time with sky scraping views of Lake Michigan. Pubs, restaurants and bars are bustling on a weeknight, there is always something happening. 

Upon my return to Sydney I paid a visit to Kings Cross on a Saturday night, clubs were empty and I could easily get a cab at 3am. Whats doing? Lock out laws have ruined you. There’s no denying it.

As a side note to this topic customer service in Chicago is tops, retail stores, restaurants, bars, train drivers you name it. I actually felt like they genuinely cared about assisting me! They won’t monotonely tick a box and greet you with their nose in the air, unlike Sydney, they are heartfelt and attentive. 

Winner: Chitown lapped Sydney on this one. RIP Kings Cross nightlife, we’ll always have the memories


Tally: Sydney –  2  Chicago – 2 


THE MALE SPECIES

Overall American men are much more confident than Australians. They have to be to keep up with the women who are loud and outspoken, some self righteous even. Men seem happy to say exactly what’s on their mind at that point in time. No game playing just direct and upfront with their feelings. There’s an attractiveness about a man who can communicate so freely without regard for ‘how keen’ he comes across. So pleasant, charming and well mannered. It was easier to get to know people, I felt like the wall was removed and people were so personable. Ironic coming from me, a woman of many walls but trust me, there’s an element of it that’s rubbed off on me and I love it.
 
Let’s compare a bar in Sydney, you can make eye contact with someone. Half an hour later after he’s skulled enough tinnies to work up the courage he might trot over. In Chicago you’ve barely fluttered eye contact and he’s either over introducing himself or he’s sent the bartender to fetch your drink. I know what you’re thinking, hot blooded males with perhaps one thing in mind, but more times than not they’d shake your hand, pleasure to meet and off they went. 

Even the whipper snappers had game.  Got chatting to a (6ft mature looking) 18yr old in a hideous Hawaiian shirt on the train. I was studying my playbook, he peaked over my shoulder and striked up a convo about football. Even he was smooth enough to ask for my number. I had to laugh and say ‘get outta here kid’ they sure can talk the talk!
 
I am pleased to say chivalry is not dead, it is far more alive in US. Men open doors, get the bill before you’ve had the chance to offer not once but consistently every time. Men will make sure a woman is well looked after. Strangers in the street, men of all ages will open a door for a woman, offer to help with bags and expect nothing in return. They are organizers, happy to lead booking restaurants, planning a day with you, making you know they appreciate and value every hour they spend with you. They listen to you, are very inquisitive and well in tune with women’s Venus tongue. Okay they’re still on Mars but are located on the side facing earth…. Aussie guys are chilling over the Jupiter facing side of Mars. 

Admittedly if I plucked an American species and popped him on a Sydney street, with his smooth talking ways and forwardness he would come across creepy. But in his natural habitat he hunts awfully well with his species. 
 
US men openly appreciate women of all different shapes and sizes. They actually want their woman to have curves especially a butt. Women are tall, short, stumpy, obese, voluptuous, hippy, curvaceous but one thing in common, they are all confident. Australia is catching on slowly but a woman with curves is still the minority.


Winner: Chicago no question, for me a confident strong woman I’m well suited to a straight shooter. Aussie guys I’m sure would be a hit with the American girls, but more often than not the girls may scare the absolute shit outta Aussie blokes with how forward they are. 

Tally: Oz – 2  USA – 3

WEATHER 

The weather is opposite, when it’s winter in Chicago it’s Summer in Sydney. Lets take a look at the difference in temperatures.


Chicago weather is bipolar, one day it’s snowing the next sunny skies. When I first arrived it was minus most days, the nasty snow was coming to an end to conclude the worst winter they’d experienced in 130 years! I will never complain about Sydney being cold again. I would literally look down on the street at outfits to get an idea of which pill the weather took overnight. It’s crazy.

Cars abandoned on famous Lake Shore Drive Chicago during a snow storm. The snowfall from the blizzard was 20.2 inches
Image & article via http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-snow2lsd20110202071217-photo.html


I tried to improvise with outdoor training equipment at my coaches place when I first arrived. In between each set I’d have to run inside and thaw my fingers over the heating just enough to grip the bar for the next round in between my nose bleeding. I like going on little adventures so tried running after the sun went down. The tiny part of my face that was exposed burnt like a chemical peel. Icicles run from your nose, speech slows to a drunken slur.

However the central heating is on point, every building, home or apartment block was superbly heated. Once the weather finally started to warm up it was like the population in Chicago quadrupled, people on the streets, seated at sidewalk eateries, out socialising – they were like caged animals over the winter!

Typical winters day downtown, still magic



Sydney summer is ace, we get a solid 2 months of it sometimes more. Beginning of Autumn is balmy. You can still get outside in Winter without your motor skills ceasing to function properly.

Winner: Sydney, the snow is picturesque but it affects your day to day activities too much.

Tally: Oz – 3  USA – 3


LFL 
 
The LFL competition in US is fiercer than Australia. It should be, it’s their national game, they’ve been watching/ playing it longer than Aussies. The average American is physically bigger than the average Aussie. In a nutshell the game was faster, the hits were harder and the girls were more physical in America. I loved every minute of it, I didn’t travel there to play patty cake, I went to become a better athlete and break new ground in my career, like rupturing my ACL. Mission accomplished. 

Defence chilling in between plays


 
Winner: Chicago, that’s a no brainer.

Tally: Oz – 3  USA – 4 



ANIMALS

 
Sure we have kangaroos, snakes, spiders, crocodiles & sharks but so does USA (or gators) in particular regions. Let’s get one thing straight. If you visit the outback in Oz you are more likely to come across creatures that would kill you in the night, same as a night in the rocky mountain ranges could prove dangerous. Sydney is a city and it’s highly unlikely you will see any of the above mentioned animals unless you’re visiting Taronga Zoo. I’ve never seen a shark in my life, I grew up in the water, living in a beachy suburb, surf life saving- I’m yet to even hear a shark alarm go off.
 
Australia is ranked the 2nd highest to the US in terms of global shark attacks with 704 unprovoked attacks. Where we rank first is the number of fatalities, our sharks mean business with 202 of the attacks proving deadly. 
 

  1. Region

Total
Attacks
Fatal
Attacks
Last
Fatality
United States
(Excluding Hawaii)
1055362012
Australia7042022014
Africa339932013
Asia129482000
 
 
Winner: Oz wins we’re all thrill seekers, danger is interesting, nobody wants to live the safe life, really, do they?
 
Tally: Oz – 4   USA – 4
 
 


SPORT 

Everyone supports the Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs or Sox there is a sense of patriotism and togetherness in this town which is magic. The people of Chicago are one giant mass, they’re not individuals, the city of Chicago is for the people.
They don’t just support their teams they are overtly passionate, loud and proud, wearing merchandise even on non game days. Tailgating at football games playing sport, everywhere, on weekends parks are jammed with adult softball and flag football competitions.

I got to several MLB games; White Sox at Comiskey Park and Cubs at Wrigley Field. It’s more a social event, fans go for the atmosphere rather than the game.



In Sydney we struggle to find a venue with a few TV’s that will show our LFL games on a Saturday night. I don’t recall walking into a pub/ bar in Chicago without a TV screen. We struggle to fill stadiums for AFL and NRL games, it’s expensive and inconvenient, people would rather watch from their couch.

The Bliss home games in Chicago drew around 2000 people, decent crowd considering our stadium was 1 hours drive from the city. What an amazing crowd, they would fire up with one word ….. let’s go ‘CHICAGO!!’ We were undefeated at home thanks to their support.

Winner: Chicago, it’s more than just a sporting game it’s a total experience, the atmosphere is electric even in between plays. 


Tally: Oz – 4  USA – 5

FOOD

I entered US with some visible abs, maybe 4, I left with one. I love my food, that’s no secret. I’d be the size of a house if I lived in Chicago the food is soooo delicious.

Severely hung


Notable mentions;

Garretts popcorn get in me!


When purchasing raw meat I had to be rather careful. Frozen chicken breast for example isn’t always 100% chicken it’s hormones and additives, some pumped full of chemicals, water and even pig skin. This isn’t just happening in US but I’ve never noticed it in Australia before. Grass fed beef in US is almost like a delicacy, I had to go to an organic store to source it.


Winner: Oz, you can’t beat Aussie beef.

Tally: Oz – 5  USA – 5


 
 
OTHER MENTIONS 
 
WI FI – Chicago has wifi almost everywhere, every store, stadium and bar. Nobody pays per data usage or download and they can’t believe when I tell them we do in Australia. Winner: US 
 
PUBLIC TRANSPORT – Between the CTA and the Metra trains, they arrive regularly and are reliable and safe. Sydney can’t say the same. Winner: Chicago
 
BEACHES – With the amount of majestic coastlines this one is easy. Winner: Sydney
 
I’m allocating an additional half a point each for the notable mentions section

 

FINAL SCORE
Oz – 5.5  USA 6
 
Says it all really, ain’t no place like home, but Chicago just pipped Sydney. I’ll be back for more one day Chitown, thank you for being so kind to the Aussie. X