Monthly Archives: December 2015

A midlife review of Fabletics and MyFitness Pal.

7339camel_toe

That’s a camel toe. What were you thinking?

After ankle surgery and during the last year of sedentary bliss, I put on quite a bit of weight.  The party is over.   It is now time to face the truth and get back into shape.  So, just like I used to purchase many exercise videos when I was in my twenties and sat on the couch to watch them, I joined Fabletics and logged back onto MyFitnessPal.

First a story about Fabletics.  The spokesperson for Fabletics is the beautiful, thin, blonde daughter of Goldie Hawn, none other than Kate Hudson.  Hi Kate!  I’m sure you’ll never read this so here I go!  Fabletics offers you a VIP membership and charges you around $49.95 a month so  you can purchase really great gym clothes at a discount!  The only problem is that if you forget to use your money, you still get charged and you accumulate membership credits.  This is what happened to me recently.  Currently I have about $149 in unspent credits.

Cute shirt right? The entire back is black mesh! Cute for Zombie Barbie but not for me!

Cute shirt right? The entire back is black mesh! Cute for Zombie Barbie but not for me!

I have never worn an item that I have purchased from Fabletics.  I am not their target audience and I am not much of a California VIP girl.    I’m just that wannabe.   In fact, the first shirt that I purchased I gave to one of my best friends for her daughter to wear on Halloween.  She went as Zombie Barbie.  Bad decision on my part, to become a member of a bubbly thin person’s club and so I went online to rectify the situation.  Unfortunately there is no online option to cancel and therefore I had to come out of my hermit shell and actually place a phone call.  The call went something like this.  Que sickening bubbly cheerful voice.

“Hello and thank you for calling Fabletics!  My name is Anna and I’ll be your Fabletics consultant!  I understand complete sentences.  So talk to me like a person!  What can I do for you today!”

Oh great.  A computer.  OK I can roll with this I thought.  I can punch in some numbers and cancel my account.  No problem!  Well that’s not how it went.  After unsuccessfully trying to look up two of my phone numbers, Anna wanted my name spelled out.  Success, she had my account!  Anna then asked me what I wanted.  As soon as I told her I wanted to cancel my account, Anna transferred my call to a human being.

Great.

Oh and I thought Anna was bubbly!  The next voice that greeted me made Anna sound like Morticia!  After telling the human Anna that I wanted to cancel my account she has this amazing reply for me.  “That makes me sad.”  SAD?  SAD?  I had a thousand replies in my head but this poor little girl didn’t deserve any of them so I held my tongue.  She next informed me that I had unspent credits and I should use them first before canceling.  I acknowledged the credits and then I realized she wasn’t going to cancel my account!  WAIT WAIT WAIT!  “You are going to cancel my account aren’t you?”  My sweet little consultant came back and said that I should really use my credits to get the discount and cancel at a later date.  I repeated that I would like to CANCEL my account.  She replied “Well that really does make me sad, may I ask why you want to cancel?

This was my response:  “I don’t like any of your clothes.  Every single thing you sell is tight, your shirts are short in length and I’m not into showing my camel toe.  Fabletics is just not for me!

Silence.

Account canceled.

So in summary, Fabletics has some wonderful leggings and short shirts.  They also have shirts with open backs that show your back fat.  Their VIP program is for suckers.  There’s one born every day including me.  If you don’t live in California and don’t have the body you had back in high school then it’s probably not for you.  That’s my review on Fabletics.

Now for MyFitnessPal.  I love this little program/app/calorie counter!  However the trick is not to lie to yourself.  If you lie to yourself the app renames itself “MyFatnessPal.”  Hmmm…I ate a piece of chocolate cake…chocolate cake…chocolate cake and then I scroll down to all of the calorie choices and choose the one that says I had one bite instead of twenty and therefore I only consumed 50 calories.

I got news for you.  You do not lose weight this way.  It’s like watching Jane Fonda on an old exercise video while eating chocolate chip cookies with your mom.  True story.  We did that and laughed maniacally in the process.  It also happens to be one of my fondest memories.  So my review of MyFitnessPal?  If used correctly you will lose weight.  The application demands accountability and discipline and I absolutely need that in my life right now.  So far I’ve lost about four pounds by being honest and logging everything I eat.  Since all of my weight is in my face I’m already looking lean and mean.

I’ve also already eaten all of my calories for the day.  Later I may just start to get Hangry.  That’s when you are angry because you are hungry.  I love that word.  Webster needs to add it.  Are you using MyFitnessPal?  Look for me and friend me!    My username is Raineyva and just mention the blog.  We can do this!  In big t-shirts and sweats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is enough. Live without regret. Keep your family close.

familyThis weekend I had the honor of watching my cousin graduate from Strayer University with honors.  I also had the opportunity to see aunts, uncles and cousins that I haven’t seen in years.  There is just something so special about family.  Perhaps genetics mean we all get the same sick joke.  There’s a fluidity to the conversation and a bond that you feel no matter how many years go by and how different you may become.

Although we all have the same strong roots we have all branched out, we have all gone our separate ways and have grown in different directions.   This doesn’t mean we love each other any less.  In fact, for me, it makes it all the more interesting to get together and catch up on life.  What saddens me is that there are no longer gatherings of yesterday that made it so very easy to live and love in my extended family’s presence.  This is the reality of life.  We pass the baton and create these gatherings for our own children.

When I was younger I grew up visiting my mother’s family fairly frequently on the weekends.  I can remember all of her brothers and sisters sitting at a long table outside of my grandmother’s kitchen.  They were louder than loud.  My grandmother didn’t cook one meal, she cooked two meals when we visited.  She was feeding a small army.  I remember little jars of saccharin for coffee.  I remember poker games and boisterous laughter.  The kids were sometimes told to go downstairs into the basement where we would play video games and listen to the Beatles for hours.  I knew every inch of my grandmother and grandfather’s home, even remembering the off-color plaques they had on their basement wall.  The smell of mothballs in the front door closet.  The books in my uncle’s room.  The pride in my other uncle’s voice over his diamond needle on his record player.    Holidays and hours and hours of Abbot and Costello, March of the Wooden Soldiers and many old classics.  Too many games of football were on the TV set.  Sometimes the kids would get bored and we would sneak upstairs to snoop around in some of the upstairs rooms.  My poor aunt, the youngest of the family would have us rifling through her drawers of nail polish, jewelry and lipstick.  We thought it was super cool that she was older than we were and that she had these womanly luxuries!   I’m sure she did not feel the same.

And then life happened and became more complicated.  Some of us struggled.  We lost the glue that bound us together; my grandparents and the keeper of our family ties.  Some of those ties started to unravel.  Bitterness.  Resentment.  Judgements. Sickness.  Grief.  Loss.

“Hello it’s me and I love you.  I know we haven’t always agreed and I know we have hurt each other over the years but this Christmas season I just want you to know that I still love you.”

Those are the words you use.  This is the gift you give to yourself this Christmas.  If there is room in your heart you can wipe the slate clean.

So to all of my family members on my mother and father’s side.  This is my love letter to you.  I love you all.  Thank you for being such an integral part of my life.  You will forever hold a place in my heart.  Yeah you.  Each one of you.  I love you.  Merry Christmas.

It doesn’t have to be difficult.  You still have time.  It’s not too late.

Change the world, one interaction at a time.

goodheart (1)Today is “Giving Tuesday,” a day that was created in 2012 to encourage people to give back.  This sounds like a great idea, especially after the gluttony of black Friday. If you have the means to donate to a charity or to donate gently used clothes to the Salvation Army or an organization of your choice I encourage you to do so.  I truly believe in the power of love and the difference we can all make in other people’s lives.

I haven’t written anything lately because I just don’t write unless something inspires me.  The preparation of this fall holiday season wipes me out and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.  Today I am taking time to stop and write and to share some thoughts on the beauty of having a good heart.  The truth is that we have the ability to make a difference every single day.

Your actions matter.  Your responses to others matter.   You always have a choice to lift someone up or to drag someone down.  Every day you have a choice to use positive or negative words.  What you put on Facebook, what you say to others, the scowl or the smile you have on your face, the door that you hold open for a stranger, these moments all have power.

You can be the change you want to see in the world.  Never underestimate that free will, that power you have inside of you.  Good deeds can ripple outwards and create a positive Domino effect.  I think that far too often we think that our actions don’t matter, that we have to do some big volunteer event or big donations to really make a difference.  Often times the most powerful moments are the small ones.

Think back to a time when someone said an encouraging words, gave you an unexpected pep talk or counseled you through a difficult situation.  Pay it forward.  Remember how you were lifted up and how it positively rippled through your own life and watch the difference you can make in another person’s life as a result.  Your actions will never be forgotten.

So many of us are blessed and there are so many opportunities to stop, look and listen to those around you.  This holiday season and all days of the year, I encourage you to let your heart lead the way and make a difference in the world around us.  The effect of one good-hearted person is incalculable.  Live your life with compassion and pay it forward, every chance that you get.