Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


I’m 45! And in case you were wondering…

I’m about to turn 45 years old, which is weird because there are times when I feel like I’m still 16 (of course, there are also times when I feel like I’m 145). I don’t dread birthdays. I don’t see getting older as a curse. I think it’s a privilege that too many people never get. But, at the risk of sounding like an “old” person, I will say that the time has gone by REALLY quickly and has been jam packed with LIFE. Some of it good, some of it weird and some of it pretty friggin’ bad, but it’s been my life and all I can do is embrace it.

Some people like to say that age is just a number, but I strongly disagree. It’s so much more than just a number. Age is an accumulation of experiences and relationships that impact everything I do and everything I am.
So today on my 45th birthday, I’m sharing 45 facts about ME!

Some are things you might know, some you’d never guess. WHY am I doing this? To be honest, while you don’t want to live in the past, visiting it once in awhile can help you appreciate how far you’ve come. I realize this is completely self-indulgent, but hey, it’s my birthday!

Here we go:

1. My (ex) stepfather was the Satchel Bandit. He spent 2 years robbing banks between Montreal and Toronto. (He told us he was a caterer) He was caught in the act and convicted on 47 counts.

2. I was a contestant in the 1990 Golden Girl International Talent Competition where Jackie Stallone (Sly’s mom) was one of the judges and I WON! (Just kidding, I lost miserably. May have even come in last place)

3. When I was in my late teens I was followed around the Cavendish mall for an hour by two girls who thought I was British pop sensation Kylie Minogue.

4. For an entire year, I decided to change my name to Jordan and drove my mother crazy by refusing to answer to anything else.

5. I failed home economics in High school (cooking and sewing) which should really be of no surprise to anyone. (I still can’t cook… or sew)

6. I have the absolute worst sense of direction and once got lost jogging in my own neighbourhood.

7. I am a HUGE UFC fan! The only way I can fall asleep is by alphabetically listing UFC fighters in my head. Some people count sheep, I count Silvas, Guidas and Fabers.

8. I got fired from Club Med for being bossy. (There’s an interesting story there..)

9. I flew to Mexico with 2 pieces of luggage. On the way there, the airline lost one of my bags. On the way back, they lost the other one.

10. I was the ONLY injured passenger in a via rail train crash in 1994. (I broke my nose) Canadian actor Saul Rubinek carried my bag off the train for me.

11. In 2000, I spent 2 months in the hospital (17 days in the I.C.U.) with kidney and respiratory failure. I was a medical mystery until 2 major surgeries confirmed that I had an unusual case of C-Diff, complicated by MRSA and pneumonia. I was given a 25% chance of surviving and was 5.5 months pregnant with our son Jackson. I couldn’t talk, eat or breathe on my own. After several weeks, I started to heal, but we lost Jackson. (His initials are tattooed on my ankle)

12. 3 years later, for reasons completely unrelated, I needed to have part of my liver removed. I now have quite a collection of Kickass Scars.

13. My scars are finally outnumbered by my tattoos. Scars:7 Tattoos:10

14. I worked at Pizza Hut for 1 day, but couldn’t handle the uniform.

15. I worked at a shoe store for a week, but couldn’t handle the feet.

16. The best insult I ever got was about 20 years ago when I was crossing the street with my headphones on and wasn’t watching where I was going. A guy in a car yelled out, “PAY ATTENTION, YA DOUGH-HEAD!”

I laughed so hard.

17. Rob and I were contestants on Love Handles, the Canadian version of The Newlywed game hosted by Stu Jeffries and we won! Our prize was a train ride from Vancouver to Banff.

18. My first non-fitness related job was at the Second Cup cafe on Church street in downtown Toronto. I was their only heterosexual employee and met the most amazing people and learned a lot.

19. I became a vegetarian at 17, not for moral or ethical reasons, but because a friend of mine dared me to go a WEEK without eating meat which turned into 28 years simply because I can be UBER competitive.

20. I met actor Jerry O’Connell when I was a “special skilled” extra on his teen show “My Secret Identity”. He teased me about how I wiggled when I walked. (FYI..he played a 14 year old with superpowers).

21. I moved from Montreal to Toronto on my own when I was 19 years old and had a CRAZY roommate who lied about EVERYTHING and stole whatever I didn’t hide. Last I heard, he was collecting money for a fake charity he created.

22. It’s been 28 years but I still can’t shake the resentment I feel for the asshole doctor who told me when I was a healthy, fit 17 year old girl, that while I wasn’t overweight “medically”, Society was thin and if I wanted to fit into society I had to lose 10 Lbs. Plus, I shouldn’t be seen in a bathing suit until did! (FYI: I lost the 10 Lbs, plus another 20)

23. On my 18th birthday, my mother got me a cake that said,”Happy Birthday Bitch”. She was extremely embarressed to order it, but it was an inside joke between the two of us and I thought it was a hoot! She also came with me and some of my friends to Club 281 (the only male strip club in Montreal at the time). She thought it was funny that I wanted her to join me and my friends at our first time at a strip club…she had no idea it wasn’t our first time at this strip club.

24. I once got up to sing a Rihanna song at a PACKED Karaoke bar and completely forgot how to sing it. Instead of singing, I ended up repeating, “Holy shit, how does it go again??” over and over until the song ended.

25. Before I was 30, I had lost my mother, my brother, my father and my baby, Jackson. Every year on their birthdays (and mine) as well as on the anniversaries of the days I lost them, I do Random Acts of Kindness around the city so I can celebrate their lives instead of mourn their deaths. (confession: I don’t do it for my father, because while I don’t hold a single grudge against him, I also didn’t have any relationship with him growing up)

26. Whenever I walk through the cologne department of a department store, I find the Polo Cologne (green bottle) and smell it. It was what my brother Billy wore and it reminds me of him.

27. I worry all the time that I’m not nearly as good a mother as my mother was.

28. I used to have a crush on Pink and now I want to be her.

29. In Grade 2, I wrote a petition about my French teacher because he was mean to the girls and violent with the boys and while I didn’t want him to be fired, I did want things to change. All but one kid in my class signed it. After an intimidating conversation with the principal where I spoke my mind, the principal and the teacher called my home and apologized to me and to my parents. The teacher was much friendlier after that and I learned that I had a voice and the right to use it.

30. Before getting into recovery for my eating disorder, I once walked to the gym, alone, at midnight on a Sunday (1 hour away), worked out for 2 hours and then walked back at 3am because I felt I had eaten too much that day. My fear of gaining weight was stronger than my fear of the danger I was potentially putting myself in that night. Another day, I took a fat burner and thought I was having a heart attack at the gym, but finished my workout before driving myself to the hospital. A week later I did the same thing.

31. The only reason I went into recovery was because I felt that my sons deserved a mom who was at least half as amazing as mine was. Even though I had given up on myself, I could never give up on them. I gave them life. They saved mine.

32. #31 came out sounding much more dramatic than I had planned.

33. At my Sweet 16 party, while I was dancing with my friends, somebody stole ALL of my gifts. I heard he pawned them for drugs.

34. I don’t follow people on Social media who constantly post “uplifting”, “Inspirational” quotes because I think they’re full of shit and I relate much better to people who have fucked up and fallen down a bunch of times before finding a way to get back up.

35. I swear. A lot.

36. When I was a teenager, I was an extra in a Uma Thurman movie and had to stand outside in the freezing cold while garbage was being thrown at me. (Not worth the crappy pay)

37. I made a promise to myself many years ago, that I would someday, somehow meet Prince and tell him about my brother who was a major fan. He constantly listened to his music when he was in the hospital and when he died, we put Prince casettes (it was 1987) in his casket with him.

38. Several years ago, I did a print ad for MILK where I played a “Plain Jane Mom” who was hiding in their kid’s school locker. It was not comfortable.

39. I honestly believe my cat is plotting my death.

40. I published a book.I wrote it for parents who are trying to raise healthy, happy, self-confident kids in a society that keeps telling them they’re just not good enough. I wrote it because I spent most of my life feeling like I wasn’t good enough and robbed me of relationships, dreams and goals. It took me until I was in my 30s to find recovery and I’ve made it my mission to save other kids from going through the trauma I couldn’t avoid.

41. Last October I was a guest on Geraldo Rivera’s TV show on Fox where I debated the Fit Mom debacle with fit mom, Maria Kang, herself. It was an interesting experience.

42. I don’t hate Nickelback.

43. Last summer, I almost literally bumped into my sister at a charity event I got invited to at the last minute. We hadn’t spoken to each other in many, MANY years because whenever we did speak, it never went well. This time it was different. WE’RE different and for the first time in our lives, we enjoy spending time together and wish we lived closer. xo

44. I think Scarlett Johansson should play me in a movie.

45. One day, if I’m ever brave enough, I will add to this list the things that would truly shock and amaze most of my friends and family, but I’m not ready yet…and either are they. Trust me.

What would your list look like?

The “Satchel Bandit” A.K.A. Eddie

Eddie

Milk ad

The Golden Girl  International talent Competition 1990 (UGH)

The Golden Girl International talent Competition 1990 (UGH)

phoenixzphoenixscary

foxtattoo

bookMe and Momloripost

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Why I LOOOOVE sharing Fit vs Fiction with kids!

Believe it or not, there are still WAY too many people who don’t believe or understand that Body Image and eating disorder issues are killing our kids. These issues destroy them physically, emotionally and spiritually. They hit so deep that it can take years and years of hard work to get their mental and physical health back on track, if ever.

 

I share my Fit vs Fiction workshops at schools as a way of breaking down the dangerous myths related to fitness and beauty and get kids talking about the pressure they feel to be “Perfect”. I use TONS of pictures while discussing things like media manipulation, sexualization and the motivation behind the messages they’re being inundated with on a daily basis. I share my truth; the good, the bad and the very, very ugly so that they can feel safe sharing their own. I make them think, I make them laugh, I make them understand that they can be whoever and whatever they aspire to be and that no one has the right to make them feel otherwise. For years I put my health and life at risk more times than I can count through my negative body image and disordered eating and while I was able to find recovery, I will never get back the 20+ years the disorder took away.

I’m often told that I’m fighting an uphill battle and that our fat-phobic, youth and weight obsessed world isn’t ready to change and I don’t completely disagree. But, as hard as this battle might be, it’s NOTHING compared to life with an eating disorder.

After doing a couple of Fit vs Fiction workshops at an elementary school last week, I came home to an email from one of the teachers that was there. She had copied me on a note she sent to the V.P. following my workshops. I’m sharing it because with all of the people who are still in the dark about the severity of these issues, it’s such a joy to hear from someone who is aware and willing to help.

Hi L.,

I am so pleased that I was able to participate in this
absolutely fabulous workshop.  The students in Grade 6 and 7 were absolutely
riveted to what the presenter Marci Warhaft had to say about healthy body image.
Ms. Warhaft also showed many pictures from the media of distorted body images
using television and film personalities known to many of the students.  She used
her own previous experiences of poor self-image as an example, and spoke
eloquently of how she was able to nurture a more healthy body image as time went
on.  Her responses to student questions were excellent, and her presentation was
well-paced and upbeat.

Thank you for bringing such an effective and
timely speaker to this school! I would be glad to assist in any way possible to
publicize Ms. Warhaft’s session to the school community in
April.

Mrs.
Junior/Intermediate
French Teacher

(I edited names for anonymity)

Kids need and WANT to talk..we just need to start listening!

Did she really just say that?? My experience w/ Prejudice at the Toronto airport

Posted in Uncategorized by fitvsfiction on September 17, 2012
Tags: , , ,

As I’ve mentioned, I flew into Montreal for my summer camp reunion this past weekend and it was AMAZING. What wasn’t amazing, however, was the experience I had with the nasty couple who were in line ahead of me at the security gate.

The couple were in their 5os and seemed fairly pleasant until it was their turn to place their belongings in the white bins and send them down the conveyor belt. The woman sneered at the young, asian security guard and said with annoyance, ” Do ya think you could pass us some bins?!”

Really? Was that tone neccessary? Seemed pretty rude to me.

Then the guard told the couple they needed to place their jackets in the bins as well.

“WHAT DID SHE SAY??” barked the woman, who was far more confused by this request than any sane person would have been.

“I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE’S SAYING. WHAT DOES SHE WANT ME TO DO WITH MY JACKET??” Then she put it in the bin.

UGH.

She was not a nice person.

At this point, I kept smiling and rolling my eyes at the young guard as if to say, “Don’t worry about her, she’s a tool.”

Next was the walk through. She walked through the scanner and beeped. (of course she did). With a huge, irritated sigh she stepped back and walked through again. And beeped again.

Another guard (whose ethnicity happened to be different than hers) asked her if she was wearing a belt.

“NOOOOOOOO! I am NOT wearing a belt! This is stupid.” she answered through gritted teeth.

Walk through attempt # 3

Failure #3

I thought she was going to LOSE IT, until the guard asked, ” Do you have your phone on you?”

oops.

“Oh. Ha, ha. I forgot that my phone was in my pocket. sorry. Isn’t that funny?”

Actually, NO. It wasn’t funny at all, ya Numskull.

She finally gets through and it’s time to pick up her bag. The young guard asks her to open it. Uh..oh. Turns out she had a bottle of liquid that was OVER the size limit allowed.

“Oh, come on! It’s just syrup for my grandson! It’s his Jelly Belly syrup!”

gross.

“Can’t I just take it?”

The officer says she can’t and tells her she’s sorry, but it will have to stay behind.

She KNEW the rules. We ALL knew the rules. Apparently, she felt the rules didn’t apply to her. Just as I was grabbing my bag from the conveyor belt and was ready to finally leave the company of this obnoxious woman and her husband, she turned to me and said…

(ready for this?)

” It’s so SAD that in this country, there aren’t more WHITE faces working here!”

Oh….my….Lord.

At this moment, I thought about how disgusted I was by her comment, but also about the fact that this couple was very aggressive and would be out of my life forever as soon as I walked away. I didn’t have to say anything. But then I remembered a post I shared last week, written by my friend, Lori day, about how horrible she felt when she was in a situation with people she didn’t know, who were saying racist things she didn’t condone, yet chose to say nothing. The shame she felt afterwards inspired her to share it with others as a way of reminding herself that by not speaking against something you don’t believe in, is equal to condoning it.

I have always been grateful to my mother for raising her kids to believe that we are neither above nor beneath anybody else and that ALL people deserve acceptance and respect.

After a short pause, I looked at this woman and simply said, ” Actually, it’s because we live in this country that I’m happy not to see only white faces. I LOVE the diversity!”

The woman looked at me with disappointment and then said, “Well, that’s just my humble opinion.”

Then she said nothing at all.

Believe me, I don’t believe for one second that my comment in any way, changed the way she feels about people who don’t look like her. But maybe, it’ll keep her from assuming that everyone who looks like her also thinks like her and maybe she’ll keep her ignorant, hurtful comments to herself.