• Let’s talk about this Bethenny Frankel thing.

    Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 8.33.43 AM
    Let’s talk about this Bethenny Frankel thing.

    Ok so, like most closet RHONY fans, I follow Bethenny Frankel on FaceBook…. I have my own opinions on her and the show haha, but I’m going to keep that to myself for now. Tuesday, I was surprised to see this photo of her on her FB page, promoting her new book, Skinny Girl Cocktails. Much to my surprise, she looked sickly in this photo… (now, I am not here to judge, or comment on weight or size, but I am here to tell you my honest opinion.) Bethenny has built her empire around promoting healthy drinking, (even though healthy drinking means no drinking haha) healthy eating, being a mom and an entrepreneur, and being able to juggle it all at once.

    So what’s the deal?
    Now to me, for someone to be in the spotlight, I would think that if you are promoting healthy living, you wouldn’t get to the point where you might actually be sickly. I understand the pressures of being in the spotlight (I mean, I don’t really, because I’m not famous hahaha) but if you are telling young women, or women of any age for that matter, that the most important thing in life is to be healthy and have a balanced life, I would not be posting this photo.

    So many feelings. What are yours?

    A lot of people are commenting about how they feel about the photo, both negative and positive, and TO EACH THEIR OWN, right? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But what do you think? Do you think A) we should even be criticizing her for what she’s posted (or rather, commenting about how we feel) B) we should let her know that we think maybe she’s gone too far with making sure she looks perfect in the spot light? or C) nothing’s wrong, she’s just being Bethenny.

    What was she thinking?

    I don’t actually feel super comfortable talking about this, but Bethenny is in the spotlight, and she put herself there. She literally put that picture there. If you’re that high-profile and decide to post something, you might want to be prepared for the fall back (which I am prepared for if a lot of people are mad at me for writing this blog post). We all know what it’s like to post a selfie, and the often-painstaking process of deciding what to put out there about yourself.

    10688329_10154641701895147_2272722019895238936_oMy friend Jess has an opinion.

    [Meet Jess (aka Bobcat) — here’s us the moment we met, we had just spent 24 hours straight staying up all night designing for charity, so yes, we look redic.. ]

    Hello, you wonderful, giant, empowering community! Here’s my thing. Bethenny is the face and voice of Skinnygirl, and she’s agreed to be the spokeswoman for these words. “You know what you want out of life, ladies. We’re just here to show you how to get it.”

    My reaction to this picture is, if that’s what it takes, you don’t know what I want. If that’s what it takes, it’s not worth it. We have so many messages telling us that women can’t have it all. And even though Bethenny and her words are about HOW to have it all, that picture sends the message that the words aren’t actually true.

    Drinking + Dieting = It’s Complicated.

    Everyone who’s ever been on a diet knows that alcohol is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for anyone who enjoys imbibing. Not only do you have to change the way you eat, the way you manage your time, and the way your body feels on a daily basis (which is often pain) — after a week of working on yourself, you can’t kick back and have a couple drinks. Everything is calories. Everything counts. This brand says we can hold the liquor and drink it too. That there’s a way around all the self-discipline it takes to make real changes in your life. A shortcut, at least. But the “Skinnygirl Rules” from Bethenny’s book titled — I kid you not, Naturally Thin — read like a guide for how to have disordered thinking about food disguised in empowering language. “Taste everything, eat nothing”??? Are you kidding me?

    Let’s raise our voices.

    Andrea again here. I commented finally, just briefly on my friends comment. I wasn’t going to weigh in because I did enough commenting about it to my close friends, but I was shocked this morning when I got this email from a friend who saw me comment. It made me cry, because ALL I EVER want to do is remind people that no matter what, you are STRONG and BEAUTIFUL and you should never forget it……

    From my friend……..

    “Hello, I want to thank you. After the seeing the release of the “skinny girl cocktail” book, I am scared and saddened at the outlook for female role models in the fitness and diet industry. I do not know her, but I know that thinness to that degree is a sign of sickness, not health and happiness. Thank you for being one of the strong ones who can be who you are without falling to the pressure. Moving into figure and bikini completions has opened me up to greater exposure to this sort of thing. Yes, you need to be thin to compete, but no one lives this way. We all just want to be strong. You are strong. Thank you.”

    This Bethenny conversation feels icky and negative. Do you have any encouraging words for those of us whose heads are spinning with body-image issues today? Please share some positive thoughts with our community.

  • Guest Blog! "Strong is the New Skinny: An Adventure in Finding a Whole New Me"

    Strong is the New Skinny: An Adventure in Finding a Whole New Me
    By Amber Canady

    One year ago I sat on my couch eating whatever I wanted and I am pretty sure a beer was in my hand (I still enjoy beer…just less☺). This past Saturday, instead of being lazy and hanging out around the house, I got myself up at 5am and set out to complete my first Crossfit Competition with Team Gymology. Looking back on this past year I am amazed that I am still the same Amber…just a little stronger. So how does one find who they are on a random Saturday? It’s easy…you look back on where you were and see where you are. Here is a bit of my journey and I hope that someone out there gets a small tinge of inspiration from my story and hope they will create and define their own journey.


    This was me 365 days ago:


    This was me on Saturday:

    When I set out to “lose weight” I didn’t want to get strong. I didn’t want to get bulky. I had spent my whole life avoiding tank tops…because I was built like a tank. So when I sat out on this original journey I simply wanted to lose weight. Along the way, with the help of my Gymology family and my brother Kyle, I found my love for lifting heavy and being fit. My life has taken a 180 degree turn and I couldn’t be happier.

    Three weeks ago I walked into the gym and Kyle, my brother and coach, told me that I was signing up for my first Crossfit competition and he was not accepting a “No”. Ummmm…really? So my response to him was “No…I am not ready”. He informed me that it was a novice competition and I wouldn’t have to do a pull up…so I signed up! I had two weeks to train my butt off.

    We hit the ground running. Every day I came in for an extra thirty minutes to work on my lifting, rowing, and squats. The entire time I was in training I made sure that MY GOAL was to FINISH. I didn’t care if I came in last as long as I finished. 365 days ago I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded…so if I didn’t die I was going to call that a MAJOR win. Throughout those two weeks my teammates were checking on each other, training with each other, and simply letting us know that we had a great team backing us. I will say this and say this time and time again…if YOU are going to start a fitness/weight loss journey of any kind it is SO important to have a group backing you. We entered as individuals for this competition but never did I feel like I was an individual in this competition. Throughout training we stood behind each other and we continued to stand behind each other on Saturday.

    When Saturday morning came around I wanted to cry and vomit. I was scared. Here I was still weighing in at 203 pounds and am FAR from being the true image of fit. All of the worrying crept up on me. What if I wasn’t good enough? What if someone made fun of me when my belly jiggled doing a burpee? What if I let my brother and team down and come in last? That’s when I decided to flick that little devil off my shoulder, put on my TEAM GYMOLOGY shirt, and rock my hoodie with no fear. At the end of the day I am on my own personal journey and I am my own competition.

    954594_10102637329637157_67861952_nWe got to the competition and we showed up in FULL FORCE. I looked around the room and sized up the other ladies. I was right. I was one of the “bigger girls” at the competition but that didn’t phase me. I was in the first heat so I didn’t have time to compare myself to others. When I got finished doing my 2000M row I thought it was all over. My legs were mush and I knew I had one of the slower times…but when I got off the machine and saw tears of joy in my Daddy’s eyes…I knew I was where I needed to be. Getting hugs from my team made the rest of the day worth it.

    The second workout was a 10 Minute AMRAP…30 burpees over bar (I call this death and the stick), 30 back squats, and 10 sit ups. As I entered into my second round with three minutes left I knew I was well behind everyone else. I was hot, my knees hurt, my legs had no power left…but when I thought I had nothing left, Kyle got on the mat with me to remind me how far I had come. I had lost 50 pounds I was stronger than I knew…SO I pushed through and that’s when I cried. When I was done I cried tears of joy…yes I knew I was in last place but those tears were tears of happiness and excitement. I had come too far to give up and I had killed my own personal reps with that WOD. So by this point I knew it was Amber-1 Everyone Else-0.

    Finally, the last workout was Deadlift Max 5x within 6 minutes. This was MY workout. I wasn’t worried about anyone else…this was just me and the bar. I started out with 175 and killed it. That’s when I was challenged to go to 195#…I had never lifted 195 before so I was scared. I chalked up and went for it…killed it. So I had to go up to 205 just to see if I could beat myself. After two reps I dropped the bar in defeat. This was too strong and I had failed…but I knew I had just enough fight left in me to at least try. As I sat there with my chalked hands on the bar I took a personal moment. I collected myself and I heard some very meaningful words, “Make it Happen”. I picked up the bar, looked at Kyle, and I didn’t drop that bar until I had completed my five reps of 205 pounds. Once my judge told me I was good I lay on the ground and wept. I wept tears of pure joy. At that moment, last or not, I had won. I had finished something that I NEVER thought was possible. I collected myself and wanted to see if I could lift anything else…could I push myself for one last rep. I loaded on five more pounds and was able to lift 210 pounds once. I finally could deadlift myself. That is what I called a win!

    We ended up doing pretty well. As individuals we are great…but as a team we are DYNAMIC. My team yelled at me, pushed me, hugged me, and cried with me. Saturday, I came in last place. Years ago I would have been very upset about last place…but on Saturday last place was first place to me. I never entered Crossfit to be better than the competition…I wanted to be better than me. Saturday, with my parents looking on, I knew I had come full circle. To see the tears in my parents eyes meant that I was no longer the unhealthy girl with one kidney who could die of high blood pressure or obesity. I was their strong daughter who has taken her life back and is LIVING my life…the life that THEY gave me.

    10744636_10102637328669097_760031259_nSo two days later…I sit here covered in bruises and can’t feel my legs but can’t wait to get back to training. I realized on Saturday that I am one tough cookie. I am one amazing woman. For years I physically compared myself to others…now I only have myself to compare to. When I originally bought my T2T hoodie…I thought it was fun and cute…but now the words have a totally new meaning. Strong is the New Skinny…DAMN RIGHT IT IS! I may not be a size 10 and I may still have jiggly fat…but I can deadlift 210 pounds, I can row 2000m without stopping, and I can keep up with people who have been working out their whole life. So to all of my sisters fighting the chub…please hear me…YOU ARE AMAZING. YOU ARE STRONG. YOU ARE EPIC. It doesn’t matter the size of the person…it’s the fight IN the person that truly matters. I encourage all of you to find your inner fighter!

    10735991_10102637330196037_950030580_nStay Strong!
    Team Gymology


  • End of the world? Or just being over-dramatic? ha!

    my new workout for the next 6-12 months :(

    my new workout for the next 6-12 months 🙁

    So… it’s like this… you’re hurt, but you don’t want to stop, because it’s the thing that makes you happy in life… so you keep going… till you can’t go anymore. Then, you go to the doctor, because the pain is unbearable and you feel like you are really hurting yourself… well, then you get the results, and you find out that bam, the thing you love, is being ripped from you for the next year… I know, I know, it’s not the end of the world… but.

    Let me put it in another fun analogy for you, using food. HAHA. It’s kind of like when you finally get a cheat meal, right? and you decide on fast food…. and you get french fries… and you keep digging and digging in the bag pulling them out…. Then all of the sudden no more come out and you’re devastated because they’re gone without warning… and just like that, no more french fries… and just like that NO MORE CROSSFIT… (insert, seriously super crying face here haha)

    Breathe… it will all be ok… RIGHT?

    CURRENT sad face status, but this frown will be turned upside down I promise.

    CURRENT sad face status, but this frown will be turned upside down I promise.

    So this has been going on for a few weeks now – and finally last week I heard about my awesome back… this morning I woke up all happy and resilient, had my swimming bag packed, and I was ready to start a new chapter in my life, the swimming chapter. Got into the pool, yes, did a workout, a pretty intense workout if I want to talk myself up… but what did I do after I was all dried off and on my way into the office? Yep, ball my eyes out. And for what? Just because I can’t workout anymore, I can’t do what I love, what I WAKE UP EVERYDAY looking forward to? YES.. yes, that’s exactly it. I was explaining to Jess today, that 5pm everyday, I have my break, my stress relief.. I am able to do something I love and not worry about anything else. And now I don’t have that anymore.. I don’t have the thing that has made me feel like a competitor again, that thing that makes me feel totally 100% ok with my body and what I’ve been given.. none of that. And yes, I am going to change my ways, and keep going, keep moving, keep being healthy, but, for right now, I am going to be sad. I am going to be sad because swimming, just isn’t CrossFit, and my friends aren’t there, and I’m not lifting 175lbs over my head (maybe one of you need to come swimming with me and we can lift each other over our heads haha)…

    This is a bump in the road, I know, and that’s what my amazing friends have reminded me over and over again while I have been drowning my sorrows in beer, (yes, I have, and I’m not sorry about it!), and I will GET THERE and I will COME OUT STRONGER and FASTER, but for now, for now, I am going to be sad… (just for a few more days..).