The Rude Grocery Store Lady
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I was in a local grocery store, and it's not one I usually frequent, but I've been going there more & more frequently because it's usually not as busy, I can get in and get out & quite frankly, they don't know me as well so I don't feel as obligated to mill about and talk. Not that, that's a bad thing - it just has it's time and place. 

So now that I've started frequenting this newer place, I'm becoming familiar. So I get greeted as someone familiar, not as someone who walks through the door. Know what I mean?

So, one day I walk into said store & I get recognized as a regular and approached; short convos, all good. 

I grab what I need and start heading towards the register and standing there was someone who I had not really had much encounter with. She's the only register open. I hesitate. Her vibe is so bad I consider taking all the things in my cart & putting them back on the store shelves and coming back later (seriously). I tread ahead anyway. Cautiously aware.

Right away I see she doesn't want to do her job, at least not for me. She didn't even look like she wanted to touch my groceries. As she proceeds with this attitude, I'm trying to talk to her for some asinine reason, and she clearly wants to keep her words to herself. 

At the same time, another girl who has waited on me frequently in my previous visits walks up, excited to see and talk to me, so we do. 

As we're talking, she goes and stands next to the lady ringing up my groceries (the mean lady). You know, the one with all the personality. Suddenly, the woman turns to the pleasant girl standing next to her and says, "Why is she yelling?", referring to me as if I wasn't standing there!! We both looked at each other with, "WTFFFFFFF?" on our faces. We stood there in disbelief and watched her check the rest of the groceries in silence, like it was a tennis match.

As I leave the store walking to the car, I begin to doubt myself. I began to wonder if I did the right thing in that situation. I start becoming angrier as I start to talk to myself,

 “If she’s the only clerk in the store when I return, I will leave the groceries there, she shouldn’t treat me that way. I work hard for my money! Who does she think she is.” 

On and on I lament. Somehow, just as angry as I made myself, was as quickly I had forgotten about it and went on with my day.

Fast forward a few days later and I return to that same store. The store opens at 7a, which makes me very happy so I go in and it’s very empty, which also makes me happy. I whizz through the store and get all the items I came in there for, floated to the one register that was open and begin to put my items up on the belt. 

Then,EXACTLY like in a horror movie, I turn back around and to my horror, it was the mean lady!

So instead of trying to plan my escape, I stand stunned. I am mortified. So I wait. For what, I’m not sure. She speaks. I still don’t really say anything. She figures she deserves that. 

She proceeds and begins to eyeball the items I’m buying as  she scans them. She starts to inquire about the things in my cart. I’m skeptical, but I begin to slowly answer her questions about the them and my reasons for buying them. She’s intrigued, and asks me more questions.

Before I know it we are in a 20 minute conversation about her 6 week stint in the hospital in which she’s had part of her intestines removed and how she’s doesn’t really know how to go about finding out about what to do about her health because she’s adopted and she has a twin. 

All I could think about is how grateful I was that I did not act a certified fool the first time I met her!

Hurting people hurt people. I’m not sure what she was going through the first time I met her, but I just want to show grace so that I can in turn receive grace. 

Misery is an option and misery loves company. You never know what people are going through. If you can’t find a nice person, be one.

Target Has Arrived, But Have We?
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I happen to be shopping there one day trying not to overspend and not really paying too much attention until something caught my eye. It was a top that I thought was particularly cute. Then, my eye caught a few more tops until it ended at the mannequin’s display of more cute pieces. Upon closer inspection I had come to realize that the mannequin wasn’t some weird postured skinny version of a woman. It was more like….well, my size. Then my view widened and I began looking at all the posters in the ads too. They were all normal sized women throughout the store. Have you noticed?

 

Is size cultural?

 

You bet it is.

I’ve just recently come back from a short stint in LA and had run into a woman in a bathroom as we were shopping for food to eat and she started off the conversation by stating a claim, “Your butt is HUGE!” I looked at her and said, “Excuse me?” As I’m trying to figure out where she’s going with this, she continues: “How do you get it to look like that?” I still don’t have an answer, because, you guessed it, I have no idea where she’s going with this. “It’s phenomenal!” Bingo! I see. Now we have a direction.

I sincerely thought this was a joke. We are in LA, right? Were there cameras somewhere? Are there cameras everywhere? Was she an actress practicing her craft? What in the world? Is she crazy?

In an instant I unexpectedly went into a giggle fit. I hadn’t engaged in conversation with her, but now I really couldn’t. So I left, knee deep in my giggle fit as she followed me talking about my butt! I was mortified. I finally shook her loose as I ran towards my husband as if he’d be able to prevent this scenario. She walks past me wearing a sheepish grin.

Then I started thinking, had I been someone who wanted to be skinny, I would be devastated at the thought of having a large anything. So, because of my culture, it was almost permissible, even a compliment for her to tell me my butt was big.

Generally Latinas and Blacks tend to like a smaller waist, bigger hips and thighs.

I have had people make that comment to me in my self-conscious youth. I’d have to say that back then, I definitely would have been devastated considering my mindset.

 

Confessions

 

I was having a conversation with someone who knew upon my meeting her that I was a personal trainer. She had already “should-ed” all over herself before I had met her.

“I should lift weights,” “ I should exercise, but I hate exercise…”  along with numerous other stories of her intense hatred for working out. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “does she really hate exercise or does she just not know what she likes to do?” That is possible, you know. A lot of times people just do what they think is exercise and tend to associate it with being inside a gym, or lifting weights etc. The best exercise is the one you will do. It’s good for your health to do something, but start first with something you like & enjoy & the rest will take care of itself. Pretty soon, you begin to make it intentional.

I told her that I thought she looked rather slender and she says to me, “The only thing I heard you say, was slender. In my world, the skinnier, the better. If I could be see through, I would. In my world, skinny is beautiful.” Her reaction seemed visceral.

I was intrigued, because skinny in my world is not a kind thing to say about a woman. I’d never be mistaken for skinny, and I don’t want to be. I mean I want to look good in my clothes, feel good in my skin and look good in my video demos, but skinny is not something I dream to achieve. For some women it truly is. I will confess that it did take me some time to arrive there (come to this conclusion, to feel this way about myself) and there’s still some work to do, but overall that is my truth. I did feel the pressure to look like everyone else, or who I thought people wanted me to look like as someone in my industry. But trying to be something you’re not is just too painful.

 

The current conundrum

 

As of the time I’m writing this article, we are in an age of scolding those that body shame and increasing self-acceptance. I think this is great and has been a long time coming.

Where we start to push the envelope a little bit I believe is when women tend to border or cross over into obesity and then label is it as “self-acceptance”. This is my own personal opinion.

Two people come to mind when I think about this Star Jones and Monique. They were both very vocal about being large and fabulous when they were obese, and then later recanted and made attempts to reduce their size (both successfully).

Star Jones, opted for gastric bypass while Monique did it the good ol’ fashioned way with diet and exercise.

I got into an incredibly interesting discussion with one of my clients about the way women feel about themselves and their bodies. This got me thinking about how many differing stages women have been through regarding bodies over many, many decades.  

For some reason, Twiggy comes to mind.  Remember Twiggy? She was the one who set off the trend of being so thin.  

I wanted to look into it a little bit deeper.  So I did. By end the of our conversation we both agreed that if women gave less a f*ck about what others think about us, it would make our lives so much easier. After that admittance came another confession; That not caring what others think is very difficult to do. 

In addition to that, we are very affected by what we see in the age we are living, whether we know it, or believe it. So we try to fit into the mold of our current times.

Here's a  very brief & interesting  history lesson about women's bodies and trends;  

 

Venus of Willendorf BCE

Venus

Venus

 

She was the first “official” standard of beauty founded by an archaeologist in 1908.  This is one of the few figurines of the female figure to survive this time period. Childbearing and voluptuousness is apparently emphasized.  There have been lots of speculation about the symbolism of such things on this figurine about the breasts, the facelessness, her over abundance.  I’m leaving out the professional speculation of this figurine in this article for the sake of letting you form your own opinion about her. There really is not a whole lot of information about her except the time period she came from.  Everything else written is professional speculation, and we can do that ourselves. Right? We can look at her ourselves and form our own speculation about what was important in that era.

1910:  The idea feminine body type was the figure 8 (think Beyonce). The proper term  for this era is the Gibson Girl look.  It was termed the Gibson Girl look because a guy by that name, Charles Dana Gibson decided that that look should be the standard of beauty. The caucasian female standard of beauty. These were pen and ink illustrations from this artist that spanned the twenty year period between the 19th and early 20th century.  She was portrayed as a fragile and voluptuous woman who had large bust and hips & buttocks, was not vulgar or lewd. She had a thin long neck and hair piled on top of her head. She was statuesque and had a very small waist. Stylish and of the upper class society. She was confidently poised, athletic, sharply dressed, independent, calm, and sought her own personal fulfillment.  She was also sexually dominant and if standing next to her, men appeared to be simpletons, bumblers and most likely couldn’t provide her with satisfaction.

 

1920’s: The Flapper Girl Look

The Flapper Girl Look

The Flapper Girl Look

In this era, women cut off all their hair, hiked up their skirts and listened to jazz music. They wore excessive make up, were considered brash, drank (alcohol),    smoked and had sex in a casual manner. The slang word for “flap” was used to describe a young prostitute as early as 1631. Flappers were slender in their build, had boyish hips and started to become a  little more masculine in their expression of style. They took men’s suits, tailored them to their slender bodies and added shoulder pads. The flapper girl is also synonymous with the automobile because it was during this time that more automobiles were becoming available and this meant more freedom for this flapper girl. Cars meant that the flapper girl could come and go as she pleased.  Flapper girls promoted the ideals of fulfillment and freedom where women were encouraged to think independently about their garments, careers and social activities.

 

1930’s The Soft Siren

The Soft Siren Look

The Soft Siren Look

 

This look became less boxy, the waist re-appeared again, slender shoulders were back and the silhouette was more fitted.  Bustlines were a little more accentuated as well as more curvature. This look was saucy, sassy and the attitude mimicked that of the Flapper Girl look.

 

1940’s The Star Spangled Look

 

Pointy bras emerged with names like “torpedo” and “bullet”, and back style are the broad and boxy shoulders yet again.  Squarer silhouettes, taller and longer limbs and more commanding attitudes. Women continued to expand their roles into the workforce.  

The Star Spangled Look

The Star Spangled Look

 

1950’s Hourglass.

1950's hourglass.jpg

 

 

Think Jessica Rabbit.  In this era skinny women were advised to take weight gain supplements. The ideal at this time was a tiny waist and large chest.  

 

1960’s The Twig.

Twiggy

Twiggy

 

Narrow, boyish hips were the order of the day.  Fact: Twiggy was 5’6” and weighed all of 91 pounds!  This was the era where she made gaunt famous and trendy.  In steps Weight Watchers to help us all lose the weight from our voluptuousness to jump on the Twiggy trend.  

 

1970’s The Dancing Queen.

The Dancing Queen Trend

The Dancing Queen Trend

 

Bell bottoms, long and lean dancing queens.  Dr. Robert Atkins begins the low-carb revolution.  The tall order of the day was to maintain the flat bellies, slimmer hips to be able to rock the bell bottom, belly exposing pants in addition to rocking the less forgiving fabrics of the hip hugging long disco dresses.  This is also the year that Beverly Johnson was crowned first black super model and donned the cover of Vogue magazine.

 

1980’s The Supermodel Look

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So, somehow in this era, we were supposed to get taller as the standard had become leaner, leggier, to represent the new feminine ideal. Think Elle MacPerson, Naomi Campbell. These women are close to 6 foot or taller. Jane Fonda also made leg warmers and leotards a thing and muscles began to be acceptable and desirable on women.  As if?! Why do we need permission from anybody to look the way we want?

 

1990’s The Waif

The Waif Look - Kate Moss

The Waif Look - Kate Moss

 

Sir Mix a lot became the anthem as retaliation to the drug induced waif look. “I like BIG BUTTS and I cannot lie! You other brothers can’t deny!”   Grungy and drugs were cool. Think Kate Moss, or the druggie look. Women were still reeling from the Twiggy look trying to be as slim as possible. Spanx starts to make some traction because by now we’ve started dieting and unknowingly damaging our metabolisms, so the diets stopped working so we turned to Spanx to suck in what we couldn’t diet off.

 

 

2000’s The Buff Beauty

2000's Toned Look

2000's Toned Look

Spray tans and visible abs.  Now we are well on our way to hiring personal trainers for some muscle tone and even though we got rid of the pale look of the drugged up heroin addict look. At least we are mindful of our skin where we make sure to get an artificial tan so as not to damage our skin.  

 

2010 The Booty Babe

Nicki Minaj 

Nicki Minaj 

Butts, butts, butts, booties, booties and more booties.  And I’m not talking about the baby kind. It’s all about the bass and no treble.  

As I was doing the research for this, all I could think of was “Embrace.”  As women we must embrace what we’ve been gifted with. It’s what all women should do.  

JLo has been accused of starting the bigger butt trend.  Instead of trying to look like her, be like her and get butt transplants etc, we should have observed that she just simply embraced her assets.  

Many moons ago, I was watching an interview with JLo.  I can’t remember the question, but what I do remember was her saying that when she was a young dancer she looked around and saw how thin all the other dancers were. She knew she couldn’t compete on that level and she didn’t want to that thin,  so she said she took a long hard look in the mirror and started looking for something that would set her apart from everyone else. She turned around and looked at her butt and said to herself, “It’s my ASS!” The rest is history. She simply embraced it.  It’s not her butt we want, it’s her confidence and her ability to embrace who she is and her ASSets.

 






 

 

Toxicity: A Move to Safer Products.

When I hear about people “Detoxing” it’s usually in relation to bad foodstuffs that comes as a result of bad a eating binge eating on food or overconsumption of alcohol. 

 

My life has been touched by cancer many times. Whether or not the cause was because of this kind of toxicity we may never know, but wouldn’t be great to do whatever we can about it and decrease our risk? Couldn’t hurt, right. More and more exposure is happening to our bodies at levels we can no longer ignore if we are wise. Our bodies were not designed to deal with such high levels of toxic substances.

 

I’ve had a niece and sister law develop breast cancer and both have had to have their breasts removed. Both are survivors. I’ve had another family member find out that she has had leukemia and died the following week. None of it was congenital, so I started to become very curious what was going on and what may have been the cause. If it fate, or is it something we can help ourselves out of?

 

Not only does it increase the probability of cancer, but increased exposure to chemicals has also been associated with PCOS, thyroid problems, early onset menopause, early puberty to name a few. 

 

So, What do we know about detoxing? What exactly is it? 

 

There are several opportunities to ingest toxic substances:

 

Household Cleaning Products.

The key is sticking as close to things that are safer, natural and recognizable. Here are a few examples:

 

Baking soda

Dawn dish soap

Essential oils

Borax

Fresh Lemons

You can easily make your own cleaning products if you really wanted to from these items. 

 

Some Safe Brands:

Meyer http://www.mrsmeyers.com/

Dawn https://dawn-dish.com/en-us

Method https://methodhome.com/

Seventh Generation https://www.seventhgeneration.com/

J.R. Watkins https://www.jrwatkins.com/

Simple Green http://simplegreen.com/

Ecover https://www.ecover.com/

Ecos http://ecos.com/

Better Life Products https://www.cleanhappens.com/

Take the time to look through them and settle on one that resonates with you the most. You’re worth it. 

What You Eat.

Try to eat organic whenever you can, consume local products or grown your own are the best options.

Your Personal Skin Care Products

Flouride for instance. Did you know that Flouride is a neurotoxin? Fragrances are as well and are just about 100%  absorbable. Absolutely anything you put onto your skin. And you know I'm going to plug what I sell.

Environmental.

Here are some things you would never think about that are cause for concern and can make a toxic environment:

  • Air Fresheners (the kind you plug in and the kind you spray.)
  • Scented Candles
  • Fabric Softner sheets
  • Any household cleaners

The idea is to cut down on it as much as possible in order to reduce any sort of inflammation. Generally these things are the root cause of inflammation. Part of the problem is that we can’t really remove ALL toxins,  the next best thing to do is try to decrease the amount of it or the opportunities of ingestion.

The food we ate ain’t the food we now eat.  A lot has changed. The soil has been depleted because instead of working with nature, it’s been forced to grow stuff that will feed masses and be shipped to the masses instead of the locals and what grows well for that region.

Chemicals can be hormone disruptors. Your endocrine system is responsible for your hormone development. In addition to that it regulates your metabolism, and regulates your hormones.

How careful should you be? Oh, I don’t know, how much do you love yourself? While I do know some people can go overboard, you can’t be so obsessed with it that it prohibits you from enjoying life. Here are some tips to at least avoiding the most offensive culprits.

  • Find out what the dirty dozen are and try to avoid them. Eat organic when you can afford it and when you can find it. I am a big advocate for organic. This is especially important if you are of child bearing age and you plan to have children because whatever toxins you are building up in your body will be passed off into your children.

Dirty 

 

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php#.WYdRR9PyvdQ

 

Clean

 

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php#.WYdRatPyvdQ

  • EWG also has an app that you can download onto your phone so that you can look up what you need wherever you are, like when you’re shopping. 

 

  • Research and study what’s in your hygiene products and use the EWG website to research the ingredients. 

 

  • Pay special attention to and remove: 

Thalates Endocrine disruptors. Your endocrine system consists of ovaries testes, adrenals, pancreas, pituitary glands, thyroid, parathyroid, hypothalamus, pineal gland. Your endocrine system is responsible for sending signals to every cell of your body.

Flouride a known neurotoxin

Fragrances hormone disruptors (menopause, puberty, thyroid, PCOS)

Glycophosphates (or glyphosphates) an herbicide mostly used for weed control, this chemical blocks the production of CYP which is an enzyme that helps detoxify the human body. Its job is to get rid of chemicals that the body cannot eliminate on it’s own

Propylene glycol is a penetrator enhancer which simple means that it causes other harmful chemicals to be absorbed quicker, so it’s a harmful chemical AND it acts as a carrier to other harmful chemicals.

Sodium Benzoates

BPA (Bisphenol A) found in teflon coating on pans, plastic wraps, and plastic containers; it is the biggest offender as far as hormonal disruptors

If you don’t want to have to remember any of these harmful chemicals, here are some special recipes for you that I made and used myself before I started using Beautycounter. They do all the heavy lifting for you. 

 

Did you know?

Did you know that the dose no longer determines the poison. In other words, just because you use a “little bit” or once, or a few times and you can still have a major reaction or challenge with it, but that doesn’t determine the poison anymore.  

Did you know that all fragrance are toxic?. Anything that is labeled as “fragrance” should be avoided because it fails under what is classified as IP. This means that the company can put whatever they want into it and no testing ever has to take place on that product to ensure the safety. 

Did you know that anything that you put into your armpits gets absorbed 100% so pay special attention to what you put into your armpits, so you want to pay special attention to what you put into them.

Did you know that the skin absorbs faster than any other organ in the body b/c of the lack of digestive enzymes to break it down, nor does it have the purification process of the liver.

Did you know that a company can claim that something is “natural” if it has only 1 natural ingredient. All other ingredients can be chemicals. 

Did you know that in the past that food never had to be called organic - it just was. Now we’re having to label things organic because chemical ingestion has become so commonplace.

Did you know that our body stores toxins in our fat cells. When the body has nowhere else to store toxins because it becomes so overloaded with them it causes our body to put on fat to store those chemicals. It will also cause the fat cells to multiply. 

 

Remove these chemical burdens from your body. You are worth it! Once you get these things out of your life, I promise you will notice the difference and then when you are exposed to it again, you will notice the difference immediately. Education is power and ultimately it is your decision. Vote with your dollars.

 

6 Clean Eating Strategies For Busy Schedules

1. Hire a food delivery service.

This one is pretty self explanatory.  

It sounds expensive, but it actually is not too shabby.  On average, the most people pay for about 14 prepared meals is about $200.  You can also combine this with a partial preparation that you can do yourself. The chef (generally) does all the shopping, preparing and adding them into your meal prep containers.  

I've known some people to hire a chef and they seem to like it and do well with it. You can hire a chef to prepare ALL of your meals for the week, or just a few days a week when you may be busier than others.

Here are some food delivery services that deliver the food right to your front door:

greenchef.com

blueapron.com

hellofresh.com

cleanfooddelivered.com

mycleanmeals.com

amazonfresh.com

amazonpantry.com

homechef.com

2. Cook your food all in one day and make it your ritual.

This is what I choose to do as of my writing this.  

Before my cooking day, I decide what I want to eat for that week,  how much of it I'm going to need in order to last through the week and then I set out to cooking and preparing everything. 

Going to shop for groceries AND preparing the food in the same day does not work for me.  I don't like to work on prep for that long.  The shortest amount of time I've completed food prep was 2 hours.  It was only prep for 5 days instead of 7. 

Generally, I try to prep every 3 days if I find myself getting bored with food.  In the spring and summer months I prepare for up to 3 days because everything is so fresh and there's more variety.

Generally, I rotate between 3 different proteins, usually chicken breasts, buffalo and a fatty fish (salmon, cod).  My carbohydrates quite honestly, right now as I write this, is just basmati. 

I'm not fond of the way potatoes reheat and depending on how much time I have, I don't really mess around too much with mashed potatoes. I do love and appreciate sweet potatoes and/or yams.    

For vegetables, I eat about a head of lettuce a day (possibly more) and other vegetables include green beans, sometimes I enjoy carrots with hummus, asparagus, beets, raw bell peppers, english cucumbers, and grape tomatoes (my favorite!).

I do eat fruit, but not a whole lot of it (maybe one or two servings per day, but usually no more than one) and I rotate between whatever the season provides.  

Then I divide them up in my portions and stick in the fridge where they will wait for me until I eat them.  

Cooking all your food in one day, say like on a Sunday saves you loads of time during the week and the most you have to do is heat and eat.  

Some things I do UNDERcook because if I don't the re-heating process just makes the protein very rubbery.

3. Prepare for the whole day's worth of meals in the morning.

If you don't want to prepare all your food for the week in one day, do it in the morning before or after you eat breakfast.  I don't know about you, but the less thinking I have to do in the morning, the better.  But if it works for you, then it works for you.  Go for it!

4. Pre-cook only your proteins.

If I'm in a big hurry, I will do this to make sure I have a quality protein.

Instead of pre-cooking everything to assemble your meals all at once, you can just precook the proteins only (which take up most of your time to cook anyways) and then add the other components to your meal later at the time you're ready to eat them and prepare them just before you sit down to eat.  

5. Pre-chopping vegetables.

I'm a fresh vegetables kind of gal.  You can buy all of your fresh vegetables in one day and chop them up, divide them up, and put them all in your fridge for safe keeping.  

6. Liquid Nutrition

By far, the easiest and quickest way to get nutrients in, in the morning is the universal smoothie.  It's mostly convenient because you can take it with you in handy shake container.  You do have to be careful of choosing the right one and something that will work for your body.  There are quite a few varieties that you can add to your smoothies in the morning; whey, egg white, rice, soy, vegetable, vegan,  plant, hemp etc.

I generally mix my with unsweetened almond milk, but I've heard of people mixing it with water.  You should also make sure that your smoothie will sustain you for at least 3 hours.  

You should choose one that fits your budget and blends easily and well.  It should not be chunky when you blend it. 

To make it even more convenient if you like to have your smoothies in the morning, you should put all your smoothie ingredients all in one sandwich sized (or quart size) ziploc bag and freeze them in batches.  

That way, when you're ready for a smoothie, you can just reach into your fridge, pull it out and dump it into your blender and you're ready to blend it into a delicious smoothie for yourself.  

Velma Garnes