The summer between my junior and senior year in high school, I was 16 years-old, 2,000 miles from my home in Seattle, and had just discovered both cocaine and the joys of sex. Which, even at that young age, I knew went very well together.
And which will sound odd when I swear to you, up and down and all kind of sideways, that I was a good kid. I was smart and kind and talented and all those things that people tell you about a kid before divulging something seemingly awful, like that they spent the summer doing cocaine and a British boy they met in a bar.
I was terribly unhappy, frightened, angry and desperately in need of change, but I was a good kid. (Like most of the kids you see who are also all of those things, and also a mystery to you.) I was flunking out of school, entirely by choice. My teachers kept telling me how smart I was. I kept telling them to fuck off. Read more…
I remember when that video of a model being made-up and airbrushed into perfection first made the scene. It opens with a perfectly “normal” looking woman who is then tended to by an army of workers, as if she were a Queen and they were her worker bees, until she looked ALMOST like a model. Then, after all the make up and hair styling, the perfect lights and lenses and soft focus, an artist Photoshopped her images until, sure enough, she looked like every model we see in the pages of every magazine.
That is not real. That is art. Read more…
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the credibility of the Internet. FoodBabe – who peddles fear by using scary words and a total misunderstanding of science – got ripped to shreds by ScienceBabe – who is awesome with her ninja-like dicing of bullshit using sharpened blades of fact. Belle Gibson, who built an empire on a completely fabricated story about beating brain cancer with natural food instead of medicine, admitted that it was all a lie. And, of course, Dr. Oz is sitting on the hot seat, when his congressional hearing for pushing unproven remedies was followed up by a letter demanding he be removed from the Columbia University School of Medicine.
I mean, if you can’t believe pretty girls and TV stars, who can you believe? Read more…
In the last few years I have scrambled to earn the right to call myself “a writer.” But that’s all I earned. My work has been on hugely high-profile sites, it has gone viral, I can rightly lay claim to “breaking the Internet” a time or two. I’ve had bylines and editorial titles, and written things that others were afraid to write. I have poured my heart and my soul into it. I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that my writing has made the world a better place, in some way.
I have flippantly – but with true humble pride – told people that I am paid in thank-you notes. I save many of them. The people who tell me that I saved their life. That they have hope that they’ll recover after rape. That they no longer think they’re terrible parents (or feel they have to be scarred by their own terrible parents.) That they finally had the courage to divorce, find love, find health, become who they want to be. Because of my writing. Because of me. Read more…
I spend every day in a gym with people, trying to get them out of their heads and into their bodies. Over the last several years, I’ve come to trust that there is a handful of questions – or misguided statements – that I will get asked every day. EVERY. DAMNED. DAY.
“Will I get bulky?” “I don’t know if I can do that.” “Will I lose weight?”And, of course, “I just want to be able to do the things I could do when I was younger.”
Ummmmm, sorry. Reversing time: It’s not a thing.
We are a culture obsessed with youth. We’re obsessed with smooth and tight and skinny and bright and… We’re obsessed with things that don’t exist. Santa. The Easter Bunny. Boobs that point to the sun from any position. We need to switch our focus, to an obsession with wisdom, joy and embarrassing our children with tales of the raucous (and occasionally raunchy) stories of our youth as a way to remind them to go out and live a little. You live once. The goal is to collect as many stories as you can, until the day you die.
Look, I cannot help you go back in time. What I can help you do is completely rock the age that you are. I can help you live your life longer, and filled with strength, power and joy.
So, I have good news and bad news: Read more…
Every now and then, we wake up in our deliciously comfortable bed, and my husband looks at me with that look in his eye. I fear this look, because I know what’s coming. “You know what would be awesome today?” he asks. And I think, “an all day Will Ferrell movie marathon interrupted only for food and sex. All in bed, this bed, right here.” I don’t say it outloud though, because I know his answer is “working out doing crazy shit that no sane person would do, much less enjoy.” Only with different words, that’s just what it sounds like to me when he says it.
My daughter is the same way. I’m surrounded by it.
But, if we’re being honest, I’m totally not that way. At all. Unless I’m really angry, I pretty much never feel like working out. It’s my drug of choice when I’m really angry, other than that, I can usually think of a million things, shy of the dentist, that I’d rather be doing. Read more…
I crack myself up. I am often the only one laughing. I will do almost anything to amuse myself. But, I mean, guys, Easter Poops! These aren’t your ordinary brightly colored Peeps. No way. They’re homemade, coffee-flavored, cocoa covered Easter Poops! (Okay, I made Peeps too, because I had so much marshmallow, I had to. And then I wished I hadn’t made them coffee flavored, because there is something weird about a bright pink think being coffee flavored, but oh well.)
Start to finish, one hour. Though I haven’t tried to clean the sugar off of everything yet. (It’s spring, the sugar ants will surely get to it soon.)
INGREDIENTS Read more…
This was written as part of the Stronger In Seattle series that I am doing with New Day Northwest. Please watch the hysterical video, in which I do a plank on the coffee table, talking about this article.
Spring has sprung. Or, at least it’s springing. The Crocus are blooming, Tulips and Daffodils have sent up scouts to scour for nascent sunshine, and the magazines have exploded with a kaleidoscope of ways to tell us we’re too fat to be ready for summer. Certainly to be seen in a bathing suit.
Yup, summer is on its way, and we aren’t ready.
Fortunately, there are solutions. There are clothes you can buy that will hide your unworthy body parts. There is a diet you can go on to lose that unsightly fat. There is finally an exercise program that will make you look like a supermodel. There’s a pill you can take to change your metabolism. And luckily for you, you have a friend who is selling a new product that will roll back the clock and put doctors out of business because it unlocks ancient secrets that can change your DNA and the establishment doesn’t want you to know about it, but your friend does.
I don’t buy it. And neither should you. Read more…
I am a trainer. I train muscles, mostly. I am fortunate enough to have a couple hundred people who trust me with their bodies, and I take that very seriously. I approach it with the same “first do no harm” goal that a good doctor would.
We talk, obsessively, about injury prevention. About knowing, respecting and sometimes pushing your boundaries. We talk about the difference between being “in shape” (a term that is hopelessly entwined in the culture of body-shaming) and being “fit” (which means ready and able to do anything you want to do with your body, safely and functionally.)
But we talk about other stuff too. In the 3 years that we’ve owned a gym, I can safely say that every week I talk to our members about: divorce, love, shame, PTSD, body-shame, fear, death of loved ones, work / life balance, eating disorders, anxiety, severe depression, addiction, gender identity and why those big vibrators have 3 parts that vibrate and look like they go “somewhere.” Okay, the vibrator thing only happened one time, but some form of every single one of these subjects comes up every single week. I do a lot of listening. Read more…
Writers know how dangerous we are. Or how dangerous you think we are. We know that just knowing us has the risk of exposing you to the world, no matter the perspective from which you look at that sentence. We know the clear and present danger of our words on your perception of the world, and your perception of how the world perceives you. We know that you fear finding yourself or losing yourself or watching our words wash you of pretense, only to leave you under a microscope or a magnifying glass or alone in a mob unable to hide or be found. We know that knowing us feels like a risk.
We know what we risk.
We risk being a Typhoid Mary. Or metaphor Mary, or whatever it is that means you don’t want to connect with us. Or just that we know you’ll never see it the same way we do. Which is a different kind of being alone. That the connections and rhythms and haunting phrases are real only in our own “beautiful minds.”
We know we risk being alone, all the time. And that we are, anyway. Read more…