Wait – What is happening? Is that my ass??

WHAT IS GOING ON???
This was my thought process the other day as I tried on my once favourite pair of jeans and discovered my beloved low-rise jeans suddenly became real low-rise jeans – so low they covered just up to my thighs.

Well friends, people forgot to mention the magical process that happens to your body when you get into your 20’s; but I’m here to warn you to enjoy those skinny jeans while you can! Soon your ass will be so large you will be jumping up in the air for hours trying to squeeze yourself into them.
If you are lucky to finally achieve the unthinkable, you might try to, oh I don’t know- BEND OVER! And that is when you will find out that you will need to learn how to use your feet to pick up objects to meet you halfway that your body is restricted to reach.

Let me paint you a picture of how this travesty came about.

One day not too long ago, when life was a simpler time, I was going out and was trying to decide on what to wear. With a flashlight in hand I entered the depths of my closet without a clue of when I would return. Felt like hours went by when I finally emerged out of the closet with an outfit in hand.
I was feeling great and so excited with my outfit I put together; a top that I had completely forgot about and jeans that I had worn a few times and loved the colour of. The day started just like any other, but nothing in life had ever prepared me for what was about to happen.

I was getting ready, listing to some throwbacks on my iPod and dancing along while I got dressed. I’m half dressed and with my pants in hand, I’m struggling to put them on. As I’m singing along to the song, I’m starting to get a bit annoyed.

You see, Nicki Minaj Super Bass just happened to come on and I’m getting into it; I’m hitting all the words, going into the rap portion to the singing of the chorus flawlessly, never missing a beat. However, the jeans are just not budging. I’m getting distracted now and starting to miss some words. At this point, the fans would be booing; this performance has definitely not been my finest. Fed up, I stop singing and look to see what exactly is the issue with the jeans. To my surprise, everything looks fine, both legs are in and I’m shimming and still there is no progress.
My wonder has now turned into concern – Have I shrunk my jeans??? No, it can’t be possible. I look up in the mirror and am mortified at what I see. My jeans are maybe above my mid-thigh and there is no way these babies are getting any higher. And now I begin to look at myself – and I mean really look.

Usually, when I’m getting ready, I’m dancing and singing along, and before I leave I sort of strike a pose while I shout “Who runs the world? Girls!” but now there is none of that. This is a serious issue.
Now that I’m looking, I’m thinking whose ass is that?

Looking in the mirror I am wondering; when did my ass and hips expand like this?

And what are those???  No way. Stop.
Are those love handles?? When did those show up?
Scared and in disbelief I collapse on the bed. Which was a mistake itself. Now I’m staring in horror and thinking What the – Where did all these rolls come from? (And no, I’m not talking about rolls of bread) I’m talking about someone has been eating too much chocolate cake.
Oh my god. I’m turning into the Michelin Man.

I run over to my closet to see what other pants I have, and I’m changing in and out of my pants so quick, it’s almost as if I am participating in a magic show when they hold up a curtain and reveal someone wearing a completely different outfit seconds later.

And then the heart-attack hits: 6 PAIRS OF PANTS DON’T FIT!
My palms get clammy… my pulse quickens… Flashbacks of the ticket price quickly comes rushing back to memory. I have only worn these pants 3 times! This has been a horrible investment!
Panic strikes as I think how I haven’t even gone through my other drawers where I have my shorts, skirts and capris tucked away.
Okay breathe. Breathe. This is fine. Everything is fine.

I just need a plan.

And that is how I decided it was time.
I had put it off as long as I could, but life caught up to me.
And now it was time to gain control of the situation. I needed to start exercising.

I was hoping that doing a few lunges and squats, maybe the odd sit up was going to do the trick but no results came about. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, that this would achieve a 6-pack, hey I’d even settle for a 4-pack! But apparently that is not how it works.
It was time to join a gym.

Back in November I joined the gym. I didn’t want to be one of those “NEW YEAR,  NEW ME!” people, because I loathe those people. I had to beat the rush of crazy’s that would hog the machines but within a few weeks would never step foot in the gym until next year when they vowed to themselves that this would be the year.

Now, I was never one of those athletic people. I was slim, but luckily didn’t have to work for it. But now that my ass was growing and my hips are expanding – and for what purpose? Is my body preparing to pop some children out? Because let me tell you, there’s no need for that to happen anytime soon! – I decided that it was time to get out there.

The first day at the gym seemed intimidating. Why was everyone groaning so much when they lifted weights? Wasn’t that a sign to stop? Maybe time to go to the hospital to check if you have a hernia? That was when I learned to stay far away from that side of the gym.

I decided it would be safest over on the treadmill.
Buddy to my left looked like he was about to die, and buddy on my right looked like a hamster on the wheel in his glory.
Keeping it slow and easy to start, I decided it was time to crank things up a notch! Lets get this over with! Why run for a half hour at this pace, when I can run twice as fast and be done in 15 mins if I just give’er a little! Just think, 15 minutes in the gym, 30 minutes until I am lying down on the couch with ice cream tub in hand!

And that was when I remembered how much I hated running.
I’m holding onto the bars for dear life, my feet are going so fast I’m convinced one is about to fall off, and 1 minute of this feels like 10. I look over and buddy to my left looks like he staying on trying to prove something to himself, while I’m contemplating calling 911 for him, and buddy to my right has perfect posture and looks like he is going on a stroll through a nice neighbourhood. I decide the treadmill life isn’t for me, and head over to the elliptical. I pick a machine behind my buddy that is slowly dying so I can keep an eye on my new friend.

A month or so goes by and I’m heading to the gym about 3-4 times a week. I feel good, but now I’m getting bored. I have my music going, I have the little t.v. on that is attached to my machine but nothing helps. All I am thinking is: how good would it be to be lying horizontal right now?
Okay – so maybe machines aren’t my thing. How about joining a class?

I looked at the gym’s schedule to see what kinds of classes they offered and saw ZUMBA on the list and thought that could be fun. I’ve always loved dancing! I danced growing up and did it for almost 10 years.
Perfect! ZUMBA it is!
ZUMBA class rolls around and I’m slightly nervous – what if everyone is really good? I end up going to the gym a bit late and miss the class but I exercise upstairs where I can watch part of the class through the glass.

The music is going and it sounds like a club inside. I can watch the class but only can see the back half and from what I can see the class looks a bit uncoordinated.

I’m looking around at my future fellow dancer and think to myself: What is that one person doing? Is she making up her own routine? And that other person in the back corner; she is going left when everyone else is going right…..
Oh I can totally do this! I’m definitely more coordinated than that! And look at that other girl back there! She just quit all together and looks like she wants to slap the teacher!
Psh, easy peasy. Next class, I’ll go!

A lesson to everyone that reads this: This is why we don’t judge people.

I got to the class all wide-eyed and ready to learn. I’m eyeing up my competition and thinking I should probably be closer to the front but I’ll hang out in the back so I don’t make the others feel bad.

The music starts and I feel the adrenaline. It’s about to go down. The teacher calls out: Anyone new here? I look around waiting to see who else is new -but no one says anything. As I look around everyone just smiles welcoming at the teacher.

She looks around the room quickly and says okay great! Everyone looks familiar!

This is the first moment of uncertainty that hits me. Did she just say everyone looks familiar? Is there really no other beginners here?

The music all of a sudden starts blaring through the speakers and she’s yelling out “Let’s do this!”
And everyone starts doing a routine.

Now at this point I’m thinking oh crap. What did I get myself into.

Everyone’s arms and legs are moving about, and I’m trying to figure out what the steps are and am about 5 steps behind while I trip over my feet.

Suddenly the worst person in the class that I was watching before looks like a dancing goddess and I’m Bambi learning how to walk.

The teacher is this small little ball of energy running around the room, and I’m ready to dunk my head in a bucket of water to cool down.
Apparently there is no such thing as a break in ZUMBA.
One song rolls into the next, and in between songs occasionally some people will quickly run off to sip some water and then are back at it.

The first few songs go by and I’m gulping down water like a camel preparing myself until the next time I’m able to escape the dance floor.

Walking back on the floor, I try channelling my inner dancer. At one point in my life I was a half decent dancer. I can do this.
Feeling more confident I start hitting the moves better and starting to figure out the steps. After a few times of repetition I start to feel better. I got this! I’m learning the steps!

The beat in the song quickens, and we are all running to the left and then jumping up in the air, and then running to the right and jumping. I’m getting into, and then just as I jump up, the tempo suddenly changes and is much slower, and everyone in the class gets really low.

Oh….. Okay. Now we get low. Right….

Well, it has been about 2 months of ZUMBA now and I’m no pro, but I’m definitely a lot more coordinated! The love handles have been danced off and I’m having lot of fun.

So lessons to take from this:
1) There is such thing as a second puberty, and no it’s not always a glorious process.
2) Your metabolism starts to slow down, and suddenly eating a whole pizza yourself starts to have serious consequences.
3) Buy pants that have some stretch. You might think your ass has stopped growing but you are wrong. Those hips are expanding and if you want to wear those jeans you are going to need some give to get good use of them.

– Nikki

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The Big Move – I’ve left the nest!

My big move out of my parents house and into my own, took place last month and what seemed like a fairly simple process quickly turned into a long enduring marathon called Where did all this crap come from?

Back in late November my boyfriend bought a house and the plan was that I was going to move in either February or March.
If anyone has ever gone through that faze of not quite living with each other, but staying over at your significant others house all the time, you will know where I am coming from.
Basically, your original home (my parents house) and your significant others place (his apartment) are neither one of your “homes”. You now live out of your car. You car is essentially your new closet. You are spending almost all your time at your significant others house, and you don’t always have time to make the trip to drive back and grab more of your things. So instead what you do is you load up your car with a bunch of crap – lots of clothes (you don’t have laundry facilities so you better be giving yourself options), shoes (same goes, you need a variety! Want to go to the gym? Well you will twist an ankle running in sandals. Want to go out for a romantic date? Well you look stupid wearing rain boots) and finally your miscellaneous things that you use; laptop, cozy slippers, iPod and water bottle for the gym, lunch bag for work and re-useable containers….

Before I knew it, I was a bag lady and one step up from pushing around a shopping cart; instead I had my trusty old Mazda 3 hauling around my things.

Bonus to living out of your car – You are ready for any serious weather evacuations!
Tornado coming? I’ll outrun it in my trusty Mazda 3! Wild fire that can’t be tamed? No problem, I’m already packed! Lets hit the road and beat the traffic.

Now you’re probably thinking, that’s pretty great, but is it worth it? And before you jump to conclusions – I’m not done listing the bonuses!!
Want to have a nice toned body without having to pay the costs of joining a gym? It’s your lucky day! You will be hauling your crap all over the place that you will be so strong after lifting about 4 bags a day that are so over-stuffed that every step you take your leg keeps bumping the bags, causing the weight to shift in your shaking arms that are losing circulation very quickly due to the weight of the straps pulling on your skin – But this is just part of the experience! Soon those arms that flapped in the wind will be nice and toned and everyone will be asking what your secret is!

Now lets fast-forward from my body building days to the moving process.

Everything seemed well planned out. I was going to pack a few bags of clothes, and small miscellaneous things, take it over to the house, finish up painting the bedrooms, and then do the big move once the bedrooms were all painted. Sounds easy right?

We finished painting the 2 bedrooms; first the master bedroom, then the spare bedroom and I’m exhausted but feeling like a proud homeowner admiring my artistic abilities of being one with the paintbrush.
At this point I have been painting nonstop with my boyfriend trying to get everything done. We go to work, come home, eat and get at it. Usually we finished painting at midnight and then would go to bed and the day would repeat. After a solid week or so living this lifestyle, we were done! Everything was painted and looked great. At this point I was thinking it would be a great time to lie down and take a break, but I was on a mission to get everything completed.
That weekend I went to my parents place to grab my belongings and thats when it hit me – I’m actually moving out. Hello waterworks! Trying to pack when your eyes are blurry from tears is not something I recommend. I didn’t even know what I was grabbing, and things were ending up in unusual locations, and all that meant was re-packing. So instead I did what any sensible person would do – stopped packing and instead started to reminisce about life. I highly do not recommend that if you are trying to stop crying, to think about this: This night will the last time I will ever sleep at my parents house in my own room, in my bed.
Lets just say that night was a complete write off, and nothing got done.

Morning of, I wake up and think how I need to be ready for the truck in 5 hours and my room is untouched. A women on a mission, I kick it into overdrive and begin to pack my little heart out. The packing process for small keepsake items goes fairly smooth, and then it’s time to hit the closet – and thats when all hell breaks loose. I am finding clothes that I didn’t even remembered I owned. The clothes keep coming, and there is no more bags to put them in. I start grabbing garbage bags. Before I know it, I have filled 3 garbage bags in addition to the other bags I have packed. Suddenly my closet has become the Chronicles of Narnia Wardrobe and I can’t find the end of it.

Out of curiosity, I decided to count how many items I owned.
Please enjoy the following data:
# of Bra’s: 23   – I usually just rotate between 4.
# of Sweaters: 61 – Sweaters are my favourite thing. However, this number seems a little aggressive…. but everyone likes options…. right?
# of Tops: 108+ – I lost track counting and gave up. But I was near the end!

Apparently the novel Confessions Of A Shopaholic is actually based on a true story.

Hours later I have bags galore, all over-stuffed and clothes are over-spilling with every step I take. The truck arrives and we pack the truck. My car has majority of the clothes already inside because I haven’t yet figured out how my boyfriend is going to react when he sees it all and I tell him that there won’t be room for his things, and he will have to hang his clothes outside in a bag.

The move is now over but now I need to find room for all my things. As I sort my items I’m astonished at how much I have. Where did it all come from? Surely, it can’t all be mine!
After the 4th bag is unpacked I decide that someone needs to stage an intervention for me.
At this point, I am going slightly crazy. I have so much crap, and I still have more bags in the car. My side of the closet is almost completely full and so is my wardrobe.  At this point I’m wondering if my boyfriend would actually notice if I snuck in a few shirts at the top bar that we decided would be his. I quickly try to shove some shirts up there when I hear his footsteps coming as I am in mid jump trying to reach the top bar. I then decide this will never work. The hassle of jumping every morning to pull down a top will get tiresome. The boyfriend is now in the bedroom asking if I am almost done and want to watch a movie. Suppressed tears start to emerge and he is looking at me as if he is beginning to wonder what he got himself into. I blurt out how I have more bags in the car and don’t know what to do. He looks at me calmly and walks over to the wardrobe and says “hey it’s okay, look! You have all of this!” and then he makes the mistake of opening it and sees all the sweaters stacked up and it’s almost completely full. I then look at him with my puppy eyes and say “Babe, can I have another drawer?”
Babe wasn’t quite as understanding as I was hoping. He told me it looks like I have a problem and need to get rid of some things.
Ok. Way easier said than done! Do people not think I haven’t thought of that?? I have tried! But it’s nearly impossible. Everything fits, still looks good on, I can’t just donate items that I would still wear! That’s crazy!

The sensible solution was to just take over the guest bedroom, use the closet for extra storage, and the dresser! We never have guests anyways!

Here I am, all moved in, no more bag lady, and my car is now capable to hold passengers! Things really have come full circle.
Now next on the list, is to finish decorating and put our (my) mark on our new home!

– Nikki

I have no idea what I’m doing. (My life motto)

Okay. Where to start.
Well, it seems as if one day suddenly everything changed.

I went from being in the comfort of my parents house, buying clothes as if I was preparing to open my own personal used clothing store, or perhaps to clothe a small village – like seriously what was I thinking? For one, I was making minimum wage, so it’s not like I was working a luxurious job and could afford that kind of lifestyle. Secondly, I have student loans. For anyone that has those, you know what I’m talking about. They linger for years, you think you are making great progress and then you check your loan balance and literally begin to contemplate using that brand new sweater you just bought to strangle yourself, as half of your hard earned money goes towards interest. (okay back to original point) – next thing you know your spreading your wings and leaving the nest while you keep repeating everything is fine to yourself, as if that is going to magically make your bank account double. Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t kicked out of the house or anything. I chose to move out to move in with my boyfriend, but I was very much leaning (or so running) in that direction because after so long of living at home, those sweet little parents begin to drive you bonkers and there is not enough privacy in a small townhouse to really do anything.

So here I am. In my early 20s, in a nice starter home with my boyfriend, trying to figure out how to adult.
Anyone that actually came here for help, this is not the place for you. I literally have no idea what I’m doing. At all.
To further make my point, and this is a true story, I was taking a shower last night and was thinking how bored I am and was contemplating getting a hobby. In all seriousness, what do people do with their time????
So I was in the middle of singing Ed Sheeran and working on my dance moves, while lathering myself up with shampoo (I’m quite the multi-tasker), when I realized starting a band was out of the question. If that’s what the acoustics sounded like in the shower (and that’s suppose to be one of the best room’s to sing in) then boy were we in trouble. No one would want to listen to that. So, side project of starting a  band was definitely out. So what could be my new hobby? And then it hit me! I used to love writing. I would write short stories all the time growing up. So I was thinking, it can’t be THAT hard to write a book, people do it all the time! Then I started doing my best googling to find the answers, while imagining my future as a successful author like that Harry Potter chick, and as I googled I starting thinking – perhaps it isn’t that easy to write a book. So that got scraped as quickly as those visions of me being a millionaire happened. So  it hit me – A BLOG! Everyone loves blogs. So that was how this whole thing came about. Literally less than 24 hours and here we are.

So, if anyone ever reads this, I’m setting the bar real low here – I don’t know how successful a blog can be – and one written by myself, we are going on a journey of how to adult. Its a light-hearted, entertaining blog, and meant to be you are not alone in trying to figure out how to be an adult.