Photo courtesy of GenkiGenki on Flickr
Photo courtesy of domo arigato on Flickr
While changing after my workout at the gym today, I got to thinking. At the gym or the swimming pool, no matter where it is, the change room is an interesting place. I awkwardly tried to keep myself covered with a giant towel as I very quickly put my clothes on after emerging from the shower. I couldn’t help but notice all of the other bodies around me. The vast majority of them were gloriously imperfect, not to mention naked as jay birds. Many of the women were older than me. Some had breasts that drooped towards their waists, their nipples pointing towards the floor. Lots of them had cellulite or stretch marks or both. Why was I standing there, so ashamed of my own body, so afraid to expose myself? Why couldn’t I remove the image of what I think I should look like from my head? What did I think that these other women expected me to look like? Why did I think it mattered to them? I wondered if I could ever be fully naked in a room where nakedness is not a big deal. I wondered why I couldn’t imagine feeling comfortable showing it all off in there. Whose judgement was I afraid of, anyway? Even as a teenager, when I was changing for gym class or basketball practise, I always went into a stall, never feeling confident enough to peel my clothes off where anyone could see me. Other girls were quite content to parade around in the buff. I, on the other hand, was too shy even to stand around in my bra and underwear in front of the other girls. I’m not sure exactly what it was, or continues to be, about that situation that makes me anxious. Is it the same for guys? My buddies who play hockey have been showering together since they were little boys and seem to have no qualms about stripping down in front of their friends or other male strangers.
I can honestly say that this is the first cycle of ANTM for which I have not chosen a favourite and stuck by her for the duration. Last night, it was “go-see” time and the girls had to impress designers not only with their looks, portfolio and walk but also with their charm and personality. This proved to be quite a challenge for some of the girls. The translators tell the cabs to take the girls to their destinations, but once the girls get out of the cab, they still have to navigate themselves to the right studios. Plus, they have to be back at the agency on time.
Saleisha jumps out of the cab in the pouring rain and runs into the first designer’s studio. She doesn’t impress him; he thinks she dull. Poor Heather is lost. Chantal is scolded by one of the designers for wearing bright pink booty shorts rather than nude underwear, and her walk doesn’t impress the designer either. By the time all the other girls have completed two or three go-sees, Heather still hasn’t done her first one because she can’t find the location. When she finally finds the first designer’s studio, she is told how important it is to make eye contact, something that she struggles with. She is again awkward and obviously uncomfortable despite the fact that she has a look that the designer likes for China. After this, she heads back out, only to get lost a second time. She decides to go back to the agency so she doesn’t get disqualified, but can’t find her car. Cut to an awkward amount of footage of Heather walking around Shanghai aimlessly. Saliesha and Bianca are the only two who make it back to the agency on time, so the other girls are disqualified from the challenge. Bianca, who impressed the designers with the perfect mix of personality and beauty, is the winner.
Our favourite hunky judge, Nigel Barker is the photographer for this week’s photo shoot. The models pose in a garden with people dressed in beautiful Chinese lion and dragon costumes. This means that the models have to be on their game, they must be super fierce to stand out in the shot. Nigel tries to coach Jenah, but she gives him attitude her sarcastic attempts at humour seem to do little more than irk him.
Photo courtesy of shshawna
I’ve been hitting the gym hard this week and back at pilates, because the time has really come to whip myself into shape again. It’s funny, many people worry about “winter weight gain” over the holidays, but I have always been the opposite. I’ve always been my thinnest through the winter months and tend to gain a little over the summer. It seems that peppermint mochas and Christmas baking are easier for me to have willpower over than appies and drinks on a patio. For some reason, November hits and I’m suddenly motivated. I’ve always been like that. This year is no exception. I’m assuming that it’s as a result of tuckering myself out more than usual during the days that I have been sleeping better at night. I have battled insomnia for as long as I can remember, and this has certainly been a stressful week for me, but exercise really does work wonders to help with both of those things.
With all of this sleep, I have been having the most crazy, intense, vivid dreams. Last night, I was in Paris. Paris is a place that I have never been but have always felt a kinship with, like I did with New York before I ever visited. I’m drawn to it for so many reasons. Funny enough, I have been to France, but Paris was not on the itinerary. Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous? Watching Amélie while feasting on brie last week planted the seed again. I found myself looking up flights to Paris online. Two of my best friends are currently living in France, so I’m certain that there would be no shortage of places to stay or people to show me around should make the voyage. Perhaps a summer trip to Paris is in order. I’m sure Eddie will agree. (Who, by the way will be back in Vancouver for Christmas in exactly 16 days!) Also making an appearance in my dream last night were these beautiful Frye boots. Apparently, I’m pining after them. I better tell Santa.
This morning, I felt as though I could have stayed in bed all day. My alarm squawked seemingly louder than usual at 6am. I was so cozy, nestled beneath my covers, that the thought of emerging and facing the day seemed unfathomable. There were no excuses though, warm and snuggled as I may have been, I had to haul myself up and get into the shower. Work was calling; and it just wouldn’t shut up.
It was a beautiful drive to the office, over the Lions Gate Bridge. The North Shore mountains are glittery white, covered in fresh snow this morning. They took my breath away as I approached them. I could not be more excited about the upcoming snowboarding season and our regular trips to Grouse for night riding above the city.
At the moment, everything feels up in the air. On one level, I’m feeling more settled than I’ve ever felt in my life and on another…it’s a world of unknown. Eager to take it all on, while at the same time plagued with self doubt and grappling with anxiety, I am sitting on the edge. I am still waiting patiently for the opportunity to jump into my future. There will be no safety nets when I do, but everything inside tells me that all of my hard work, blood, sweat and tears will pay off. I hope that these things have armed me with the experience I need to excel in the next phase. The confidence will come…I hope.
Things are changing, people are leaving, opportunities are knocking.
My focus is on “positive thoughts, positive thoughts…son of a bitch.” I think that really says it all.