Month: March 2016

Revenge is mine: Why I (finally) joined a gym

There are three things I fear:

  1. Tornadoes
  2. Unplanned pregnancies
  3. Working out in public

Geographically speaking, I don’t really have to worry about tornadoes because where I live they’re pretty rare, and there’s not a penis willing to have sex with me as far as the eye can see, but working out in public has been a legitimate fear of mine since puberty.

About two weeks ago, after realizing that both my ass and my heart look like they’ve been in a drive-by shooting, I decided that it was time to stop focusing on dating and get in shape.

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My Bachelor viewing squad all belong to the same gym, so I thought, what better way to fight your phobia of sweating profusely in public than by standing next to skinny beautiful bitches who will act as camouflage to the fact that you look like you’ve peed your workout tights? #BoxSweat

I’ll admit, part of my fear of joining a gym was because I didn’t know what to wear. I don’t own anything Lululemon based on principle, and I’ve heard how my male friends talk about girls they meet at the gym, so I’m assuming I’ll be judged by both sexes on my attire/body/hyperhidrosis.

It took serious calming down from my friend Sarah to get me to actually attend Saturday morning bootcamp, but I have to admit (and I hate myself for admitting this), it was actually the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

Sure, I should be happy that I’m getting in shape, moving more, blah blah blah getting healthier, but my love of the gym has taken a turn from “focusing on me” to a very dark place.

During my registration, I had a consultation with a trainer about my diet and fitness goals. The first question she asked was relatively simple, “What made you join a gym?”

Revenge.

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Do you know how satisfying it is to picture the face of the guy who ghosted you on a medicine ball as you slam it into the ground repeatedly?

I swear, if you didn’t know me, you would think I was Arya Stark, because I’m literally mumbling the names of everyone who I hate as I’m pushing 120lbs on a stupid sled across the floor… Jake, Alex, Geoffrey, The Hound.

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You should know that I’ve YET to run into an ex after a break-up, but I’m hoping all of that changes once I develop Michelle Obama arms and a thigh gap.

Yes, friends,  I’m building a revenge body because I internalize my feelings and have convinced myself that the reason I’m single is purely physical and not a all because of my personality, timing or circumstances outside of my control.

This is just the beginning of this journey of vengeance. I have 6 weddings to attend, and my trainer wrote them all down on a piece of paper to help motivate me into achieving my fitness goals.

What are those goals?

Revenge

Regret (on their part)

Rue-ing the day they met me. RUE IT.

 

I’m not crazy.

(Ok, maybe just a bit).

 

 

 

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The Bachelor: Boring people stay boring, Jojo FTW

The season finale of the Bachelor aired this week on ABC, with Bachelor Ben Higgins proposing to flight attendant, Lauren Bushnell.

Ok. I’ve had a few people ask me how I feel about the results and even though IDGAF, I think Ben made the right choice for his vanilla-christian lite lifestyle. Ben is a babe, don’t get me wrong, but we rarely got to see him make a joke, take off his shirt or do anything without crying. Lauren is beautiful, there’s no doubt about that- she has the Aryan teenage dream, size 2, zero cellulite thing going on. The two had an undeniable missionary position chemistry that Bachelor fans love. I find them boring. I already don’t care about their relationship.

Personally, I was a fan of Jojo, the 24-year old super tanned Isla Fisher doppelganger sporting ombre locks and a Cartier love bracelet (Oh yes, I noticed). Jojo is hot, and I’m going out on a limb here and saying her boobs are fake, but I’m not judging – I’m envying that she has enough money for the love bracelet and the tit job. The thing about Jojo is that she was TOO much for Ben; too sexy, too sweet. With Jojo as the new Bachelorette, I want to see her with a former-athlete type who, I don’t know, rescues dogs and thinks he writes good poetry. Something like that.

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Joelle “Jojo” Fletcher – Source 

The season was, arguably, one of the best in Bachelor franchise history, with several stand out contestants. We had Lace, the Pinot Grigio enthusiast with entitlement issues, who many people thought was the front-runner as the season’s resident villain. In a moment of clarity and self-awareness, Lace excused herself from the Bachelor, saying she needed to work on herself before she could find love. Lil Lace proved to be the smartest one of the bunch when she realized competing with 25 women for the attention of one man is f*cked up and unhealthy.

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Then there was Jubilee, the Haitian born sergeant in the US Army, who ruffled feathers with the other contestants by being “awkward” and the self proclaimed “full black” contestant. Jubilee’s presence reintroduced the topic of diversity on the show, and many were hoping Jubilee would become the first black Bachelorette. Jubes was also the victim of some serious girl shit, with several nameless, irrelevant contestants hounding Jubilee for not being a cookie-cutter fake-ass bitch.

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Bullying was taken to the NEXT level with Olivia, the slightly delusional Cameron Diaz clone who made enemies right away by receiving the First Impression Rose. Olivia…liked to embellish her connection with Ben. Maybe romanticize the situation a little, and got carried away with her pop culture Teen Mom references. However entertaining her behaviour was for viewers at home, Olivia quickly became the target of internet trolls, and was cut up by all of her fellow cast mates on the Women Tell All for having bad breath and cankles.

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Not cool.

I talk a lot of shit on this blog, mostly in jest, but I seriously dislike when people are ganged up on by their peers. I side with the under-dog at all times. Olivia and Jubes- I got chu.

My friends and I gathered every Monday to watch the Bachelor for some girl chat and junk food. For the finale, we went all out! Here are some pictures from our Bachelor Finale viewing party!

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Our amazing t-shirts designed and made by my friend, Olivia!

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The Monday night squad!

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A party without cake is just a meeting

Did you watch the Bachelor finale?

Were you happy with Ben’s pick?

 

Are they going to make it? Let’s chat!

 

 

That time my photos were used by a Catfish: My experience with online deception

I could see the headlines now,  “Canadian nobody lures London woman to her death in mistaken identity sex trap”

A little wordy, but fitting.

On Tuesday evening I received the following message via Instagram,

Hey! I hope you’re okay. So random- I came across your Twitter profile because of the bachelor and realised I noticed you from somewhere

I had just arrived home after a long day of travel and was aching for my bed. I brushed off the message as a scam, and thought some hacker was trying to get me to follow a link to a virus and carried about my plans to turn in early.  Then I received another message…
I think that someone’s using your pics with ur blonde friend on a threesome website here in London! (Don’t judge me for using it lol) But I saw you live in Canada…So yeah thought I should let you know!” 
My stomach dropped. Ever the wordsmith, I typed my reply, ” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. Is this for real?!? Random yes. But…Really?!?”
I frantically paced back and forth while waiting for proof that I was being used in some kind of 50 shades of Grey meets Catfish type scenario. Within minutes, my online soothsaying  guardian angel provided a screen cap of an online profile with several of my personal photos under the username “AmyJo.”
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I couldn’t contain my laughter.
I say a lot of dumb shit. I’m constantly joking about diabetes being the ultimate diet, about my plans to start an online dating site called Daddy Issues for children of divorce, and most recently, while watching an episode of Catfish on MTV, I declared that the ultimate validation of my looks would be to have someone use my photos to Catfish another person.
I giggled to myself while musing on the way the universe works. Just my luck. The universe doesn’t listen to me when I say, “I want to marry Jake Gyllenhaal” or “I wish I won the lottery.”   No. That would be TOO good. This is the one thing the universe picks up and brings into fruition.
I was flattered for a good two minutes, before I burst into tears. I looked at the photos that were being used and realized they came from my blog. I immediately blamed myself for being foolish and sharing my personal life on the internet. My knee-jerk reaction was to delete everything and live off the grid, off the land, in a Podunk town in Iowa. I felt exposed, vulnerable, stupid, angry… the whole spectrum of emotions.
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Then, I stepped outside of myself and my feelings and thought about the people who thought they were talking to  “me” online. The fact that someone used my photos to make an online dating profile is one thing, but the sexual component to the site introduced an entirely new set of concerns. I’m all for people doing what they want to do sexually, but  hours of Dateline and Law and Order episodes immediately brought the worst case scenario into play. I would hope that anyone using ANY kind of online dating site would arrange to meet in public first, but I was worried someone would arrange to meet with “me” and be in danger when they discovered little ol’ AmyJo is not who she appeared to be. I couldn’t bear the thought that someone could get hurt physically or emotionally because of this fake profile.
I immediately contacted the site about their user, but 12 hours later I still hadn’t received a response. Taking matters into my own hands, I joined the site and sent AmyJo a message to stop using my photos because the jig was up!
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The next day I received a response from the site that the user had been deleted, and they gave their apologies.
Whatever.
I decided it was best to see if any of my photos were being used online, and ran several Google image searches uploading my images into the search engine as well as the image location. (For more information on how to run these searches, click here).  Nothing out of the ordinary turned up.
The problem with sites like LikeThree, is that they require you to sign up in order to access user profiles. This means, no Google search would detect that your images are being used. It would be up to the users of the site to save an image, and then complete a search to see if the user in question, is in fact, who they say they are.  Had it not been for Twitter and the #TheBachelor hashtag, I would never have known that my images were being used for a fake profile. The scary thing is, I don’t know if they’ll be used AGAIN or where else they’ll appear.
There are all kinds of crazies in the world – all kinds of people with ulterior motives looking online for images to steal. There are ways you can protect your images (watermarks for example) but how much of what we do, create and upload is at the mercy of the ethics and morals of other users?  With an open Instagram, Twitter and WordPress, should I really be surprised that my images were stolen?
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These questions have been swirling around in my mind for the past few days, and I still feel strangely vulnerable even after everything’s been taken care of (to my knowledge). Even though the real issue is with the people who are stealing these images,  I’m not sure there will ever be a way to ensure people stop creating fake accounts and profiles. Unfortunately, we can only practice safety and caution when meeting and talking to people online.
Click here for more details on safe online dating practices.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to the person who came forward about this deception, and I’m glad they’re safe and caught AmyJo in these lies. My friends have been really great about the ordeal, sharing in my fears as well as doing their best to make me laugh. It’s been decided that if ever I do something out of the ordinary, a little risque or out of character, I will be affectionately dubbed “AmyJo.”
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No, it’s AmyJo

Has this ever happened to you? Have you or anyone you know been the victim of a Catfish?
Tell me!

 

Just call me Miss Scarlett: My life with Scarlet Fever

I’ve been absent from life/work/blogging for the past month after a series of health issues knocked the wind out of my sails and infused my life with a shit storm of Victorian-era drama.

I had decided that in  2016 I would approach life with the level of fearlessness normally reserved for four year old’s learning gymnastics. I was determined to tackle life like it was a pummel horse and make it my bitch. Live with an open heart, an open mind, with absolutely no fear of getting hurt!

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I got back into the dating game, stacked my schedule with invitations from friends and gave up bread and cheese. For three weeks, I was on top of the world. I had a renewed sense of what I hoped was an adorable enthusiasm for life. I spoke in cliches, I was Pinteresting positive affirmations, I ate salad without croutons… I was a completely different person!

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After a few weeks I  hit my first road bump in the dating world, and decided to grant myself the luxury of two weekends completely devoted to “healing” aka drinking my troubles away with my girlfriends.

My liver and I were in the middle of getting over someone when the father of one of my best friend’s passed away. To say we were  devastated would be an understatement. My optimism, hopefulness and determination to find happiness was completely derailed by this loss, and I was just on the periphery; watching someone I love very much grieve was and is unbearable. It was sobering (literally) to have perspective on my troubles when someone dear to me had just lost so much.

I did my best to support my friend but on the morning of the celebration of life, I woke up to find my face covered in red welts. My forehead to my chest was peppered with red dots, and larger hives. I began to frantically scratch my skin, pressing my face against anything cold in hopes of a temporary relief from the heat my cheeks were radiating. With only hours before the service, I did the only thing I could think of: Free base Benedryl and paint on the foundation.

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I looked in the mirror before leaving for the service and was horrified. I looked like I was the “after” photo in a “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign, clawing at my face, I was an apparition from the future warning young children not to try meth. I managed to make it through the celebration without drawing blood, distracted only by my need to keep my friend’s glass filled to the brim with wine.

The next day, the rash crept down my chest, onto my stomach, and onto each arm. I sat in bed icing my body, convinced I was either a) allergic to my late twenties or b) morphing into the Elephant Man. My throat began to tighten, and I broke out into a fever that had me hallucinating that Colors of the Wind was playing on a constant loop.

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The next day, having absolutely no strength, I begged my mother to forego work and take me to the doctors. I sat down in the examining room and started to cry. “I normally have really good skin!” I wailed. “Nothing I do will make it go away!”

“You have strep throat,”said the doctor . “You’ll be off work for a few days.”

Like an insensitive Stevie Wonder fan, I implored him to reconsider his diagnosis. “Look at me! Look at my skin! Are you blind? This isn’t strep. This is much worse!”

“You have Scarlet Fever. A form of strep. The rash will go away in a few weeks. It’ll take a while, and peel. Take these for a week and you should be good to go.” He jotted down a prescription for antibiotics. “You don’t work with the public do you?

I left feeling like Beth March in Little Women after a visit to the Hummels. I felt so strange. Weak. Someone send for Marmie!

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My boss was kind, but couldn’t veil the fact that he considered me a rat potentially carrying the plague to infect our office. “Maybe you just stay in bed. Yeah…just, don’t come to the office, OK?”

I spent an entire week in bed. A week after the rash outbreak, my skin was finally clearing up. I decided to shower and join my friends to see my sister perform with her burlesque troop. I was tired, but excited to be back among the living. I decided to reward myself with a glass of wine, for putting on pants and not scaring away humans with my appearance.

Big mistake.

Huge.

I woke up the next day with swollen eyes, and a new batch of hives all over my body.

It was official. I was allergic to fun.

It turns out, not only did I have Scarlet Fever, but I had a red wine allergy. Something I didn’t clue in on until later that week when I decided to reward myself AGAIN with another glass of wine, this time for making it to work like a healthy, normal, functioning member of society. Another bout of hives and my best performance as an extra on Breaking Bad and it was confirmed that I, Elizabeth Regina Di Filippo, am forsaken by God, or a god, probably Bacchus.

No more red wine.

No more clear skin.

No more wearing make-up without looking like I’m just getting a handle on my 12 steps.

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Some co-workers have affectionately began calling me Miss Scarlet, and quite frankly, My Dear, I want to go home to Tara and hide under a duvet burrito for the next four weeks until my skin can return to normal.

I’m not quite 100%, but I’m doing much better. I’m dealing with my fear of all things red the only way I know how, by completely avoiding all clothing, food and most importantly, wine with so much as a pinkish tinge.

It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but I think I can manage.

After all, tomorrow is another day!