All of my friends have left me but at least I have a bicep now

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Missed her so much I flew across the country.

During the summer preceding my first year of university, my brother gave me a piece of sage advice: don’t become friends with fourth year students, because eventually they will graduate and leave you.

Following my most human impulse, I ignored this impartation of wisdom, wanting to believe that I was immune to it all, an exception; the naïvety of my 17 year-old mind made me think I could neglect the risk.

And then one of my closest friends during second year graduated. And then the trend continued in third year.

And then I was in fourth year and I graduated. People who I used to see on a weekly  basis are now at graduate school in Montreal, living in North Vancouver, doing a semester in Copenhägen, living the big city life in Toronto with fancy jobs. My geographically-close friends and I are constantly struggling to find a time when our schedules aren’t in conflict.

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we’re sad girls because we haven’t seen each other in so long 😦

My social life was basically D.O.A. when I started working, but I think I have found one silver-lining. In my sheer boredom and ample amounts of free time, I actually go to the gym.

I literally just go to the gym because what else am I going to do with my evening? and in this process, I have developed the slightest hint of muscle definition. My experience, I fully believe, puts me in the place to develop a fitness plan to market to the masses (because, realistically, I have the same qualifications as most of the instafitness influencers out there).

BUY MY COMPREHENSIVE FITNESS PLAN: MAKE MY BOD GREAT AGAIN

1. As mentioned earlier, have no social life. Maybe, on the occasional weekend, you’ll see your limited number of friends, but apart from that you have to be SUPER alone.

PRO TIP: This is substantially easier if your friends, idk, move across the country so your ritual of going to Wine Wednesday with them ceases to exist! Instead, drink multiple cups of tea alone in your room at night!

2. Work in an office that’s located too far from any fast food locations for you to even CONSIDER walking to buy french fries. This inspires you to pack food for the day, and if you’re as lazy as me when it comes to food prep, this includes just eating a bowl of baby spinach and a protein bar for lunch.

3. Have a gym membership. You’re working full-time on entry-level/intern wages; you can’t afford NOT to use the gym you’re already paying for. You have to go. When you get there, lift weights/run/cycle/whatever-you-like-to-do-at-the-gym for as long as you can to dodge the growing sense of ~ennui~ you feel on a daily basis.

4. Rinse and repeat.

Now, many of you might wonder how I maintain motivation to follow such an intensive guide; motivation is unique to everyone, as we all have different goals that get our serotonin flowing. What keeps me motivated is that I own a ton of business casual clothing that I bought a few years ago, but doesn’t quite fit; I can’t afford to buy new clothes, so I guess I just have to get in shape :).

Jokes aside, I am in significantly better physical shape than I was throughout my final years of university. I spent the last two years of undergrad on a strict diet of $9 peach pinot grigio, Smoke’s Poutine, and pizza pockets (a guilty pleasure).

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ily ❤

I’ll be honest: there were many times in my fourth year where I thought I really wanted to get back to having a physically fit body. I’m also going to be honest to say I was wrong.

For the people who have known me for a long time, it’s no secret that I packed on a few (like 25) pounds over the course of undergrad; there are a lot of reasons behind that, including gaining muscle mass, changes in my medical health, recovering from disordered eating habits, and also, for the first time in over 10 years, not maintaining an obsession with my weight. I swear I truly would not take back any of the fun I had over the past few years even if it meant I could have had a size two waist instead.

So if getting fit and eating a healthy diet fits into your life right now, that’s great. I’m rooting for you. But if not, I’m also going to firmly encourage you to not let what your body looks like dictate your life. Have that glass of wine; eat that poutine; don’t turn down a night out with your friends; don’t feel guilty not going to the gym because you’re swamped with assignments. Your physical fitness may not be your priority right now.

And that’s okay.

Comment the best piece of advice you’ve ignored! One time my doctor told me I shouldn’t go to work because I was definitely sick, and after nearly throwing up I was forced to acknowledge that her and her 15+ years of experience may have been right.

Coming up next: professional Twitter is no fun: there, I said it

What do you mean I can’t wear athleisure everyday?

I’m going rogue this week and dropping some actually helpful tips.

With my “big girl job” quickly approaching, I’m realizing that I soon have to start dressing in work-appropriate attire. This is a hard pill to swallow as someone whose daily outfit generally looks like this:

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Sports, but make it fashion

I like the idea of workwear, but have come to the conclusion that work clothes are generally uncomfortable and prone to sweat stains. More direly, they are EXPENSIVE. As someone who is #ballingonabudget and understands the no-money hustle, here ten tips to keep in mind when collecting your work wardrobe:

1. Be a basic b*tch. Acquire good basic items first, such as a black pencil skirt,  a structured blazer and a good button-up shirt. Honestly, if you don’t know why this is important, I can’t help you.

 

2. Buy clothes according to a colour scheme. By having items that are of similar colours, it’s easy to match most of your pieces to each other, increasing the “wear-ablity” of each item. I tend to stick to neutral tones and variations of my favourite “millennial pink” colour, and generally buy the same patterns. Is it kind of boring? Yeah, but better to be boring than broke 🙂

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I pretty much only wear these colours

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This arrangement took TIME so you’re getting it at two angles

 

3. Keep it classic. As tempting as it can be to jump on new trends, more classic pieces have better longevity. Stick to time-honoured prints and fabric cuts that will withstand changes in fashion.

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Looking like the love-child of Sandy and Rizzo from Grease

 

4. Quality is a priority. Get to know a little bit about fabrics and learn which ones are less prone to wear and damage. For example, rayon tends to pill faster than most materials. If you can, check to see if seams and sewing work are well-done. Sometimes it’s better to spend a little more on items knowing that they will be a good long term investment.

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Peep my chipped nail polish

 

5. Shop secondhand. Buying items from thrift and consignment stores is not only easier on your wallet, but it’s also better for the environment and, indirectly, increases ethical clothing production. So you’ll be a lil’ richer and, like, a ~good person~.

 

6. Shop like they’re going out of business–literally. Liquidation sales are an amazing way to get good products for dirt cheap prices.

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Snagged these bad boys for 50% off at Town Shoes last week.

 

7. Steal Borrow from your friends. Or, if you’re cleaning out your closet, give them items that you don’t want anymore or no longer fit and vice versa.

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I acquired this shirt and sweater while “helping a friend clean her closet”

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Thanks Bria!

 

8. Take care of what you own. Follow washing instructions–for the most part (if I’m being honest, I’ve only dry cleaned like one item in my life). Use appropriate protectant on your shoes/boots so that they last longer.

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Mink oil, suede spray and silicone spray are my holy trinity of shoe care

 

9. If you are in ~dire need~ of an item in the near future, load up your cart on a site you’re subscribed to (you get promotional emails from them), and then close the tab and wait. A lot of the time the brand will offer you an extra incentive (i.e. a discount or free shipping) to try to entice you to complete the purchase.

 

10. Most importantly, be patient while collecting items. I’ve been buying my “work wardrobe” slowly over the past three years. I still don’t have the full-fledged professional closet of my dreams yet.

And that’s okay.

Comment your best shopping tip! 

Coming up next: I’m going on a hiatus until the new year. Happy holidays pals.

Who actually has time to be healthy and hot?

People emphasize the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, but it’s realistically impossible to do everything.

Hi! I’m Stephanie, writer of The Stimac Report, and I’m guest-blogging this week.

As the start of my “big girl job” approaches, I’m wondering how full-time boss ladies have time to exercise.

After Insta-stalking women who seem to have their lives together and dragging my butt to one yoga class, I’ve concluded that it’s scientifically impossible that these women have good jobs, hot bodies, functional families, and time to grab drinks with the girls.

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The part blacked out in the middle? Yeah, she doesn’t exist.

It’s all about illusion. These women don’t have to do all these wonderful things–they just have to appear to. I’ve mastered pretending to know about sports and football, but faking #healthyliving is a new arena.

Here are four guises that make it seem like you are a healthy, well-balanced individual:

1.    Wear athletic gear all the time. Lululemon and Gymshark are the brands of athletic posers. Sure, they are great workout clothes, but they’re also cleverly designed  as cute streetwear.

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It’s me!

 

2.    Do a juice cleanse. Will you lose 10 lbs in a week? Nope. Will you have diarrhea for the next 36 hours? You bet! Will it make people think you’re healthy? There’s a 50/50 chance. If you do try one, make sure to post about it. How else are people to know you are #health?

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Courtesy of Instagram user @insta.single

 

3.   Own an unnecessary number of running shoes…

…and never be caught–or, at least, photographed–wearing the same pair twice; people will think you go to the gym and run outside daily, if not twice a day!

As a former Nike employee, I have over 100 pairs (oops!).

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This is my running shoe collection!

 

4.    Watch sports!

Plant yourself on your couch with a low-cal snack and a glass of water while the game is on. There’s an assumption that people who watch sports also play them or are at least active. Don’t know about football? Check out my blog for all your NFL need-to-knows! 

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Peep that “healthy” Halo Top ice cream

 

Maybe some of the women you see in the Starbucks line actually do have the time (and discipline) to wake up at 4am, workout, get ready for work, make cash money, care for their kids, cook dinner, and spend time with #hubby before bed.

But most of us don’t.

And that’s okay.

Visit The Stimac Report here.

Coming up next: My friends are getting married and I’m still seeing guys who have Saturdays Are For The Boys flags hanging above their couches