January 2014


Living by the 80/20 rule

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that so much of life these days is about “more “: do more, live more, work more, be even more than what everyone expects. One hundred percent is not quite enough.

I have seen this, too, in how some people approach their diet, or in how they think they need to be approaching changes toward a healthier lifestyle. There is merit in being able to embrace a lifestyle concept entirely and live by it with full force but it is a rare individual who can go cold turkey from old habits. It can be quite stressful to do a complete overhaul; rebound binges may occur and guilt becomes yet another emotional hurdle to overcome. It can also be socially restrictive, preventing someone from being able to enjoy an evening out at a restaurant or at a friend’s house for dinner.

I like to support the 80/20 rule of living, especially when it comes to diet. The idea is that most of the time (this can be anywhere from 80% to 95% for a given period of time), I eat very nutrient-dense, clean food such as organic produce, cold-water fish that is simply prepared, and creative vegan meals. For a meat-eater this may also include organically-raised chicken or grass-fed beef. I stay hydrated with filtered water or herbal teas—my current favourite is Tulsi/Holy Basil. I can honestly say that I really enjoy eating this way and I certainly feel better for it. Over years of steady transition from what is the Standard (North) American Diet, my palate has adapted so that these foods are what I crave most.

The other 5-20% of the time, I am able to enjoy some of life’s indulgences. Here’s my confession:  the neighbourhood bakery makes really delicious, sinful brownies so I treat myself to one every month or so. I relish times spent with friends over some wine and a meal that they have lovingly prepared. There are also those nights, usually once a week, when neither my husband nor I are in the mood to prepare a meal so a local restaurant serves up a nice break from cooking.

The catch of course is being honest with yourself about on which side of the dividing line your choices lie. Is your 80/20 more of a 60/40 right now? That’s okay. As long as you know what your goals are and what your true starting point is, you can get to 80/20 by making small, steady changes over time. Then you CAN have your small piece of cake and eat it too.





Social media is exhausting

I started on a ‘Social Journey’, and then let you all down by taking an extending vacation.  Why?  Social Media can be all consuming. No matter what site, the goal is to get people to ‘like’ the contributor and commit to receiving regular updates on what is shared.  The more people collected the better.  But what if I’m not witty and brilliant every day?

Previously for Women’s Post, I wrote the following articles:

  1. Going social – My epiphany
  2. Adventures in blogging – Build it and they will come
  3. Adventures in blogging – Does this make sense?
  4. The push and pull of blog promotion: Part 1
  5. The push and pull of blog promotion: Part 2


I am a creative, experienced business professional and writer – surely I can come up with more to talk about. I began to question my lengthy list of story ideas. Did I complete enough due diligence and vetting of the sources and details to feel comfortable writing about what I had learned?  Do I really have enough to say that people will appreciate?  I was letting ‘old school’ principles creep in.  Maybe I don’t need to dot every ‘i’ or cross each ‘t’ to have something interesting to share.

I recently reminded myself of two things:

  1. Followers on Women’s Post and my own blog told me they enjoyed my honest approach to navigating Social Media – and even followed up individually with specific questions and requests for analyses of their own work.
  2. Social Media (SM) experts do not exist – it moves too fast.  The keys are to be open to new ideas and find a few SM enthusiasts that seem to make sense, and then do something.

Here I am “doing something”.  I no longer have five to six hours to invest daily to collect people on SM.  Instead, I will dedicate some of my free time to sharing and learning with people who seem like minded or find curiosity in areas I also choose to explore.

Come back on board with me.  It may be a bumpy ride but it only takes one tidbit of knowledge to help one of us along the way.  What have you learned lately?



Don’t hate me because I’m taller than you: Why are short people so physically aggressive to me?

As I exited the subway today in the middle of a swarm of office-bound people it was a familiar scene. I walked though a set of double doors into a corridor that opened up on one side and people streaming from two directions were heading my way. As I continued to walk in the same straight line a woman half my size was on a direct and sustained collision course.

No, I thought, today is different. Don’t move this time, don’t let her push you around.

Since she had so much space to, you know, not walk directly into me I continued walking on my straight path. I have no idea what the woman was thinking, but she didn’t move and walked right into me. There was no question that it was entirely her fault so I didn’t bother to offer the first half of the traditional Canadian double sorry. She didn’t apologise either and continued on past me off to walk into other people.

Up a flight of stairs at Tim Hortons there was a short line spilling out into the concourse. I stood behind someone else in the doorway and people exited through the other half of the door. I felt some movement behind me but didn’t turn around to see what it was. A different woman half my size shoved her way through the oncoming traffic and those like me waiting patiently in line, and on her savage journey her elbow made swift and blunt contact with my groin and had me doubled over in pain.

This near constant stream of physical aggression from people shorter than me is nothing new. In fact, it is pretty much my every day.

I’ve had plenty of time to think about it often since I hit a growth spurt in my early teens. At 190cm tall (that’s 6’3″ to the unenlightened) I’ve always been quite aware of my size and stature. Constantly slouching to be in photos, smacking my head on door frames designed for shorter people, having my feet hang off the end of the bed. All of that and more, and I’m not even incredibly tall. I can only imagine the logistical nightmare faced by people a few inches north of me.

All of that is incidental, the kind of stuff that makes you shrug because it is your lot in life. Even being fetishized by shorter people as a tall person isn’t exactly the worst thing about being tall. The physical aggression, however, is.

Every time I step out in a public space I feel like I am locked in a game of chicken with everyone around me, and the worst part is I am put in a position where I always have to lose.

The best way I could explain this to someone of average or shorter height is that every time I’m caught in the public space showdown it is like having a loaded gun in your pocket during an argument. Sure, I could win easily. All I would ever have to do is brace my shoulder and walk at a clip and every person who wants to inhabit the space I am in would be on the floor. I could be the first person up the steps every time if I wanted to. I could have actually picked up the person who dinged me with a crotch shot at Tim Hortons by the scruff of the neck and thrown them to the back of the line if I had wanted to, but I don’t want to because I have no desire to pick fights with strangers.

Like having a gun in an argument any sane person is going to back down, lose the argument, and let the aggressor win to maintain peace.

I never encounter this issue with anyone my size — we understand that playing chicken on the subway platform is like two nuclear powers going to war and can only end in mutually assured destruction.

The people who do barrel along always invariably seem to be around five feet tall. I don’t want to be responsible for knocking someone into an oncoming train, so I always step aside.

But, for the love of God, I am sick and tired of people taking advantage of my willingness to prevent their physical injury.

Part of the issue stems from Napoleon complexes. The complex, also known “short man syndrome” is a bit of pop psychology that applies to the attitudes of people with different perceived handicaps — although Napoleon himself wasn’t as short as history painted him, the idea is that he tried to take over Europe to compensate for his stature. The theory is that people who are shorter or smaller will tend to act more aggressive or attack larger opponents to compensate for people viewing them as weaker or less capable than their tall counterparts. While it might not apply to everyone I have known several shorter people who have told me they are (inexplicably, to me at least) jealous of my height.

The theory isn’t exactly hard science, I would assume because any time an angry short person was told they are angry because they are short they got twice as mad at the psychologist and refused to participate in the study any more.

Couple Napoleon complexes with the unspoken social contract of crowd spaces we Canadians share (1: Step out of the way; 2: Apologise a few times; 3: Don’t cause a scene at any cost) and you’ve got a system ripe for abuse by those who have something to prove and people being pushed around who are almost psychologically incapable of doing anything about it.

People who hold this world view have my sympathy, but there comes a point where I have to say enough is enough. Consider this my manifesto: The next time I am facing imminent contact with a pushy person I’m taking a page out of their book and throwing the Canadian social contract out the window and bracing for impact.

Maybe when a few assholes realise that despite whatever anger or fervor fuels them they can’t, in fact, get past me by sheer will or force we can get back to the way things should be. Until then, get the hell out of my way and pick on someone your own size.


Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

#TOpoli with Sarah Thomson: Political Panel (January 27, Part 2)

Toronto’s political panel for the week of January 27. Top #TOpoli journalists Andrea Houston, Ashley Csanady of Queen’s Park Briefing, Travis Myers of Women’s Post, and PR guru Lyndon Johnson join Sarah to talk about this week’s top stories including the latest videos of Rob Ford intoxicated & meeting with Sandro Lisi and the Toronto restaurant that is inviting patrons to have sex in the bathroom.


Toronto’s Worst Missed Connections: January + 2013 All-Star Edition

Love can be so fleeting. A stranger’s split second of eye contact can mean more than years of a relationship. Our hearts are great untamed beasts that know no bounds and can pine for someone that we never even knew. The poetry of our emotions is a never ending tale.

What better way to find the love of your life than by posting an ad in the same place you’d buy a used futon?

Get ready for January’s worst Missed Connections. If you haven’t already lost your faith in humanity and stoped believing in love keep reading for Toronto’s absolute All-Star worst Missed Connections of 2013!
Click images to enlarge.


1. It is really hard to focus on household nude photography to the music of The Offspring with your wallet missing.

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2. But not nearly as cute as that ass.

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3. “I don’t even want to ask you out, I was just wondering if your butt has ever considered a career as a hypnotist.”

missed 4


4. Wait, I don’t think we are talking about groceries anymore.

missed 5


5. If someone fetishizing your disability interrupted you in the middle of a phone call you’d probably give him the finger, this guy just didn’t have that option.

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Toronto’s Worst Missed Connections: 2013 All-Stars

1. Single folks take note, this is a textbook example of how to treat people you want to have sex with. Just kidding, only if you are Chris Brown.

missed 8


2. Who says sexual assault isn’t romantic? Oh that’s right, everyone.

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3. Step 1: Find woman.
Step 2: Say some awful things.
Step 3: ????
Step 4: Sex. (Duh!)



4. “Please treat me like garbage, but don’t actually treat me like garbage.”
Is there any way to forward Craigslist posting directly to WebMD for signs of undiagnosed mental illness?



5. Let’s get together and hate babies.



6. The least interesting this about this post is that both guys were named Rob.



7. It really saves time to write one Missed Connections post instead of two.



8. Nothing is more attractive than tears and the topic of domestic violence. Drinks?



9. Beard on beard poetry.



10. Drumroll please. The worst Missed Connection in Toronto for the year of 2013 is none other than TTC Stabbing Guy.




Follow Travis on Twitter at @TravMyers.

Little baseball hero uses arms to run bases

It was a field of dreams for 7-year-old Isaac Lill who used his arms to run the bases at the Albuquerque Isotopes opener minor league baseball game in New Mexico. It was on that special night, April 4, 2013, that the Isotopes invited Isaac and his family to the game.

Isaac was born with lumbosacral agenesis, a rare condition that affects the spine. This was a memorable moment for Isaac’s family to watch their son run the bases with such willpower and to receive a standing ovation from the crowd. Isaac enjoyed the moment while waving back to the crowd with baseball in hand that the team had given him. His dad, Duncan, held his little hero in his arms and despite his disability nothing could break this little boy’s spirit for his love of the game.

For this little baseball hero, it all began when he met Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. It was while Kemp was in rehab with the Dodgers’ triple A affiliate in Albuquerque that he noticed 6-year-old Isaac race the team’s mascot around the bases between innings. “The Boy couldn’t walk,” Kemp told the LA Times, “he used his arms to get around the bases.” He asked to meet the boy after the game.

“This is the most incredible thing,” said his father. “Kemp (was) really making him feel special.” The pair formed a special relationship and on September 5, 2012, Isaac and his family were invited as special guests by Kemp to watch him play baseball at Dodger Stadium.

Isaac is a hero to many including the LA Dodgers. He is a testament that dreams can come true despite a disability. Kemp finds Isaac an amazing and inspiring kid.

From the Dodgers Twitter account:

My Toronto – showing off your city

I absolutely, positively love travelling. I’ll go anywhere really, and there was a time in my “less responsible” years that I would literally get on a plane and go anywhere. No planning, no warning, no worries.

That being said, I am not by any stretch of the imagination a typical tourist. I can only spend so long in the restrictive confines of a resort or hotel, I am very rarely interested in any of the “attractions” listed in the city’s airport brochure, and I’m quite content snapping memorable photos on my smartphone in lieu of lugging around the professional camera and lenses that being a seasoned tourist requires.

My travel mantra is authenticity above comfort. My soul longs for the real neighbourhoods where families actually live and the local restaurants where the waiters don’t speak English. What better way to get to really know a city, inside and out, than from the perspective of the people who live there?

That’s what I like to offer my friends and family that visit Toronto. I can dedicate a day maximum to sights like the CN Tower, Casa Loma, etc. But if I don’t visit those places and I live in Toronto, then how does that reflect my experience in my city?

I take my visitors to Kensington market, where they can literally feel with all their senses the vibrancy of Toronto. I bypass the Eaton Centre for some summer shopping along Queen West, with the abundance of trendy boutiques that underline the city’s incredible sense of style and fashion across all spectrums.

Walking through the downtown core provides the perfect setting for some quality street meat. Yes. That’s what we do in Toronto. And it’s amazing.

Taking in a Raptors game is always fun, and is always a good opportunity to get tourists cheering for your city too. I just love the sound of my New York City cousins yelling “Go Raptors Go!” at the top of their lungs.

And after a fun filled week of running through the shops, restaurants, neighbourhoods, and areas that make up this city, what better way to cap it off than with a day at the Toronto Beaches or, even more authentic, a backyard BBQ with a couple of beers and an awesome crowd.

That’s what I want my friends and family to see. It may not be the Toronto depicted on tourism websites and train station pamphlets, but it’s my Toronto, and I know if they can experience what I experience every day, then they’ll fall in love with it too.

Rocking red lips in 2014

Over the last few seasons, red lips have fiercely been on the rise. Known for its reminiscence of ol’ Hollywood glamour, celebrities and fashionistas alike are painting their lips red to evoke blatant sex appeal. But why are these red lips so arousing? Historically, red lips started by the attempt to mimic the color of female genitalia, explaining why humans perceive this color as sexually-charged. Yet, despite this color’s racy rep, there are a variety of ways to make this trend work without looking too provocative. It’s all about how you wear red lipstick and what shades you choose. And with the number of styles available, you can create many different looks depending on your attire and attitude. So, whether you’re a bubbly flirt or a foxy workaholic, get ready to see all the ways you can rock this trend.


For a classic and refined look, choose a Venetian red lipstick with a matte texture. This style is sensual, yet classy, making it the perfect choice for dinner parties, glitzy nights out or even conservative formal affairs. Angelina Jolie shows off this color brilliantly as she poses at the 2014 Golden Globe awards. Her red lips beautifully compliment her cream Versace gown, setting the standards for true refinement.


You can crank down the sexiness of your red lipstick by choosing muted colors with earthy undertones. With this understated approach, you’ll appear both conservative and feminine as Jennifer Lawrence elegantly shows us on the red carpet with brownish-red lips.  Her natural red lip color and simple eye makeup creates a polished and sophisticated look. For any working lady, this style can also easily be translated into office wear. Simply pair this lipstick color with professional basics like a white oxford shirt or a sheer blouse, and you’ll be fashion-forward and work ready!


When going full-throttle toward blatantly sexy,  look to Miranda Kerr, the Victoria Secret supermodel, for lessons in erotic lip wear. As she proves on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar this month, blood red lipstick is a sure-fire way to appear sexy and delicious. She makes this sizzling lip color appear very high-fashion with a black tailored blazer and loose curls. You can also achieve this foxy look by pairing your bright red lipstick with sexy staples like a little black dress or a V-neck camisole. For an edgier vibe, pair this color with a chic black leather jacket, inspired by current biker trends.


For the playful gal, shiny cherry-red lipstick is the way to go. This color is incredibly charismatic and offers a beautiful compliment to feminine assembles like A-line dresses or frilly blouses. And to draw more attention to your lips, you can add an extra layer of  clear gloss which gives your pout more dimension. To achieve this sassy lipstick look, take cues from the beloved country singer, Taylor Swift who always looks charmingly kissable. At the Golden Globes, Taylor wowed fans as she combined her glossy, fruity lips with an elegant sweetheart neckline gown by Carolina Herrera.


With the versatility of reds available, every lady can have fun finding the ideal color to match the occasion and her personal style. Just remember that wearing red lipstick is all about showcasing your pout. So, make sure to downplay the rest of your makeup, allowing your lips to shine as the main focus of your face. Ultimately, with these tips in mind, you can confidently and fashionably rock red lips