[TW: body image, diet]

Update: Want to get some for your very own? Full disclosure, if you click there I get $10 off my next pair, so it’s like you’re getting something for yourself AND giving me a nice present. 🙂 <3

I have never had the “ideal” body. And by “ideal” I mean the body I thought I should have, could have if only I worked out enough, starved myself enough, took the right pill. I have, at various times in my life, been a competitive swimmer, a member of the armed forces, and even given myself scurvy. I have been a regular gym go-er, I’ve tried diet pills of varying efficacy and foul side effects, and I’ve tried to eat healthy. But even at the times I was most happy with my body’s appearance, it has never been good enough.

A little over three years ago, my doctor told me I need to be doing more in the way of exercise, so I joined a gym. After a few months of working out on the regular, I felt like I needed to do something with my newly rediscovered strength and endurance. I figured I was too old for roller derby, but thought I’d Google it anyhow, and it turns out 42 isn’t even close to “too old”. So I contacted a couple of leagues in my area and found an amazing team to call home (shout out to Jerzey Derby Brigade!).

I kept going to the gym, kept skating, got a little healthier with the eating…and was(am) still what I would describe as “chunky”. Or perhaps “plush”. I tried tracking my calories and found myself starting to slip into the same habits that put me on the road to scurvy (and also still not losing weight). But, my body is strong in the ways it needs to be strong for derby. I have muscles I can feel and flex and use to accomplish things I love to do. So about six months ago I made a conscious decision to focus on what my body can do instead of what it looks like. It’s hard, some days, especially days when I don’t fit into something I think I should fit into, but I think I’m doing okay at it.

Another thing about my body is that it is getting older. A fun thing that happens to a lot of women when we get older is that our pelvic floors stop being super reliable, and we sometimes leak a little. Some women find it happens when they sneeze, cough, or laugh. For me, it’s when I take a particularly solid hit on the derby track. But I found this great underwear that has built in absorbency and odor control, called Icon, so I can keep my pee to myself. I’ve been wearing them for about a year, and they are super comfortable, very attractive, and perform as advertised.

A couple of months ago, I got a newsletter from Icon that included a call for customers who might want to model for them. I thought about it, went and looked at how happy and comfortable the women in their current ads look, took a deep breath, remembered how amazing I felt about myself when I modeled my friend Lauren’s amazing lipstick last year, and put my name in the ring. After a bit of back and forth in email I was invited to their Manhattan offices (which are gorgeous!) for a chat, which I really enjoyed.

I actually didn’t think I’d be picked…at our first chat, I really expected to have to take my clothes off so they’d be able to see what they were getting. So when that didn’t happen I figured they could tell even with my clothes on that I wasn’t what they were looking for (because that’s what my brain does…I’m never pretty enough, or thin enough, or shaped the right way. There is always something wrong with me, according to the jerk who lives in my brain.). I was kind of blown away that turned out not to be the case, and that just made me more enthusiastic about modeling for them. I was thrilled when they asked me to come back for the shoot.

It was really way more like what you see on TV and in movies than I expected (because nothing is ever quite like what they show on TV)…there was a gorgeous SoHo loft, a bunch of us models lounging around on our cell phones between shots, and a whole bunch of people from the company who spent a lot of time making us feel pretty and sexy all day. And you guys, modeling is hard. We didn’t even do any really difficult poses (they took pity on us poor amateurs), and I could barely lift my right arm for a couple of days because I used it to support my weight for one of the poses we were in for awhile.

I historically hate pictures of myself. Like, really, really hate them. I avoid being in front of the camera at gatherings, and in group shots I’m usually half hidden in the back (completely hidden if I can manage it). I spend a lot of time picking apart every little thing that’s wrong with me in every picture. So I decided before I did this that even if I hated these pictures in the usual way I hate pictures, I would love them as a symbol of how proud I am of my body and what it can do. It turns out, though, that I really actually love them all on their own.

I will never have a flat belly. I will always be at least a little “plush”. I pee a little when I take a hard hit. I have had a hard time accepting my body, much less loving it. But these pictures…I finally, finally have started loving my body. Thank you, Icon. You are more than a company that makes great pee-proof panties. You are a company that lets women be active, strong, and beautiful, and shows us how to love our bodies, flaws and all. <3

Trivial Recruit

[This was supposed to go up yesterday but then there were technical difficulties using my phone to post and it was too late and I was too tired to get my computer out. I have fudged the publication date to avoid confusion since it was a tech failure and not a Lola failure.]

The amazing group of people that I am lucky enough to be a part of is recruiting new members! In just under a month, we’re going to be opening one of our practices to whoever wants to show up and learn more about derby. Whether you’re interested in playing, officiating (on skates or off), or volunteering in another capacity we want to meet you!



One of the fun things we’re doing to get the word out is participating in some trivia nights around the area, and I got to play tonight! I had forgotten how much I enjoy trivia, and we had so much fun! We didn’t win, but we made a very respectable showing. The official color of the Golden Gate bridge, if you were wondering, is International Orange.

Make’n’Tell Day 11: Paintin’ Up

Not my best work. But still fun.

Yes, this is going up two days late. It’s been a crazy busy weekend. But it *is* going up, and kind of the point is to not just flake out if I miss a day or whatever. 

I painted my nails a week early for St. Patty’s Day because Morristown has their parade on the 12th and Jerzey Derby Brigade (that’s my league!) marches/skates in it. (No, I didn’t skate. I am not yet skilled enough. Next year!) (Except for the part at the end with the hill.)

Beautiful day for a parade! (I am not in this picture. I was taking this picture.)

My body tells me no…

…but I won’t quit ’cause I want more — From “My Body” by Young the Giant. This is my derby theme song.

I’m just getting back up to speed after having been off skates for about 6 weeks due to a knee injury. I’ve been back on the track for about 4 weeks, but only fully able to participate for a week and a half. This past Sunday I was planning to skip practice to go with the family to NJ Comic Con, where a friend was debuting a new Sith costume that I helped make part of. Then we found out it was Meat Testing day…I didn’t think I’d get my first star, but the evaluation would give me a good baseline, and I wanted to be there for my teammates, too. So I sent Kit and the kids off to Comic Con without me, and I headed down to practice.

Eleven and a half laps into warmups, I rolled my ankle. Badly. It’s (almost certainly) not broken, and in fact I’m pretty sure this is one of those times when having weak/loose ankles may have saved me from a more serious injury, but right now (almost 24 hours later) it’s still pretty swollen and painful. So instead of getting to test with the rest of my Fresh Meat mates, I sat on the sideline and watched (and cheered — they all did so great!).

While I was sitting there, I was thinking: how much do I want this? This is my 2nd injury* (and at that point I wasn’t so sure it wasn’t more serious). Even when I was a kid I was “injury prone” so it’s probably not going to be my last. I have trouble with transitions and plows. I have no speed. I am old for just starting this sport.

But I love it. I love every second on the track, even when we’re 4:59 into 27-in-5 and I’m sucking wind**, even when we’re halfway through Build-a-Bitch and I think I don’t have another push-up in me much less another 30, even when I’ve heard, “get lower!” for the 453rd time in 10 minutes, even when my knee starts screaming in a pace line or the pack. I love it. I feel good after practice. I always, always want to give everything I have to every minute of practice.

And I love this team that I found. These women are amazing, in a myriad of different ways. They make me want to be the best me I can be, just by being them. And they never, ever fail to be encouraging and supportive. So. No matter how much my body tells me “no”, I won’t quit. Because I want more of this sport, and more of this team. <3 you, JDB!

* 2nd that’ll keep me off skates for one or more practices. I’ve also had some more minor things, like a bad tailbone bruise and my first “derby kiss” bruise when I slammed into a wall instead of turning. You know it’s a good bruise when even the seasoned vets see it and say, “What the hell did you DO!?!?!”

** Yeah, more cardio. To be fair to myself, this was 2 weeks back on skates from the knee thing, which had also kept me from doing a lot of cardio. So I’m working on it.

Toe Pick!

Okay, we don’t really have toe picks on roller skates. But we do use/end up on our toes a lot (well, the girls who know how to skate do, and I assume I’ll be doing those moves soon-ish), which can really wear down the boot. So much so that there are all kinds of toe guards out there, from plain strips of leather to super fancy custom caps (because even the fancy ones are much cheaper to replace than the skate boot). And while I was busy going through every single roller derby related Pinterest board, I came across a pattern for crocheted ones.

skate with crocheted toe guard

So now I have crocheted ones. I started with the basic pattern found here, but used a thicker, wool yarn and thus a slightly larger hook than she used (I used an F with a heavy worsted/light bulky because I still wanted it to be a really dense fabric). Because of this, of course my round count and stitch count changed slightly. I also found that I needed to make the toe stop opening on the same round as the first set of eyelets. And I think I should have/will go back and add a round or two above the second set of eyelets, because I’m afraid they’re going to rip.

They work up super fast (you could do a pair in an evening-ish), and I used scrap yarn (hence the not matching even a little bit) so they were essentially free. And they make me happy to look at. Win!

skates with crocheted toe guards
These in no way match, even a little bit. I think that just makes me love them more (and also not care so much if one of them gets destroyed).

Turning Widdershins

I know I’ve been awfully quiet lately…it’s not because I’m already giving up on blogging, but because I’ve started something new. Something a little scary, a little dangerous, and a whole lot awesome. Something so very, very Lola. I’ve joined a roller derby team.


I didn’t want to say anything until I’d actually skated, which didn’t happen until last Sunday. But now I have, and I’m still even more super excited about doing derby. It is amazing. The skating, the women, the vibe. I am ridiculously sore, have some sassy bruises, and can’t wait to get back out there again!

Consider this fair warning that there’s going to be a LOT of derby content here for the foreseeable future (if you follow me on Pinterest, you may have already noticed this kicking in). In fact, I’ve finally got a FIotIF coming up this week, and it’s derby related. And there’s another crafty project, too, that’ll be up in the next couple of weeks.

Oh, and hey — my team is having a bout this weekend, so if you want to check it out, you should totally go do that. I will not be in attendance, sadly, due to being at another totally different awesome event with other awesome people that’s been on my calendar for months.  But I understand that in addition to watching kickass chicks kick ass, there is also a snack bar. How can you go wrong?!?!

Bruised thumbs up for derby!