Victories of 2020.

New year, new hair.

(Click on for a shirtless photo with a strategically placed cat.)

I present… turquoise dookie rolls!

A mirror selfie. I am cradling a large grey cat while holding my phone with both hands. The cat is covering most of my torso. My bleach blonde hair is parted in the middle with two turquoise coloured buns on the side to resemble bear ears. I am wearing low rise blue demin and a lavender belt.
I need hair extensions for Sailor Moon tendrils.

I read somewhere on the internet that shirtless photos are the way to achieve clicks. We’ll see about that!

Let’s start at the beginning, which was in January: I found myself muffin-topping my pants. I’d been roughly the same size since I was fourteen, so this was disconcerting. If you’ve been paying attention to my posts, you’ll know that I keep my clothes for as long as I can, to the point that I end up wearing stuff that’s been out of style for years. My disdain for the current fashion trends and clothes shopping was a strong motivator for burning off those newfound inches.

Without making an announcement, I made a goal to exercise consistently, practice mindful eating, drink more water, and stop using social media as a reason to procrastinate sleep. Even though I was at my heaviest, I was still on the small side. When you’re already slim, there tends to be pushback rather than encouragement from others, and I didn’t want to deal with that. So, I set out on my fitness journey in stealth mode.

I was prepared to gain weight, as that’s what often happens when skinny people build muscle. Yet, in the above photo, I weigh the same as I did a year ago, without a cat in my arms, and that’s a lotta cat. This is the closest thing I have to a “Before” photo.

The best reason I have for showing off my body, though, is for the artwork. I’d saved up to get more ink in 2020, but then a new strain of virus went airborne worldwide. In July, I managed to make it over to the mainland for a new tattoo. I sat for three hours masked, while Jessica Paré inked two anthropomorphic ghost orchids on my right thigh. I was to go back to the mainland for the third orchid but postponed my appointment indefinitely when I saw that the COVID cases had spiked.

I didn’t emerge from 2020 as colourful as I wanted.

One of my biggest struggles of the decade has been shopping for clothes. I get why high rise jeans made a comeback: they work on many women’s body type. Alas, I am not a curvy lady. I saw this trend as a way to punish me for failing to complete puberty. Imagine my delight when I finally found a pair of low rise jeans, and dismay when I realized that I’d have to order them from Europe.

So, you can’t see my latest tattoo in the above photo, but look at my fancypants euro denim! Since fashion trends typically start in Europe, I’m hoping low rise pants will start cropping up here again soon. I also support the comeback of bucket hats, fat shoelaces, and Modrobes.

Getting in shape at the start of the year was also supposed to help me achieve the goals I had set: backpacking the Juan de Fuca Marine trail with Zoée, doing a few randonneuring events, cycle touring the UK with Ed, and summiting Strathcona Park’s Mount Elkhorn. Instead, I ended up getting good at going nowhere fast when I got a smart trainer at the beginning of October. In three months, my Power to Weight ratio went from 3.33 to 3.8 watts per kilogram. I haven’t cycled with many others, so I didn’t know how I compared. As it turns out, I do not suck!

Now that the Zwift trial I’d been sharing with Yann has expired, I got my own account. I’m The Squaremeat on Zwift: come and drop into my slipstream sometime!

Here are my other victories of 2020:

Amazon doubled their profits last year, and I had no part in that. Fuck Bezos. I ordered nothing from Amazon in 2020. To be fair, I didn’t make many online purchases in 2020 other than bike parts and European jeans.

Unless you count the trace amounts of alcohol found in kombucha, I went for a full year without booze.

I entered a gingerbread competition. Did I win? I’ll find out in two days.

My YouTube channel. I may not be as popular as the guy who feeds raccoons hot dogs on his patio but I filled a different niche with bike maintenance videos in ASL. Maybe I should try filming videos with my shirt off?

My failures?

My relationship. Eep.

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