Author Archives: Alica McKenna Johnson

Can I be part of the Body Love/ Body Acceptance movement and still be actively working towards the healthiest me I can be?

Can I be part of the Body Love/ Body Acceptance movement and still be actively working towards the healthiest me I can be?
I wasn't sure what kind of picture went with this post but I wanted to have something so here is a rose :)

I wasn’t sure what kind of picture went with this post but I wanted to have something so here is a rose :)

I am a huge fan of the Body Love/ Body Acceptance movement. I have been so inspired by people’s stories, the amazing work they are doing, and their positive energy.
I firmly believe that everyone should love their bodies. That everyone deserves to feel good about themselves. And no one should be bullied, discriminated against, or made to feel bad because of how they look.
I’m also not happy with my own body. I don’t feel healthy. I’m not as strong or flexible as I want to be, and I want to have greater endurance. Part of achieving the healthy body I want means losing weight. While I don’t have a number goal, either weight or clothing size, I still feel like I’m betraying people. As if wanting to be healthier and fitter means that I will become one of ‘them.’ One of the people who insist perfectly beautiful people are photoshopped into imposable standards of perfection. One of the people who stresses youth and beauty and thinness above intelligence or compassion or creativity.
And I’m not.
I’m not suffering as I start a new way of eating and taking care of my body. Well, except for a few sore muscles, LOL. I’m not curled in a corner clutching pictures of chocolate cake, or making my husband eat chips and then kissing him so I can taste them without the calories. I am enjoying the food I’m eating. I feel so much better. And other than my ass being numb I’m enjoying the exercise. I am not suffering to be thin. I am putting energy into being healthy. By being physically healthier, my brain is healthier. My daily word count is going up, my thoughts and ideas are clearer, and much to the joy of the people around me my mood is more stable.
So I am declaring here and now that I can work for the healthiest me possible and I still be part of the Body Love and Body Acceptance movements. Because I know that these movements aren’t about body shaming people of any size, there is room for me to fit in.
What do you think?


Movies that are better when you watch them with someone else.

Movies that are better when you watch them with someone else.

Some movies I’m okay watching by myself. But there are others which are just better with someone else. I’m not sure why. Could be the inside jokes, the quick glances, the shoves on the arm when something is funny.
Zoolander is so much better when I watch it with my sister. Don’t know why, but it does make everything better.
Pitch Perfect is a movie I prefer to watch with my daughter. I love the way she squeals when I cling to her at the end. movie 2
Fire Fly, Serenity, and Doctor Horrible’s Sing A Long Blog I watch with my kids, because they say the lines along with the actors and can sing all the songs.
I always watch martial arts movies with my hubby, especially foreign ones, so we can be in awe and/or make snarky comments.

movie 3
Do you have favorite movies you always make sure to watch with other people?

Climbing in bed GOAL the crowd goes wild!

Climbing in bed GOAL the crowd goes wild!

Photo by Elizabeth Cooper

Photo by Elizabeth Cooper

Yesterday was crazy busy, I call it a Type ‘A’ Day when I Do All The Things.

So when I finally lay down in bed it felt like a touchdown.

“Yes, she’s in bed! The crowd goes wild.”

My body relaxed into the mattress, and bliss washed over me. My eyes fluttered closed. And I’m sure a beam of moonlight fell upon my porcelain skin.

Everything was perfect.

Then I had to pee, again. I tried to ignore it, but alas my moment of perfection was over.

Prescription pad = nefarious life

Prescription pad = nefarious life

Photo by  Very Quiet

Photo by Very Quiet

A friend has become a psychiatric nurse, this means he has a prescription pad. Now he would NEVER do anything illegal with it, and I know this.

BUT for some reason just knowing someone with a prescription pad makes me feel like I am one step closer to having a nefarious life.

Like if something happened and I was on the run from the law I could get meds from him and stay hidden from ‘the man.’

Now I just need to meet a sex worker, assassin for hire, and a slightly unstable scientist.

Do you have someone in your life who is an unknowing part of your evil plans?

He Picked The Wrong Girl, Thor + Darcy=Forever!

He Picked The Wrong Girl, Thor + Darcy=Forever!

Photo by  Sam Howzit

Photo by Sam Howzit

I spent the entire movie watching the chemistry between Darcy and Thor. There she was her curvaceous sexy self being funny and snarky and he was totally entranced.

Yeah, sure Jane was there, but she was boring. She and Thor had no chemistry, and she just doesn’t look like the wife for a Viking god.

No. Thor needs a full-figured woman to satisfy his muscular god body. An intelligent woman to protect him from Loki’s tricks. A woman who won’t put up with his shit and let him act like a spoiled prince of Asgard. He needs Darcy.

Honestly I was so shipping Darcy and Thor that when he kissed Jane I was all “WTF? Rod, what is this shit why is he cheating on Darcy?”

Photo by  Ed Van-West Garcia

Photo by Ed Van-West Garcia

Seriously I didn’t see it coming.

Rod just shook his head. “I’m sorry but she’s the lead actress.”

“No, Darcy is so much better for him.”

“I agree.” Hubby is a wise man.

It took me forever before I was willing to watch Thor 2 because I still wanted Thor and Darcy to get together.
Thank goodness for fan fiction so I can get my Darcy/Thor fix.

What couples have had you wondering what happened ? Which ones have had you just shaking your head and wondering what the writer was thinking?

The Evil of Resolutions

The Evil of Resolutions

I no longer post New Year’s resolutions, as the Universe seems to take that as a list of how to mess with me. I do have goals, which I won’t share because the Universe is watching.

However, I just saw to great posts I want to share on dieting vs health. So many of us are planning on dieting, or getting healthy this year, but if you aren’t careful you can make things worse.

So please check out this Ted Talk video. Watch the whole thing. If you stop half way through, you’ll get depressed.

And this amazing post by my friend August on focusing on health and joy.

I hope 2015 is a great year for you all! And good luck on all your goals and resolutions!

Patchouli to Pine Sol My Parenting Journey

Patchouli to Pine Sol My Parenting Journey

The kids and I about four years ago.

The kids and I about four years ago.

I started out as a totally hippie, granola-munching, tree-hugging mama. I gave birth to my kids at home. I breast fed them for two years. I used Waldorf style toys and books (all wood, silk scarfs for dress up, and lovely fairy stories). I fed them organic vegan meals, which I made while thinking on how special my family was and how much I loved them.

Of course my kids had other ideas.

My son wanted to play with GUNS *gasp* and wear camo and crawl in the dirt and pretend to shoot bad guys.
My daughter wanted Barbies, and make-up, and her own gun and camo to follow her brother around.

I fought it.

They eventually won.

I bought Barbies from the Princess of the World Collection so at least my daughter had a variety of ethnic Barbies to play with.

I bought my son toy guns, camo, and G I Joe dolls but also toy swords and cloaks so he could play Lord of the Rings.
I took them to faerie festivals, folk music festivals, and to see the latest movies.

Then I started working at a group home, where the state licensing board sets the standards and rules. Where I work with kids who need clear firm rules and boundaries. Kids who don’t handle changes in their routine.

Kids who have to deal with public schools and conform to the rules, instead of going to alternative hippie charter schools.

Kids who need a doctors permission for me to give them herbs or vitamins, like I could ever get that. Kids I can give over-the-counter medications, but not homeopathic formulas. Kids can stay home only if they have a fever, diarrhea, or are vomiting.

Unlike my personal kids who stay home because they are sick, or super tired, or “Mom, I might shank someone if you send me to school today.”

So now my house smells like Pine Sol instead of patchouli.

Clothes are chosen based of cost and conformity instead of expressing one’s personal style this week.
I like what I do. I understand the importance of helping these children mesh with society, learn social skills, and fit in with their peers.

Kids who think that if you can’t behave in a socially appropriate manner you’re not eccentric, or expressing yourself, you’re hindered and awkward, and feel left out.

I understand that being a firm, stable, in-control person in their life is essential. And I’m not saying one parenting style is better than the other. In fact I personally believe a blend is ideal: firm clear boundaries and structure so they feel safe and learn ‘proper’ behavior, within which they are given freedom to explore who they are and their individual style, passions, and skills.

Alica Mckenna-Johnson

My kids six months ago.

What has your parenting journey been like? Are you the kind of parent you thought you would be before you had kids?

The Panic Before the Holidays

The Panic Before the Holidays

Caramels waiting to be wrapped.

Caramels waiting to be wrapped.

So after being sick for two weeks, I have a huge list of things I need to get done before the holidays:

shopping for presents, stocking stuffers, and food

wrapping all the things

packaging and mailing boxes

sending cards with a letter and photos of the kids

And I have to make four batches of caramels!

So I did what any reasonable person would do. I wrote down all the little steps so I can see my accomplishments, and I bought four books and read them back to back. Then I decided I’d read them too quickly, so now I’m re-reading them.

How do you deal with holiday stress? Is everything on your list done?

Purveyor Of Wizened Wisdom

Purveyor Of Wizened Wisdom
I think I need a wizards hat and maybe a crystal ball.  Hat created by secretlondon

I think I need a wizards hat and maybe a crystal ball.
Hat created by secretlondon

So there I am lying in bed my body racked with fever and doused with Nyquil (okay Walgreen store brand Nyquil) when my dear daughter walks in and begins to complain about … well… pretty much everything.

As she complained I felt a deep connection to something grater. I became a conduit for Wizened Wisdom.

DD: Mom I don’t want to go to martial arts tomorrow morning. Logan said he was working so I was expecting to stay home and really I just don’t feel like going.

Me: She who pokes tigers with sticks must learn to fight the beast.

DD: What the hell was that? Was that an answer? DAD! something is wrong with mom!

Me: I am a purveyor of Wizened Wisdom; you should feel blessed to be in my presence.

DD: (snorts) Whatever. Hey mom I think it’s stupid to go to school on Monday. We have Tuesday off and no one is even going to go to school. It’ll just be me and I’ll be bored and lonely and we won’t even learn anything important.

Me: It is only through adversity that a blade becomes sharp and strong, my little warrior princess.

DD: OMG I can’t even talk to you! DAD! get control of your wife.

DH: You can go clean up now.

DD has let her mom’s friend paint her face for Day of the Dead. It looks amazing but needs to be washed off. I doze off then wake and hear the water running. It sounds like it’s just the sink.

Me: Is Tala washing her face in the sink?

DH: No she’s taking a shower.

Me: Oh, good, because one should not use a brook when the power of a waterfall is needed.

DH: For the love of all that is holy, stop talking and go to sleep.

Me: It is only in silence the truth can be heard.

DH: What does that even mean??

My family didn’t really appreciate my Wizened Wisdom, but I think it’s because they were overwhelmed by the power of my words.

Pouting and Holiday Music

Pouting and Holiday Music

So I am sick, like bad chest cold, body ache, tired all the time sick. The same thing happened last year at this time. I’m thinking of giving up on Christmas there is just too much to do. Not sure what I should go with instead, any ideas??

Anywho, here is some more holiday music. One of my favorites :)