Category Archives: being thankful

sometimes they get it right

I’ve been working for several days on a post about noticing when i’m being my authentic, true self and when I feel the need to metaphorically (or literally) “suck it in” around people I don’t feel fully comfortable with. I keep writing a few words and then moving away from it, I think because it feels really whiny to me right now and I don’t like being whiny, even though I know that’s coming from all of my own shit and sometimes it’s just helpful and cathartic to get it all out, even it feels like a colossal woe-is-me-fest.

However, I just saw a series of ads from the South African Marie Claire and one of the pics really made me smile, so I thought I’d throw it up here quickly. I should say that this doesn’t really give Marie Claire extra points or a free pass in my book (remember the whole “ew, fatties kissing is gross!” piece by one of their bloggers?). I also am skeptical ANY time an advertisement asks us to love our bodies, as they’re usually telling us that the best way to love our body is to use their product. Having said that, I just love one of the pictures they’ve used. She’s gorgeous, she looks defiant (“I dare you to pass judgment, because I am fabulous.”), she has fat rolls, she’s just stunning. It’s amazing how powerful pics like this can be. it’s kind of small, but basically the text indicates that everyone wants some body part of someone else. “You wish you had Stephanie’s skin, and Stephanie wishes she had Tasj’s boobs, and Tasj wishes she had Kassie’s legs…” and so on. But really, it’s not even about the text for me.

right?

a rite of passage – my first troll

So, I got a comment the other day from my first troll. I’m a big lady blogger now! It actually makes me feel a little like I’ve “made it,” so to speak. It happens to most of us (and for an absolutely epic takedown of trolls, please see Fat Heffalump’s piece from a couple weeks ago), so I can’t say I’m surprised. I should say I don’t want to make light of the situation. I have been extremely lucky in that they are few and far between for me. Some folks get this drivel on a daily fucking basis and I can’t even imagine how that must feel. So I’m also sending a special shout-out to any other folks out there who have to deal with mean-spirited, small-minded people who spew hatred in their direction. I’m sending you happiness and sunshine! And the occasional “fuck you” to the trolls on your behalf!

I won’t give him or her (I don’t know the gender of the commenter but for sake of ease, he’s a he in this post) the air time and paste the comment here, but basically this person is seriously, truly concerned that I am a huge massive fatty fatty 2 by 4. I’ve been compared to an animal of the sea (hint: an awesomely fierce and beautiful whale of the killer variety) and have been told that I shouldn’t post pictures of myself. Among other things.

And you know what? I’m not even mad. Are you kidding me? While anger can be an absolutely fantastic outlet for people (and it certainly has been for me, I’m not knocking the anger!), this time all I felt (well, after I laughed) was sorrow for the commenter. What must be going on in his life such that he feels it necessary to take time out of his day to tell someone they shouldn’t do what they obviously enjoy doing. Is he unhappy with his life? Do I intimidate him? Does my obvious comfort with how I look make him feel like shit about his own body? I don’t know, but on my best days (and fortunately I read the comment on one of those days), all I want to do is send good vibes out into the universe so that this person can feel better about himself and not feel the need to post what he perceives to be mean things about some random person on the internet. On my bad days? That’s where the anger comes in handy.

And if the person who sent me that comment is reading this? To you I say: I hope whatever is going on in your life rights itself, because life is too god-damn short to be an asshole about what other people choose to do with their bodies. peace.

ootd no. 3 – ode to jeggings

I think that one of my first radical “I’m fat and don’t give a shit if what I wear is ‘appropriate’ or ‘figure-flattering’ enough for you” acts was purchasing and then wearing the ever-loving hell out of my first pair of jeggings. I love these things! Until rather recently, i would not have been caught dead in form-fitting pants. I watched a lot of “what not to wear”and by god, I knew how to “dress for my figure,” whatever the hell that means. But when I threw the rules out the window, there was no looking back. jeggings, bodycon dresses, maxi dresses, all thrown in the mix.

These jeggings are on their way out, I’m afraid. I’ve caught wind about these things called teggings, but I haven’t done much research. Anyone have a pair? Thoughts?

sweater: Target
tank top: Gap
jeggings: Lane Bryant
shoes: Calvin Klein (endless.com)
fat necklace: Definatalie!

closeup of the ever-so-amazing Fat Necklace!

I tried to capture the joy I have every time I put this necklace on, but the shutter went off before I was ready, so you can’t see the whole necklace in all of it’s glory. but you get the point. and i liked the pic anyway. One things this ootd exercise is teaching me is how to relax about seeing my image in photos. I’m grateful for that.

I absolutely adore this tank top so i’m giving you a close-up of the shiny stripes. shiny stripes! what’s not to love?

So what about you all? What was the first thing you remember wearing that was a distinct “fuck you” to those who’ve told you there are very specific rules you must ascribe to when dressing yourself?

look, a fatty!

I was at a meeting the other day and during a break a friend/colleague of mine was talking to her high school friend on the phone about their recent 10 year reunion that she wasn’t able to attend. She came back after a while and gave us the play by play. Overall, she said she loved catching up on all their old friends. Then she said she asked her friend, “so, who got fat?” and then after what seemed like a bit of an awkward pause (to me), she said, “and also who got skinny?” I felt like that second question wasn’t actually posed and was instead stated for my benefit. “see, i’m not singling out fat people, i’m just curious about the changing shapes of all bodies!” and frankly even that is problematic. but i wanted to talk about how it made me feel. to put it bluntly, it made me feel like shit.

being fat isn’t something to be gossiped about. when you want to find out “who got fat?” you’re asking about who “let themselves go,” or who “doesn’t have it anymore.” Inherent in all of this is the idea that being fat isn’t correct, it isn’t right, we shouldn’t be it.

I am not saying it’s abnormal to notice a change in someone’s weight or appearance. We’re visual creatures, I get that. And some of the time, statements like that don’t carry with it the intention of judging someone. But most of the time? I’d venture to say nearly all of the time? Comments about people’s weight or appearance aren’t simply a statement of fact. They’re riddled with judgment. And above all, it reduces someone’s weight or appearance to a story, to gossip. Fat people are more than just a story to be gossiped about over a phone conversation. I went a while back to the a Fat Meet Up at the ever so lovely coffee shop of Not Blue At All, and we had a great discussion about being fat in public, especially around children. One of the people there said she gets the “look mom, she’s so fat!” all the time, and she sees it as a teaching moment for the children, because inevitably the parents will be mortified, pull their children away, and whisper furiously “we do NOT say things like at!” What message do you think kids get when they are simply pointing out what is, to them, just a fact? Look, she is fat. Look, he is tall. Look, I’m noticing these things as a new person in the world and it’s amazing to me! In the blink of an eye, they have fully received society’s message that fat is a bad word, that even if someone IS it, we certainly don’t point it out. And ta da, society’s boatload of shit is laid down upon some child who was just pointing out a fact. That child likely wasn’t judging her body, she was simply noticing it. Then adults come in and fuck everything up.

Here’s the bottom line…my friend’s question to her friend about who got fat in the last 10 years didn’t feel like an innocent noticing of the fact, a la kids. It felt like I, and people who look like me, was being reduced to something to be sensationalized, gossiped about. And it sucked. But I have to say that it didn’t crush me to a million pieces like it may have a couple years ago, so for that I am grateful.

Who has called this type of behavior out in friends before (nicely or not-so-nicely)? How’d the conversation go?

trying to focus on being grateful

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been having some knee pain for a while. It hasn’t gotten much better and in fact, in one knee it’s gotten markedly worse. Worse as in if I walk too long I feel a sharp pain and my knee starts to click. Not awesome. I can’t walk around for more than about a half hour without big time fatigue in both legs. I checked in with my doc about it and she said that if the pain is there in another 2-4 weeks, we’ll start physical therapy. I’m frankly not in love with this answer, as it didn’t do two things. One, she didn’t acknowledge that having pain in my knee is, quite frankly, a pain in the god damn ass. She didn’t do this when I first went to her either. I’m not asking for coddling. I’m asking for acknowledgement. And perhaps some docs just aren’t like that – I really don’t know because i haven’t been to that many. And two, she didn’t even speak of the possibility of the pain coming from something other than running and then not running for a while. I know my body, and this feels like something a bit more than “you were running for a while and then you stopped, so now you’re knees are going to hurt for over a month.” I don’t know, I’ve clearly gone over into the frustrated side of the process. And I’m trying so hard to cling onto the gratefulness. Grateful that I can walk, grateful than I have health insurance such that I can just go to the doctor when I want/need to, grateful that I can afford ibuprofen, grateful that I have most of my mobility, grateful that I’ve been healthy as all get out for most of my life.

But right now it’s just fucking hard to do that.

I feel like this is all my fault. I feel like if I wasn’t so fat, this wouldn’t have happened and I wouldn’t have to hobble around and ask people to slow down when we walk together, or take so long to get up the stairs to my house. I feel frustration every day. I do believe that my weight might have something to do with my injury, but it’s tough to remind myself that it may only be a correlation, not causation. If I weighed less, there is a chance that the recovery time wouldn’t be so long, or even a chance that I wouldn’t have gotten injured in the first place. Then again, it may have absolutely nothing to do with my weight. But that certainly isn’t the narrative I choose to tell myself every day. The narrative I choose to tell myself is a bit more harsh: your fat made this happen.

The other weekend I went hunting and 4-wheeling (on a quad or All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for those of you folks not from the country) with my dad at his step-brothers ranch outside the salinas valley. It. is. gorgeous. And to be clear, when we hunt it’s mostly tootling around on the 4-wheelers, taking in the breathtaking scenery and trying to spot as many different kinds of wildlife as possible (lots of quail, squirrels like they owned the place, a bobcat!, etc). It’s a lot of gorgeous vistas, lots of this:

With the occasional these:

While riding these:

All in all, a positively delightful way to spend a couple days. That is, unless you go down, flip the quad, and have it run over you. Which is what happened to me. The short story is: the front right tire got stuck in a rut while we were going downhill, the quad started rolling, I fell off of it and onto the ground on my back, looked up and saw it coming over me, put my hands up to get it off of me (at this point dad says when he looked back up for me, I was smooshed in half with my legs up near my forehead), sat up with the wind knocked out of me, and watched the quad take about 10 full rotations as it careened down the hill. Needless to say, the thing is totaled. We couldn’t find the seat. It got tangled up in a eucalyptus grove and dad dragged it down to the road.

When it was happening, I wasn’t particularly scared and in fact it felt a teeny bit funny to me (apparently this is how I deal with stressful situations. giggle.) I kept thinking “holy shit, a 4-wheeler is about to RUN over me. this is happening. who does this happen to? what the hell?” But here’s what happened physically: a sore shoulder for a couple of days (turns out quads are heavy!) and couple of bruises that are popping up here and there, but that’s it. This is, to put it bluntly, kind of amazing. People break limbs on quads. They get paralyzed. They die. You get the point. Shit can get gnarly, so to speak. It took me a couple days to be able to process it, but I’ve come away from it with this: damn, my body can handle some stuff. And for that I am incredibly grateful. I am amazed at my body right now.

And I’m trying desperately to hold onto THAT feeling, that feeling of immense gladness for my strong arms and legs, for my flexibility, for my health. I just wish it were easier to do that.

the big visit to my new doctor

Yesterday I had my first doctor’s appointment since diving into the big fatty awesome world of FA. I’ve written before about my nervousness/concern/sheer and total panic about going to a doctor because I know what much of the medical community thinks of fat people.

I made an appointment because I’ve been having some serious pain in both knees for the last week or so. As in, it’s difficult for me to get up and down stairs without being a whiny whinerson. As someone who has been an active person her whole life, and played varsity sports, and never broken a bone, I gotta say this is not good for my poor little soul. I want to recognize that I am still very able-bodied and that I in don’t want to seem ungrateful for the mobility that I do have. However, for me this is some hard-ass shit. I held off on making the appointment for a few days because I thought it would go away, and frankly because I didn’t want to pay someone to take one look at me and tell me to hit the treadmill, tubbo. But it got bad enough, so off I went. I should say, without this FA community, this experience most likely would have been eleventy squillion times worse. In comments to my last post about the doctor, someone directed me to this oh so fabulous resource and I ended up choosing a doctor on the list.

When I followed the nurse to get my vitals taken, I turned around when getting weighed so as to not look at the number, explaining that I didn’t want to know my weight because it can be triggering. The nurse just could not have cared less. “Sure! I love your scarf, where did you get it?” Wait, what? I’m not going to get read the riot act for refusing to participate fully in what almost every single person who goes to the doctor does? Huh, ok. I can work with this. It was actually kind of weird to purposefully not find out my weight. As anyone who has dieted (so…99.9991 percent of the population?) will tell you, when on a diet, the scale becomes a part of your routine (daily, weekly, whatever). Weight Watchers? Shit, the damn meetings START with a weigh in! Curves fitness? Weigh in AND body measurements every month (also an anti-choice organization, but that’s not the immediate point). I have lived with a scale in my bathroom for most of my life. I learned when I would weigh less in the day, what days of the week I would weigh less, which specific reading on the compass to turn and face to weigh less (ok, not that last one, but you get the point). That number was burned into my retinas until the next time I weighed in, crossing my fingers, saying little prayers (to whom exactly, I don’t know, as I’m an atheist…but what do they say? There are no atheists in foxholes. Or on scales, apparently.), already making excuses to whomever was weighing me (“these shoes are heavy.” “I just had a big lunch”) or talking shit to myself (“seriously? You couldn’t lay off that burrito? Lardass. You have SO far to go.”), making promises to be “better this week” and to really focus on harnessing my willpower. Christ, I get tired now just thinking about it.

ANYWAY, I digress. Not knowing my weight – it’s weird. How else am I going to know how much love I deserve, how happy I get to be? Seriously though, we put an incredible amount of emphasis on that number. We memorize it. We lie about it. Hell, I won’t state right here what I think I weigh, and I think I’ve come a damn long way. But maybe I haven’t? Makes me feel like a FA failure (a FAilure?) That’s another post.

So the doctor comes in and I’m pretty nervous. Do I go straight into the whole “I know I’m fat, you don’t have to point it out. I believe we can be healthy at every size. I want to make sure that we’re doing this together and that you’re not making rampant assumptions…” or do I just sit back and see where it goes? I opted for the second. Perhaps out of sheer wussy-ness. Perhaps because I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. Either way, it doesn’t matter. She listened to me respectfully. I told her I started running a few months ago and did a 5K, and then got sick about a month ago and pretty much stopped running, hell, stopped moving because I was tired as fuck all the time and felt like hammered dog shit (not in those exact words, but I think she got my point). She then proceeded to basically say “look, you were moving around a lot. Then you stopped. Your body essentially experienced a light trauma and your knees are now all ‘what the fuck?’ and so they’ve gone a little haywire.” (again, not in those exact words, but I got her point) Along with everything else she said, she mentioned “and you have weight pressing down on these joints, and on your hips…” and you know? it absolutely did not feel like she was telling me my weight was the problem. She didn’t say “you have your HUGE ASS weight” or “your overweight body” or anything. She said “your weight.” As in, I have weight! Imagine that. Basically, I’m supposed to take it easy, do a little walking, the recumbent bike when i can, and take ibuprofen. It’s still very frustrating, because I feel like some of my agency has been taken away. I’m now at the mercy of these damn knees and I am all stoked to do the Bay to Breakers in SF in a few weeks and now that’s up in the air. I’m just super pissed and frustrated. Le sigh. But! The doctor’s appointment went well, and for that I am very, very happy.

I’d love to hear your happy doctor stories! The last post I focused on things that make me tired, and while it was extremely important to go there (and to read everyone’s thought provoking and awesome comments!), I’m feeling the need for some positivity. Adipositivity, perhaps? (NSFW! for those not familiar with her work!)

oh, hello spring. part 1.

on the walk back to my apartment from the farmers’ market. happy colorful smiley flowers everywhere!


and coming up…oh, hello spring part 2, wherein I wax philosophical about rising temperatures and chub rub.