NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

A Metaphor for this Week

November11

As I was walking from the train station to my office, where there is always tons of ever changing construction, I heard a car’s blaring horn. It went on and on until finally the construction worker who was literally beside the car shouted, “Hey! Stop it! I’m right here! Stop honking already!” When I looked up to get a grasp of the scene I noticed two interesting details. First, that there was no vehicle or persons in front of this car, so I couldn’t make out why on earth they would be honking their horn. Second, that the vehicle doors were emblazoned with the seal of, “U.S. Department of Elections” and I did in fact laugh out loud upon seeing that last detail. I mean?!?!

Is there any better representation of this fucking week?!?!!?

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S

I Want To Believe

November10

Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a ladies wine night held by the CEO’s assistant (and incredible badass, IMO). As I walked into the clubroom with a beloved co-worker, we were met with kind greetings, but also a group of professional women all dressed in black. It was a dark day, indeed, but was this all intentional? Who knows! I know I had originally intended to dress up for this event, but upon awaking that morning I just couldn’t bring myself to wear anything but all black. It felt more like a wake than a celebration.

After some great wine and food and conversation I started to think that maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe we have a chance right now to change things for the better. My Facebook feed affirmed this. Activist groups are starting to organize! Maybe there is hope! A few more glasses of wine and a vegan donut later and I had nearly forgotten what had cast its ugly shadow over that day. Bonding with coworkers and getting wasted on fancy food and wine was splendid!

Walking to the train station at what felt to be very late at night (but was only 8:30pm), I passed a few couples possibly on dates going to and fro. I felt their tentative spirits and nervous-boozey laughter. Or maybe I was just wine-drunk and self conscious! Ha-ha! I was so focused on catching my train, I hadn’t thought much about being in danger or anything. Very unlike me, but it gave me pause once I secured my seat and got settled. The very fact that I wasn’t worried about any immediate dangers was shocking to me, but also what a fucking privilege to not have to worry about that?! Seriously! I always worry about that and am naturally (PTSD) paranoid. I remember having the thought as I left the party, “Where is my pepper spray? Oh ok, I know where it is.” but not enough to actually have it in-hand. Rare.

Once on the train, however, I was full of mixed emotions. Hearing well-off white folks express their sudden distress and concern over the fate of our country, the shock of how hateful it all is, how they had no idea just how racist and sexist this country is (this isn’t the country I thought it was!), was very trying. And I’m not a person of color. It was hurting me to see and hear white folks burdening POC with their emotional baggage. I wanted to shout at them and shake them and make them lift the veil that their privilege hides from their eyes. I was surprised at their shock and their lack of compassion for those who have always been targeted. Those who have always been marginalized, oppressed, and attacked know this has always been a country built upon violence and hate. Your white tears are nothing new to anyone except you. Sounds harsh, maybe (not  really), but it’s necessary because POC and LGBTQ have been fighting this fight all their lives.

If you’re really so upset, act like an ally and help! Join a local organization or groups who are planning protests and such. Offer comfort and kindness to your POC and LGBTQ friends and loved ones. Give space and raise the voices of these groups! Use your white privilege to elevate the causes of others! And it was within this line of thinking that I started to realize that there is hope! Maybe we as a nation built upon white supremacy needed this hideous wake up call to show just how awful things have always been. Maybe now things will finally change for the better for ALL!!!

I want to believe.

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S

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (body positive always, funny sometimes):
http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS  Or get the same “shared” content on twitter: @NotBlueAtAll
I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me to?:
https://instagram.com/notblueatall/
And as always, feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers:
notblueatall@notblueatall.com
If you would like to give money to support this blog and it’s archives, via paypal, you may do so here: http://bit.ly/1P2cZgO

The World Sucks, People are Not True

November9

We use an application at my job called Slack, it’s sort of like chat rooms and instant messaging. When you type /giphy and a phrase it will produce a gif of an entertaining nature, usually. Today, as was absolutely appropriate, I typed, “/giphy everything sucks” and the above gif appeared and simultaneously swelled and broke my heart. My coworker to whom this was addressed responded, “He was right” and it all is still sinking in.

What many in the activism community have said all along is true. This world is run by selfish, greedy, ignorant and hateful white men. Their privilege has gone unchecked for so long that they’ve convinced even poor folks that they’ve been wronged and robbed by “those other guys” as of course it’s never their fault or doing. It’s always “not in my backyard” and their jobs are being taken away and all that nonsense. And it is nonsense. Absolute and utter absurdity, at this point, really.

I cannot harbor the amount of hate that those who elected that disgusting shit demon hold in their own hearts, I haven’t the capacity. But I worry for those I love and cherish, and for my own rights and health, too. I worry for all of the women of the world today. Some are hedging their bets in the U.S. by setting appointments to get an IUD installed, in fear of not having long term access to birth control.

I worry for the future, most of all. As the world turns its attentions to the U.S. today, and in the coming months, no one can say for certain what our fate will be. I want to believe that goodness and love will win in the end. I want to believe. I keep saying that over and over to myself. I want to believe. But I grew up in the Reagan era. I grew up watching the rich oppress the poor and blaming it all on “those other guys”. I grew up with air raid drills in fear of Russia and the Cold War. I grew up not understanding how the good guys acted like bad guys and no one could do anything about it. And that was before the Bush era…and there were a few! UGH!

I’m feeling very hopeless today. I fear opening my mouth at all. I don’t want to smile, it nearly hurts to. I feel helpless to protect those who are vulnerable and even myself. I have been grossly disappointed to see that the men I’ve encountered today all appear to be in much higher spirits than any women I’ve seen today. It’s upsetting! While most of the women I work with are wearing all black, myself included, and we even have a ladies wine night with a guest speaker planned for this evening.

I need something to look forward to. We all do. Until that thing presents itself, however, we need to be kind to one another.
Sending my love and broken heart out into the universe.

I want to believe.
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S

 

“Specialty Sizes”

November8

If the average American woman is a size 14+, then would someone please explain to me how it is that they are also the LEAST purchased sizes by manufacturers? Are they allergic to money?! At this rate, I think that they are! I have heard every ridiculous excuse about “no market” and “it just doesn’t sell” and to those I say fuck right the hell off!!! I read something about smaller or independent boutique owners claiming to have tried to sell sizes 14+ but then they just sit on the rack and don’t sell. I get that, but I question if they advertised the size range or had it prominently displayed in their store. I also get that fashionable fatties have been burned for so long by retailers that we just stop trying to find new brick and mortar places. BUT that’s also with a  huge fucking grain of salt because I almost don’t believe it.

Sizing has been a big topic of discussion this week as one retailer. Meijer, announced that it would get rid of their plus size clothing section and instead include a range of sizes for all throughout. Cute idea, but we all know it won’t be so idyllic in reality. If anything it usually leads to even less plus sizes being available in stores! We’ve seen other retailers attempts at revamping their plus sections (looking at you Target) which ends up mostly residing online or mixed into a jumble or racks between maternity and clearance areas with no signage. I just don’t believe them when they say that they made every attempt to attract plus sized customers. I’m calling bullshit on that!

We want what everyone else has: equality! So basic! But most shopping malls and centers hardly have even one plus retailer, let alone many! I’m lucky that where I live I have my choice of Lane Bryant (hell to the no, but for personal reasons), Avenue (but only a couple of locations and very spread out) and Torrid (who have a bunch but in odd places). Target does carry some, but you’d be pressed to track them down in most locations and often I see two racks at the front, beside the maternity, and the rest mixed with other random items leaving all of it more trouble than it’s worth. Yes, larger department stores have plus sections, but often they call them something hella random (Yes, I was initially offended by “Encore” being the designation for plus size at Nordstrom) or tuck them away in a basement or far reaching corner of their stores.

Can we just stop with the cutesy names, though? “Specialty Sizes” “Extended Sizes” I find it insulting and demeaning. Why can we not just have clothing?! Simple! No gender assignment required! Here, look, pants! Shirts! Dresses! Let the rest of the labeling go! Trying to explain women’s clothing sizing to my bf is a practice in comedy! He insists, “Women must like those flimsy fabrics and non-existent pockets or why else would they have them?” UGH!!! I wanna scream from rooftops! The frustrations! I get serious feminist rage at this shit and that’s without him saying we must like it or why would it be this way. I insist that it cannot be women designing such things as those are very common complaints about fashion.

And can we not value fashion only as something frivolous?!?! I need to cover my body with a garment! Yes, I care how that garment fits and looks on my person, but that does not mean I ONLY care about fashion or looks. Ya know?! Ugh! And when you actually read up on the history of pockets you’ll be as outraged as I am! If you’re above a size 26 your options are so limited it really is almost entirely online. That takes a lot more time and money! Sure, coupon codes and rewards dollars can help, but not all online clothing retailers offer free return shipping and even those who don’t may still charge a re-stocking fee and others still charge more for certain sizes.

If the majority of women in the U.S. are plus sized, then there needs to be a bigger push back on manufacturers and retailers to fucking cater to us! We need to start writing letters, leaving comment cards, asking for management and buyers, hitting up these corporations on social media and really letting them know what we want: Equality!!! (I wanted to say EQUALITY MOTHERFUCKERS!!! but I don’t mean to shout at you, you’re lovely.) Yet we’re always made to feel that asking for anything is asking too much! UGH! Sick of it!

Ahem.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL.
<3
S

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (body positive always, funny sometimes):
http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS  Or get the same “shared” content on twitter: @NotBlueAtAll
I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me to?:
https://instagram.com/notblueatall/
And as always, feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers:
notblueatall@notblueatall.com
If you would like to give money to support this blog and it’s archives, via paypal, you may do so here: http://bit.ly/1P2cZgO

 

 

Their “Facts” Vs. MY Figure

November3

I had fallen very ill with a head cold on September 23rd. It was so bad I was home from work for a week! I was able to work from home for the better part of that week, but I was miserable. No over the counter meds were touching this beast and everyone I talked to thought it might be sudden and severe allergies. When the worst of it was over I went back to work. I was still very sniffly and coughing and not entirely the life of the party, but I managed alright. A couple more weeks went by and one day in a meeting with my boss she says, “I think you need to see someone about that.” when I couldn’t stop coughing. Ugh!

So I did the right things, I called the advice nurse first to see what they thought. Set up an appointment for a physical check up, since I’d moved and got new insurance, best to meet and see these new services in person. I went in with an open mind, a calmness of hope that I will finally get some relief, and even a referral for an allergist (I’m severely allergic to sunscreen, which has only been true for 1.5 yrs). I knew to fast because, obviously, I’m fat so that must mean I have the DIA-DEATH-TO-FATTIES-BEETUS! LOL! But I did fast because medical folks always ASSUME I have diabetes (I don’t, I don’t even have the genetic marker for it being in my family). Ugh!

Anyway, I go into this appointment almost happy to be there. I want to meet my new doctor and see if I can get her to see me as a whole human being! Not that I’ve had so many negative medical experiences, but really any is too many. The first thing she asks me is why I refused to be weighed. I explained that I did not feel that it was medically relevant at this time. She insisted that it was. When I asked how so she went into an elementary explanation of what and how the BMI works. It was all I could do to not laugh out loud. I calmly explained that the BMI does not assess one’s health, nor was it intended to be used in the way it is today. She again insisted I be weighed (though there was no scale in the room, so?) and finally just asked if I knew how much I weighed.

It was unbearably obvious to me that this person cared more about filling in a box on a form that seeing me as an adult human, she wouldn’t even make eye contact with me. I said that I did know how much I weighed, that my weight rarely if ever fluctuates, and that if it was medically relevant that I would be happy to provide such a number. I think that really pissed her off. I was honestly being friendly and cheerful and pleasant and doing my best to put her at ease. But she wasn’t having any of it! She actually stood up at this point in order to lecture me on the evils of fat! I listened, I was patient, I smiled and nodded my head. I even said, “Okay, so what would your next course of action be on this topic?” she said she’d send me to a nutritionist. I explained that they do not have the amount of education to provide any new insight and that to suggest I needed a nutritionist is also suggesting that the cause of my body size is directly related to how and what I eat. When I told her that I had an eating disorder previously and had no intention of going back down those dark paths again she flipped through my medical file with a look of insolence in her eyes.

She could not have even settled on a page (she was literally flipping through it like a joke or a movie) when she insisted, “When! When did you have an eating disorder because I don’t see anything in here!” and I explained that one is always in recovery, and that it was a long time ago when I went through the worst of it and that to pathologize based solely on body size is against actual science and logic. She insisted we should agree to disagree, which I conceded to politely. But she went right back into it! At which point I finally said that I had zero interest in hearing once again how my very body will be the death of me. So I then asked her to tell me what my blood pressure was (I always allow for this and insist with confidence on them using a larger cuff due to inaccurate readings and bruising from ill fitting ones). When she saw that it was 110/72 she quickly insisted I was setting myself up for a world of trouble (in a near threatening tone, tbh) and when I insisted that wasn’t a given she again said we should agree to disagree. When she persisted again I pushed back with, “You aren’t asking about my current activity, eating habits, quality of life or lifestyle. You aren’t asking how I feel or if I think I’m eating healthy.” No response.

Then she FINALLY asked about the reason for my visit. Like, seriously, I had been there for ages at that point. So I went through my symptoms and progressions and explained my own feelings on the matter as well as my concern about my sudden allergy to sunscreen. She dismissed it all! She said that I’m not allergic and probably just have dry skin and that there is nothing wrong with me at all. Um…? When I asked at what point should I be concerned about my cough, as it had been a month, she said 8-12 weeks! I was surprised but went along with it. She insisted again that I must be fine as I was exhibiting no symptoms that she could discern. Much to my frustration. But I explained that I had come straight from home, had eaten nothing and was freshly showered and thus my symptoms were less than they had been, though not entirely gone and I was doing my best to be polite and not gross about the whole thing.

When I asked about getting a referral for an allergist she asked me to describe my sunscreen allergy symptoms. When I did she asked if I’d tried another type. I explained that I had tried every type available to purchase by the public (even listing many brands), including natural ones and ones for babies. I explained that the day I wear sunscreen I have no symptoms but that evening and the following 7 days I would be ravenously scratching at anywhere it was applied. Like not even able to sleep! The itching is so bad! She said, “It sounds like dry skin to me. I won’t be referring you to an allergist.”

At this point she asked that I sit on the examination table. I was never offered a gown, never instructed to sit anywhere other than the one chair prior to this. So I hopped up on the table and she listened to my breathing, looked into eyes, ears, and nose, and then dismissed me from the table to the chair again. That was the extent of my physical. The least physical one I’ve ever had! Then without making eye contact, she said she was prescribing me pills for my cough with no other information or explanation. Then she said she wanted me to have some blood work done and said I’d have to come back since one I would have to fast for. I explained, for the second or third time, that I had fasted because I know medical folks always insist I have diabetes. She raised a single eyebrow and mumbled something before saying, “okay, then you’ll need to get this blood work done now.” before getting up to leave. She almost left the room twice but kept coming back in wanting to say something but hesitating each time and finally I just said, “Thanks so much. I hope you have a great day.” with full sincerity.

She finally left but seemed quite flabbergasted at the whole thing. It made me wonder if anyone had ever refused to be weighed in her office before. What did she think my aim was with refusing? I felt that I explained myself logically and reasonably. I didn’t get emotional or aggressive. I was calm, cool and collected. I wasn’t even aloof or anything like that, ya know? Just chill. I wasn’t even upset at her absurd behavior and threats, though perhaps I should have been. I walked out as cheerfully as I entered and headed to the lab and pharmacy. I even joked with the phlebotomist about smiles being free and no need to put your grump onto others. He was hella cool, actually. No bruising even! The pharmacy was also a quick and easy venture. It wasn’t until I got back to work and was chatting with some work-friends about the whole thing that I realized just how horrible I’d been treated.

I asked them what a physical was usually like for them and was surprised by their responses. One even insisted I go to another doctor and try for a full do-over. I am still considering this. I’m fortunate enough to have insurance, and to have a job that allows me to use that insurance. But it’s like I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t! This is why fat people don’t go to the doctor until it’s absolutely necessary! Don’t you dare (non-existent “YOU”) tell me that fat people cost anyone more money. What’s costing more money is fucking sales quotas and pitches for unnecessary surgeries. Doctors who have to hit certain numbers and topics and tick boxes rather than look their patients in the eyes. I was there for something so basic and simple and yet this doctor ignored everything so that she could lecture me on a topic I honestly feel she knows very little about. It’s appalling, but I was glad to tell her at one point that I was grateful to be a confident, knowledgeable and empowered woman, because had I not been, as many others aren’t, I would have been destroyed (confidence, self-esteem, etc)! She didn’t seem to give a single shit about that either.

Seriously, I know that I am fortunate and lucky and privileged and it is because of this that I choose to speak up and out about these things. Others simply can’t! But if we don’t talk about it, if we continue to hide or keep secret what shouldn’t be, then the stigma of fatness being a death sentence will continue. I am not intimidated by someone who spent far too much money on an education only to ignore actual scientific facts when it comes to treating a patient. Fuck that! The studies are there, the science is there and I refuse to be talked to like an idiot simply because my body takes up more space!

BTW, those pills didn’t do shit for my cough. I still have it, though it is slowly dissipating. Luckily, my insurance sent me a survey to take, a few days later, in order to assess the level of care I had received.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Good times. 😛

<3
S

I’m looking for guest posts!!! Please consider submitting!

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (body positive always, funny sometimes):
http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS  Or get the same “shared” content on twitter: @NotBlueAtAll
I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me to?:
https://instagram.com/notblueatall/
And as always, feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers:
notblueatall@notblueatall.com
If you would like to give money to support this blog and it’s archives, via paypal, you may do so here: http://bit.ly/1P2cZgO

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