NotBlueAtAll

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

Health is Wealth – FML

May10

Content Warning: I mention and use images to discuss and take apart the things people attribute to being healthy or unhealthy, I do not believe these things as I explain below. My use of said images is meant to be sarcastic and in no way promotes this toxic bullshit, I assure you.

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WHO THOUGHT THIS BS UP?! IT’S TERRIBLE! STOP!!!

“Health is wealth, and I’m broke, so that’s all I’m after! Ha-ha!” he said with a hearty chuckle after no less than three people stood around my desk talking about their individual and collective weight loss successes and how they each achieved it in different ways. I wanted to growl at them, loudly. There’s no use in reasoning with people like this. The one with manners then apologized to me for being so distracting. If only they knew how absolutely full of shit each of them truly is! Ha-ha! The “Health is wealth” one admitted they no longer eat dinner and only half the lunch portion they used to consume. The classier of the three gets just shy of evangelizing, “Keto! You either know it or you don’t, but once you start you’ll never want to stop, it’s brilliant!” It was all I could do to pretend to ignore the entire conversation just feet away from me. Internally I may have rolled my eyes so hard the southern hemisphere rippled. (Also, none of these three has ever been fat a day in their lives!)

Health is wealth is the biggest piece of shit thing to say that I’ve heard in awhile! And that’s saying a lot, it’s not like any of us can avoid what our current president says every fucking day! But Health is Wealth is so classist it’s anger inducing and that doesn’t even get into the rest of the ball of bullshit wrapped up in that phrase. So let’s shred it, shall we? Let’s!
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SUCH BULLSHIT!
Health: Is not what most of us think it is. It’s not a destination. It’s not something you can put your finger on. It’s not something you get to choose from a list of options. Many people are born with health issues/concerns, they never get to say “Health is Wealth” and that’s even if they get the best treatment there is. Health is more of a buzzword than anything with any actual meaning now days. I hear it so much every fucking day, “Oh that’s not healthy dude!” or “Look at me being healthy!” it’s not a verb, it’s not an adjective and it’s certainly not wealth in any sort of way that matters to me. It’s so aggravating and I do push back, a lot. It’s meaningless. You can slap the word healthy on anything these days and no one questions it. It is a noun: the state of being free from illness or injury. See, nothing to do with food whatsoever!
Food in and of itself is neither healthy or unhealthy, no matter what food it is or how it is prepared. It’s an inanimate object! That’s it! There’s no good or bad, no healthy or unhealthy, it’s just food. You either eat it or you don’t. I’ve had enough conversations about this that I am usually ready to explain myself because I am always questioned by the “healther” I’ll call them, or those that proselytize “health” as something we must all strive for constantly with our every waking breath! Fuck that!
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FAKE AS FUCK!
Very recently I was at a professional networking event and there were vendors giving samples and informational brochures about their products and services. There was one vendor I had been emailing with and had even scheduled a call to discuss how they might fit my current employer’s needs. But when I got up to the table to talk to the guy and introduce myself I very quickly saw that their entire marketing platform was built on the demonization of sugar consumption. That eye roll thing happened again, but I introduced myself anyway. And then I asked if this was their only marketing strategy currently. He never actually answered that question, but very quickly jumped to the, “It’s as addictive as heroin!” garbage and I asked why he was quoting an article on a study that was published over six years ago and has since been proven to be speculative bullshit. (It hits the same reward centers of the brain, so do likes on social media, there is no evidence of actual addiction to sugar). He insisted it was true and absolute. I asked him who paid for the study and how that information corrupts “results”. He didn’t know. I told him to follow the money. I told him that the American Medical Associate is funded in part by the beef and dairy council, he responded with, “Well, sure, if you look into something enough you’re gonna find something!” which was my point exactly. Their table was set up with samples of snack items with comparable brands and beside each were stacks of sugar cubes representing in grams what each serving size would be. He finally pressed, “Fine, what is healthy to you?!” and I said what I always say, “It’s our behavior, not food, it’s what we do with it. Life should be full of variety and moderation in most things. That’s it!” he had nothing to say to that. We both said we’d schedule that call, and neither of us have. Fuck him and his bullshit company.
I run the food and beverage program for a tech start up in silicon valley as the office manager. I have run many food programs for startups in the area. I’ve owned and operated my own restaurant. I’m food safety certified and a genuine food/nutrition nerd. I know more about this stuff than most folks, sadly and often, more than medical doctors, too. The average MD gets approximately 40 hours of nutritional education. I’ve had far more by leaps and bounds than 40 hours! I have read countless books, guides, workshops, you name it! Knowing the science about food was an eye opener and a game changer for me. Having people close to me with severe and “bizarre” allergies (or so doctor’s told them) taught me a lot, too. I have seen people destroy their lives over their food choices. My own food choices have created problems in my personal relationships in the past. The more you know the more informed decisions you can make for yourself. That is really all I am ever talking about here, autonomy! It’s a beautiful thing!
Because I run the food program for my company I am well accustomed and attuned to people’s “feedback” about the options we have on offer on any given day. 98% of this “feedback” is full of bullshit buzzwords that are so meaningless you can actually see the fear growing in their eyes as I open my mouth to ask them to clarify or provide more detail. Ha-ha! It tickles me sometimes, other times it’s down right triggering and fucking depressing. These are grown ass adults getting paid a fuck ton of money to do a job in one of the hottest markets in the country and yet they never bother to question what they are putting in their mouths (or heads for that matter), but they love to question me about it daily. I’m tough, I can take it, and I have a great work bff and personal support system in place when I need it. Not everyone does, though, and to me that’s the real trouble. They shame and blame others, they shame and blame themselves, never realizing that it’s all made up! No doubt this has caused many eating disorders and body image issues the world over. But please, let’s all continue to blame fat people for everything! Ha-ha!
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NO IDEA WHAT’S GOING ON HERE. STAY AWAY GERMS, OR SOMETHING!
Also, fuck health! I live with old and recurring injuries. While I have no on-going health issues, the very size of my body is so often pathologized that I know to fast before going to any doctor’s appointment, even if it’s just a pap smear or a cold, because they take one look at me and send me for a fasting glucose test (obv fat = diabetes y’all, duh! – NOT!!! And that is not how that works!). It’s fucking everywhere, this toxic bullshit mentality. I want to punch it in the face! I know, I know, “it” doesn’t have a face. But it IS destroying us and our “health”! I hope that we can all trust in ourselves and our bodies to do and know what is right, and to seek solid information to better inform our decisions. If you haven’t already read it, I cannot recommend enough the book Health At Every Size by Dr. Linda Bacon, it was such an eye opener for me and showed me the ways in which we are taught to not trust our own bodies and minds. To me this is such a tragedy. I hope we can one day find ourselves not even talking about food and health in these ways.
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

posted under Bullshit, Buzz, fat, Food | No Comments »

Without A Mother; Mother’s Day

May9

I posted the following on my personal Facebook page yesterday:

  Sarah   May 8, 2018:
Sharing this memory as all the usual feels are beginning to swirl and the rising tide of “BUT YOUR MOM!!!!” messages for this made up holiday have reached a deafening level. There’s no card for this shit. SMDH.

  Sarah   May 8, 2016
Shout out to all the kids who had to grow up too early or sacrifice way too much of their childhoods because their parents weren’t equipped for the job, for whatever reason. We don’t get a “day” but we don’t need one because the things we had to do for others were never done for us anyway. Keep on keepin’ on! 

There are things we go through in this world that cannot be put into words. Emotions, experiences, and while some words do exist, what does it truly mean and feel like to be in “awe” or “miserable”? As I reread what I had written back in 2016, I paused. I took a slow, deep breath. This isn’t unusual these days as I have been practicing this for some time in order to actually consider things before responding to them (rare in modern society, imho). I realized in this pause that I had had some tension building up inside me. That I had been getting grouchier in recent days without knowing why or really even questioning it. For transparency sake I will admit that I simply expected the constant numbness inside me which often precedes full blown depression to be the culprit followed by PMS, but now I think it’s marketing for Mother’s Day. Ugh!

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First let me just say that I don’t have anything against mother’s and I fully support them in all that they do. Having said that, I have never had a mother figure in my life, save for the first 5 years of my life. My mother was physically present after this time, but rarely mentally so. I’ve written about this before, so let’s not get back into those specifics today. No, I want to talk about those of us who had to step in and up, without really understanding or knowing what we were undertaking at the time of course, because we had to. I hate that I have felt shame over this. I hate that I have felt hurt and scornful and full of wounded pride that doesn’t even belong to me over this. I hate that my biological parents will never admit to how things really were for us kids.
But I am not filled with hate. I am definitely not filled with anger (yuck). I am filled with a sense of loss and longing for something I have never had. I’ve witnessed countless families with fully or mostly functioning parental figures. Not to knock my dad, he had to work all of the time for us to just scrape by ( but my shit with him is heavier and darker and that is not what this post is about). I saw broken families with strong maternal bonds in my childhood neighborhood. My childhood best friend’s mom always kept me at a distance, but did her best to include me and my awkward ass from a poor family in things that mattered. I always felt like an outsider, no matter how long I knew a friend and their family, I never felt like I got a ticket to the having a mom in your life ride. That unconditional love shit? Where do I find this? *DigsForWallet*
I have friends who have incredible and beautiful relationships with their mothers. Single mothers and their eldest daughters being in the majority amongst my circle of friends. Even friends with parents who have married and remarried seem to actually love and like each other and that honestly just does my head in at this point. While all unique and none without issues, they are all what I have never had and there’s really no way to make peace with that. There’s no way to fill a hole you didn’t know you even had until later in adulthood. I’m not one for black tar heroin, so passe, but I also don’t seek fulfillment in that part of myself at all. (Okay, if I do I am completely unaware of it!)
The closest thing I’ve had to a true maternal figure in my life was my grandma, my dad’s mother. They had a great relationship, she was a wonderful human being in the truest sense. She was a registered nurse, met my grandpa in WWII, worked in elder care for a convalescent hospital for my entire life…but we weren’t very close until I was about 19 years old. I had escaped an abusive relationship that I’m not sure anyone in my family was even aware of (though much of it happened in our home), I’d been living twenty miles away until my roommates got us evicted (they were such sweet stoners until they brought meth into the equation). I had to move back home. My grandma had the best sense of humor and a way of seeing the world’s beauty and misery in a way I want to believe that I have carried on. There is so much I wish I could talk to her about now, but I wasn’t the person I am today, then. She passed away in 2003, just a few months before my first marriage. (I’m assuming another marriage though I have no plans, hopes, or desires. Ha-ha!)
Later I bonded with her (only slightly) younger sister who was such a spitfire! She saw the bullshit my dad’s wife was dishing and sought to gain my trust and confidence, and she succeeded. She taught my then husband and I to play her favorite dominoes game and to make a great (strong!) vodka-tonic. She saw me as an adult, something my dad just could. We lost touch due to said dad’s wife and her incessant lies that tore our family apart. At her funeral her children demanded to know who I was and I don’t know what hurt more that or losing her all together. It was the end of matriarchs in my family. It was also the end of my family, imo. It’s not about forgiveness or anything of the sort. It’s about just being human and doing the right thing, even if it’s too late.
Fleeting but strong bonds that have carried me through darker times than these, that continue to inspire and push me to keep on keepin’ on. Truly, though? I have come to distrust the motherly tone of anyone aiming their vocal chords in my direction. Years of Mom-agers in tech startups bullying or gaslighting me (for real!) have proven to be the worst of the worst in my book. I am a feminist! I don’t have anything against actual mothers, in fact I admire them. But a Mom-ager is something differently entirely. Other women I have known have really been great friends, lifelong friends even, and I hold friendships to a very high standard. It’s not the same though. Not having that person you can tell tough things to, to show you how to “be” a woman or do “womanly” things, I have never had. From my period at age 9 to my first pubic bush in all it’s lustrous glory, kissing and sex, relationships and my own identity struggles, you name it, I have relied on other weird kids I hung out with for information and tips and advice, even the library proved more fruitful than adults growing up.
The marketing and manipulation that Mother’s Day brings is so fucked up it creeps up on me every year and I always think I’m immune to it at first. I just roll my eyes and figure it simply doesn’t apply to me and try to live my damn life. But it’s EVERYWHERE!!! Just now I received an email from a company I like (Rainbeau Curves) with the subject line, “Celebrate Mom!” UGH! I still feel mostly numb inside, like I haven’t felt anything in awhile. It’s weird, but familiar. It’s better than being overly emotional in that at least my lack of emotion doesn’t offend anyone or leave me drained and wrecked. I go through spells where I long to feel something, but then those floodgates open up and I wish it would all go away again. Even all this motherly stuff hasn’t brought on any actual emotions, just tension and frustration in a physical sort of way. Meh, I’m weird.
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So shout out to the weird kids who are still just weird kids in grown up bodies struggling to break free of the bullshit that distorted their world views and robbed them of their childhoods. Shout out to the weird kids who had to hide to survive, who struggled their entire lives to fit in or even be seen…by anyone at all! We don’t get a holiday or greeting card companies profiting off our collective weirdness. But I see you, I celebrate you, and I embrace you and alllllll of your amazing weirdness! We hold together the very fabric of society and no one seems to realize that. Fuck ’em! We don’t need them, we’ve figured it all out by now and can support one another from here on out! So I hope you do something absolutely wonderful for yourself this Sunday, I’ll do my best to as well.
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Eat Your Heart Out!

April18

Life is such a funny beast of a thing! When you think you know yourself, and I feel like I really know myself at this point, things happen or change and suddenly you’re meeting an ex downtown for tea. WHAT?! I know! SO not a Me thing to do. Shit happens, things change, you pivot or bail, whatever! Ha-ha! It’s good to surprise yourself, I guess. And, well, I guess I’m glad that I did it! So…what happened?

So, after I left my husband in 2012, I befriended a man I had met at a terrible BBW club. There was attraction, but it was more than that (always is for me).We didn’t ever actually date. We “hung out” and were “friends” but whenever things felt too serious for him, he’d bail and I wouldn’t hear from him for weeks. *Yawn* Long story short, after a year of chasing after the dumbass, I found some love elsewhere and left him in the dust. He moved away, I had moved one. End of story. Sort of. Really he has continued to text me every few months. Usually simple things like, “Thinking of you” or “I miss hanging out and having tea together.” nothing offensive. I have not responded to him with one exception in 2016 when he called my phone for the first time since he moved away. I was expecting a work call, I was at work, and picked up by mistake not recognizing the number. I was very curt with him, professional even, and ended the call quickly. It was also my birthday and I got drunk with some coworkers and on my train ride home I drunkenly text him demanding to know his intentions for calling and texting me before my phone died. Outside of that one day, I haven’t said a single thing to him.

Sometimes I would forget about him entirely. 6-9 months would go by and he would be the furthest thing from my mind. And then *TextNotificationSound* He’d pop up again. I would roll my eyes and archive the text, not wanting to block him which might inspire other means of communication. I saw in my blog’s stats that he regularly downloads pics of me from my posts, mostly old ones from right before I met him. He doesn’t even read what I write! Psshht! So he wasn’t even aware of my breakup last year or that I’d been with the same person for four years. So, not long ago he started to text me again. I thought nothing of it or him, to be honest. Mild flattery at best, mild annoyance at worst. Then he called my phone again and I didn’t pick up. Why should I? I’m not really into talking on the phone unless I have to for work things. A few days went by after that and I get a random text while in line at CVS one night, “You suck!” and it was all I could do to keep the tears at bay from my laughter!

Something about that “You suck!” text just tickled me! Talk about the long game! Ha-ha! I still didn’t reply, because why?! Fuck that. My life, my terms. Being single and living alone means I am beholden to no man (okay, my puggo and perhaps my landlord? Hahahahah!). Then a few days later a few of us were sitting together to get a project done by the end of the day and were supporting one another through the process. I get another text from him, this one full of regret and apologies, things he’s never said before. I was surprised, but firm in my non-respsonse. Until I read what he said to two of my coworkers. My bff/coworker “A” gave me the “Oh hell no, grrrrl!” look and went right back to work. Another coworker was all, “Maybe I watch too many movies, but you never know, what if he ends up being the love of your life!” and she looked so wistful and sweet that I actually fucking caved and text him back!

He was in town, but leaving in two days, and wanted to see me to apologize for how he treated me in person. I gave him hell, but agreed to meet quickly for tea near my work. I showed up hard as nails, ordered my tea and sat down. He walked in and I won’t ever lie to you here, he looked gorgeous! I kept my cool and insisted he say whatever he needed to and then I would leave. But you know that isn’t how it worked out, right? I’m not afraid of confrontation, and relished the opportunity to put this fool in his proper place, in the past! He gave non-apologies, I rejected each of them. I then called him out for being a homophobic racist and misogynist. He was shocked! He expected, I imagined, that I would be all starry eyed and sweet like I was back when. Ha-ha! Nope! While I had to explain some things to him, I pushed back and insisted he needed to get with the fucking times and read some books before claiming to not be the things I know him to be.

I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe that people can change. I have only ever given one person a second chance when it comes to romantic relationships. That didn’t go well. I don’t intend to make that mistake again. And this guy? Oh. Hell. No. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the moment or his company again, even if only for the short time at tea. Soon we were talking and catching each other up on life and family things and very naturally he asked if we could walk around the lovely little downtown area we were in. I was game, but I was on guard! We talked about all sorts of random things and then he said, “Sarah, I have been thinking a lot about moving back to the bay area to win you back.” I laughed loudly at this. “You said we were never together!” I nearly shouted before laughing a whole lot more. “Do I have a chance to win your heart back?” he inquired. “You never had it or wanted it until I moved on. You are not up to the challenge of even attempting to properly date me. You’d have to read so many books! Ha-ha! No, no, you couldn’t possibly! Ha-ha!”

We walked around and talked some more and he had asked for a hug at some point and I said no. He was confused but respected that boundary. Shortly after though, whilst laughing about something together, I grabbed him and kissed him. Curiosity got the best of me, what else can I say?! I immediately told him that it meant nothing and was not intended to imply anything at all and that I was just curious. He was in shock and happy af! Ha-ha! Then I gave him shit about his past behavior again. I did kiss him again before saying goodbye, but he understood finally that there was no chance for there to be an “us” now or ever. He’d asked if he could see me before he left town and I said no and explained that I already had plans.

The next day he text to invite me to lunch, but I’d woken up with a terrible headache and said no. He text me later to see if I was feeling better and I honestly was and my plans had been pushed back until later that evening so I text him, “Where are you buying me dinner tonight?” with a sunglasses emoji. He responded a bit later but with the perfect answer and to that I sent him a pic of me looking dramatic and glamorous (bottom-center pic below)! He replied, “Who is this model?!” *Barfs* Ugh! But I went and it was a fantastic meal, and honestly the conversation was enlightening in that I could feel/see the spell I had on him and it felt fantastic to finally not be the one pining away for someone. You’d think that would make me kinder to someone in that position, but no, I treated him as he deserved and he understood and admitted and agreed. He even took me out for gelato after dinner and we hit up this little boutique we used to venture into years ago and he bought me a pin of a pug I wanted. He walked me to my car, I wished him well and agreed that he could text the next time he was in town but that I would make no promises to respond or meet up again. At that we said goodbye and I kissed him one last time. He hasn’t text me since.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, my behavior or his. We do things that even we cannot understand why. In the end it felt amazing and powerful and exciting and ridiculous all at once. I’m glad I met up with someone I was once gaga for and confirmed that I have zero feelings for. While in line at the gelato place he said he understood that I had no feelings for him, but asked if I cared about him, even a little. “Well, I wouldn’t want you to get hit by a bus.” was my response and I saw in his eyes how disappointing that was for him to hear. I felt a little bad, but he refused to remember all of the pain he caused me and insisted that I should only remember the good times. He holds onto some fantasy version of a memory of me that never actually existed. He’s still stuck in a time that I was trying to escape from back then. He doesn’t see me as a whole, equal and completely amazing human being. He sees me as a beautiful woman, made for traditional trappings of which I have no interest in. He enjoys my sass, which is abundant, but he is not a worthy mate for me by any measure.

I had never done the running into an ex thing before. I don’t look to my past for lessons in life these days, I keep it behind me. I’m always suspicious of anyone from the past popping up with seemingly good intentions. It’s never what it was and is rarely worth the time or trouble to entertain. I don’t regret meeting up with this ex, I know now for certain that what once was can never be. I feel good about that, actually. I do not care for loose ends. There’s definitely no one else in my past that I would give the time of day to. So, this feels more like a closure that, while it wasn’t needed, it was kind of nice. And damn did I look great! His jaw dropped when I walked into the restaurant…my other “plans” jaw dropped later that night, too!

 

(the dress is from Eshakti.com and I’m in love with it! My glasses are from Coastal.com and the pearls are old but from ShaneCo.com)

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Live Longer Through Community

April17
I’ve read a few articles lately about the one thing allows people to live longer and healthier lives and I was not at all surprised, though many have been. It’s feeling connected to community. I can honestly say without hesitation that without that connectedness, without my local fat community, I wouldn’t be here. Fat community keeps me alive when even I don’t want to be. That is the truth in it’s purest form, folks. I have gone through many big life events in the last ten years and fat community was there for me at each and every turn.
Your community may not be fat, it might be queer or feminist or all three of those things at once. Your community may be nature fungi foragers, only you know what your identities and people are. How does one find their community, though? Ultimately, that is something I cannot answer for you. I can say that you have to seek it out, that it may suck at first, you may feel more lost or unconnected, but you should definitely keep trying! My first several attempts at fostering fat community locally failed, but in the end I found my peeps and some lifelong friends, too.
My fat community finding/fostering began with setting up a meet up at a local mall. I think I posted on Fatshionista, a LiveJournal group that I adored and was popular at the time. It was more of a “Hey would anyone be interested in meeting up and going shopping together?” We met up at the Cheesecake Factory and it was my first time meeting folks of size outside of work/school/life things. I was still new to calling myself fat in a positive way. It felt radical to be meeting in public as fat people, we took up space and then some and it was awesome! We ordered our food without guilt, though other needs were discussed (for medical or other reasons). We chatted and relished stories of coming out as fat, so to speak. We had about 12 people, if memory serves me, from the entire spectrum of fat (babyfat to superfat, if you will).
After we ate we decided to hit up Torrid in the mall. I had only ever been to Torrid once or twice at that time, I didn’t really have a sense of my own style as I had spent my youth hiding beneath layers of baggy clothing to conceal both my fat body and my femininity. But I was soooooo stoked to be in a fat pack of awesome people cruising the mall together. Torrid didn’t know what hit ’em! One couple bought each other sexy things to wear and even modeled for us and it was so fun and empowering and visually dazzling! I bought two heart necklaces that I still own and wear regularly (I cherish them, even if they are plastic).
Next we headed to Lane Bryant, the only other option in that particular mall. At LB I did try on clothes and had fun with some of the other folks from the meet up in the dressing rooms. Just that feeling of, “Oh hey this is cool we all get that this is hard so let’s make it fun” sort of a thing. Like tossing each other things to try and others running to get each other different sizes. I recall a classic trench coat I had wanted badly, but even their 26/28 was ill fitting in how the buttons gaped. We discussed sizing bullshit and size-ist bullshit and it was a great time. I never really heard from or saw those folks again, save one.
I tried several more times and once I opened my own cafe I started a regular one on Saturdays there. It was great to have my own space and to host, something I’d never been able to before. Accessibility being a struggle, always, it was so important to me that my own cafe be open and inviting to all, but it was also a historic building where there were no ramps. My meet ups there were intermittent in attendance, but I was there and hopeful for every one we scheduled! More often than not, no one showed, but I shrugged it off and kept at it. Luckily I had also started this blog around this time and got to meet some of my readers this way. I made great friends at that time and some I still consider tried and true, though I’ll admit that others have come and gone, for better or worse.
I first realized that I had fat community, and that I was (am) fat community at a Big Moves dance show, the first I attended. It was also my first time going strapless in public and I was accompanied by my two bffs. I had chatted with Marilyn Wann online about something (honestly can’t recall) and we were to try to meet each other after the show. The show itself was a life changer! Never before had I seen such joy embodied entirely, start to finish. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! After the show we waited outside, but Marilyn never showed. Through happenstance we asked a nice person nearby to take our photo. It just so happened to be one of the original Fat Lip Readers, former professional portrait taker, and the ever lovely and fabulous Carol Squires who supports Big Moves to this very day!
I did end up meeting Marilyn Wann at my cafe not long after. She signed my copy of her book, “Fat! So?” and even made me feel better about a haircut mishap I was feeling bad about (though the front was hella cute). Through these meet ups and Fatshionista and Marilyn, I was riding high on my fat activism and positivity at that time. It was 2011 and International No Diet Day was an epic event for me, still is. I met people at that “Flesh Mob” that I still call friends (I have written about it here).
Soon I was attending NAAFA and NoLose conferences, BBW Dance Clubs and a Bash and figuring out where I belong, if I belonged at all. The short answer is that I didn’t belong, at least not in those specific groups/conferences. So I started Fatty Affair, which was a fat positive event in San Jose, California, free to the public, that included performances, a clothing swap, a bake sale and vendor tables. It was intended to be a one-off event, but turned into two; the first in 2012, the second in 2013. I have had many people ask me about another (some downright demanding), but alas we outgrew our awesome venue and I have yet to find another suitable spot for our fabulousness.

It seems through all of the great fat things I was doing and attending, I gathered my own version of community close to my heart unwittingly. I began performing with Tigress in the annual Big Moves shows. I started to find power in my vulnerability and a strong sense of responsibility to do the very things for others that were such an inspiration to me before I was part of that world. That is what keeps me going. It’s a belonging, it’s a connectedness, but it’s also a community of misfits.
When you think about community as a basic word, we often think our neighborhood or schools, associations we may be a part of. When you think about what you truly feel connected to, when the chips are down as they say, what do you envision? Do you see your city council members or mayor? Do you see the PTA? Do you see your family and friends? What makes you feel most fulfilled and connected? For me that has been fat community, hands down.
I was recently out of work for a spell and not just down on my luck but truly heading towards dire straits. My blog’s annual hosting bill was looming and as the deadline drew closer I was afraid that I would have to lose it entirely. I didn’t want to ask for help, but didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t need to look far, my local fat community stepped up in a big way! I was so surprised and moved! It actually got me back into writing again, too! My blog saved and so many people wishing me well and sending good vibes and love, I felt connected and seen and humbled and inspired. You can’t put a price on that.
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Beth or Bust!

March26

This past weekend was full of such fun, but such struggle for me, too. After a whirlwind of a week at work office manager-ing, there was a dance night in downtown San Jose: Madonna Vs. Blondie, that a bunch of friends were meeting up for. I was so excited for it! After work I went home to rest and unwind before getting ready to dance the night away. I just kind of spaced out completely for two hours as I was fucking braindead! I did finally get myself together and changed and made it to the club before anyone else. It was more new wave music than just strictly Madonna and Blondie, but it was great music over all. When I first arrived though it was like a bad junior high dance flashback with everyone clinging to the walls and the deserted dance floor looked haunted! Ha-ha! I grabbed a cider at the bar and people watched until my friends arrived. Once they played the first Madonna song folks started to flood the dance floor. Once my friends arrived we spent the next three hours solid on the dance floor and I could barely walk the next day! So fun, though!

I literally spent Saturday just resting and recuperating from the previous night’s fun time. Everything was stiff and sore and I definitely over did it but no regrets! I had a blast and got to see my favorite people and hear awesome music all at once! Can’t beat that! I wish I had thought to take pics, but I also know that was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. I was so looking forward to that night for so long, ya know? But in the end I has to just sit at the bar until everyone was ready to leave. I felt really down for bit about it, too. But I know better and eventually snapped out of it. Aging bodies, injured bodies, require different things and can’t just keep going all night like the old days.
Sunday I had a ticket to see Beth Ditto at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, a favorite venue of mine! Only my anxiety was running mega high (for me) all day and because of this I didn’t think I would end up going. My bff Michaela text me encouraging things, even called the box office about ADA seating in an attempt to alleviate some of those anxious thoughts, too. In the end it didn’t matter, my anxiety was in charge and it was up to me to either just sit with it or push through. I did a bit of both, actually, but did manage to push through and mostly have a good time. I sort of talked myself through it as I would a loved one. “You can just get ready, you don’t have to actually leave the house. You can just look cute and take selfies, no one will be the wiser!” I told myself as I got out of the shower and started to get my eye makeup going. Then it was, “Maybe you won’t find parking and that’s okay, you tried, that’s enough, you can just go home.” as I was driving up there. Once I got there and ended up finding pretty darn great parking, I told myself, “You’re a grown up, no one is making you be here or stay, you can go home whenever you like and that is perfectly okay.” And so I went in!
Once inside I hit up the merchandise tables hoping for a 3x in a certain pink tee, but they had already sold out, as I gotten there just after the opening act started, so they had been open for over an hour already. I will get that shirt online, no worries. The merch lady was deeply sorry and insisted that Beth always has 3x in all her merch, and I know this to be true, but it’s also rare to get a not white or black t-shirt in a 3x ever, so that is why I’ll grab mine online for sure. After that I headed straight up this very long marble staircase (it’s a very old building) to the balcony area. If it’s a general admission show, and it was, anyone can sit up there. As I had partially torn my achilles tendon the week before, I needed to sit for this show, and really all shows going forward, no choice in the matter. There was also a bar up there, so I grabbed my vodka-cran and grabbed a nice aisle seat pretty close to the stage, but up above. I stayed in that spot the entire night, except when a couple wanted to get passed me to sit further down my row. I was worried a bit that if I got up for another drink I could lose my choice of seat and having the aisle meant I could stretch my poor Achilles nicely without bothering anyone. I also didn’t want to have to deal with the bathroom situation in such an old building that usually houses punk and electronica shows. Ha-ha! All in all it worked out great!
Honestly, this was my fourth concert flying solo, but my first as a single person. I had also never had anxiety that bad and pushed through for such a public outing. So while I enjoyed myself over all, it was really fucking hard and weird to be in the moment and get into the right state of mind. Luckily it was a Beth (motherfucking) Ditto show and she keeps it 100% real, always! She came out in shining silver sequins and just lit up the entire place with her effervescence! My love for and of her knows no bounds, obviously, as I did all I could to get there and see her. I bought my ticket months ago when I was out of work because I needed something to look forward to. I should have been excited, but anxiety was such a killjoy that entire day and night. I did enjoy the show, she is an incredible vocalist, and I couldn’t believe the show wasn’t sold out. She was very funny and candid, gave the band a hard time, even got some rimshots for her cornier jokes. She had an issue with something in her eye but she was so cute and funny about it and just kept talking and singing, like the pro that she is. This was a Beth Ditto show, not a Gossip show. That was apparent, as I’d seen Gossip play years ago when their album “Music for Men” came out, at this same venue. Different vibes, but honestly, her voice was better than ever! After her “last song” she came back out for the encore in a red lame` dress (with pockets!) and did her big solo single, “Fire” as well as some Gossip songs that she threw in some other sort of mashup-y things into; such fun!
I will say that going down that marble staircase was much more difficult (and honestly a bit scary) than going up, but I managed alright and took my time. Luckily I just missed the crowd when I hit the exit and saw everyone flooding in behind me. Whew! I’m super glad I went to the show, but I cannot believe I had to push myself so hard to do it! I do not think I will make an attempt to go to a show alone again unless it’s The Cure or Portishead or some other amazing and legendary concert that I have not yet seen and would be rare to catch on tour. Like last year I had to see TOOL and it was amazing!
I used to work in music, both as a promoter of new artists for an industry magazine (HITS), as well as manager of a music store for several years. I have been to hundreds of shows. I would get tickets from labels all of the time or just happen to get on “the list” or whatever. I feel like I have seen and done it all and honestly it is rarely worth the trouble anymore, not to mention the cost. My ticket for this show was $25 + whatever absurd service fees they tacked on, and I found great and free parking. I really do like the Regency Ballroom though, both for it’s size, as it’s not too big and still feels mostly intimate, but more so it’s accessible seating for me. I was comfortable and didn’t feel squished, though I know others wouldn’t feel accommodated at all and I’m certain that there must be an elevator in the building as the ADA seating is limited on the floor with more up in the balcony, too. I considered leaving early a couple of times due to the anxious feels, but I’m glad I powered through and got to see what was a really special show.
Beth Ditto is a personal hero of mine. I have read her autobiography (and even shipped it to a friend on the east coast when I was done, Hi Charlie!), have followed her career for many years (and through many of my own careers – Ha!), bought a crystal barrette from Fat Fancy (Portland, Oregon) that she once owned, followed her fashion lines and endeavors, and truly find much inspiration in how she has handled it all. To see someone close to my size (though for sure I’m bigger than she) look so confident and present is such a gift! Her vocal abilities never cease to amaze me, and believe me when I say that she is a big reason why I wanted to start singing again at all. Her realness, her whatever we’re fucking doing this thing – ness, is something missing from our western, over-curated experiences. I did see phones and lots of videos and selfies being taken, but most folks were really there in the moment, too. That is a rare thing these days. Even at a punk show last year I was distracted and irritated with phones surrounding my eye-line to the stage that I really struggled to even see let alone pay attention or enjoy the show. I hope the rest of her tour is just as amazing! I wish her the very best, as she has given me so much over the years!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram I’ve finally started to actually use: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

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