NotBlueAtAll

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

When “The Holidays” are Triggering…or worse!

November17

(Image of small illustrated holiday tree with the following written above it:
Reminder: we don’t have to continue holiday traditions that leave us broke, overwhelmed, and tired.)

*Aprox. 11 minute read

I came across this image and text whilst scrolling my FB feed and I instantly clicked and shared it to my own timeline, but then it wouldn’t leave my mind immediately and I realized just how much I’m processing and working through so much of my own stuff around this time of the year. My own current circumstances may differ than many/most, but I hope to alleviate some of the negative things we all think about and carry with us through this complicated season. This isn’t about religion at all, for me or for this post, but more about family dynamics, consumerism, societal obligations, and general toxic behaviors. I hope you will comment below with your own thoughts and feels and advice if you have them to share. These thoughts and feels are my own, no matter how unpopular. Ha!

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The media and marketers want us to buy into the idea that “The Holidays” are about family, togetherness, giving, kindness, celebration, gratitude, helping those in need, etc. What that really looks and feels like in our actual lives is often very different. And even if it is still about those things, it doesn’t mean that’s what we’re actually feeling while in the midst of it all. It’s more often than not the most stressful, saddest, toughest, coldest, rudest, and most triggering time of year. I personally feel that the brunt of this hustle and bustle and work and emotional labor (not to mention the shopping, gift wrapping, housekeeping, cooking and such for these gatherings) falls on women almost exclusively, but that isn’t what this post is about. This is about the toll these things take on us. The impact they have on our quality of life and most of all the trauma we endure and ultimately have to carry as a result of it all.

Yes, I said Trauma. It’s a heavy word, but necessary. We are exposed to people, places, and things at this time of year that we just aren’t the rest of the year. There’s the travel aspect if that’s something you must go through to visit with family. As a fat bodied individual, you are subject to an entirely different set of rules if traveling by aircraft on a commercial airline. You may be forced to buy two seats, you may be forced off of a flight you’ve already boarded, you may be abused or assaulted by fellow travelers and even airline personnel. This is something we accept as part of the privilege of air travel, but it is traumatic. You can plan for everything, but the world still chooses (IT IS A CHOICE!!!) to oppress fat people throughout the world. It might be the only time of year you travel because of this. You might be preparing for your travels now and considering if it’s truly worth it or not. This doesn’t even bring the financial impact of air travel into this equation, but I’ll get to that shortly. You do this to be with Family! Your Loved ones! They would do it for you…right?!

Family traditions! Oh, the warm and fuzzy wholesomeness of being Home with Family for The Holidays! Right?! Isn’t that what this is all about? Every family has their own traditions and rituals or ceremonies. My family would go to Midnight mass after spending Christmas Eve at one of my grandparents’ home for a big dinner. The next morning we’d open our gifts at home but then rush over to our other grandparents’ house for the opening of more presents, followed by a full day and evening of family revelry. We’d usually get home late, exhausted (I often had to be carried to the car or into the house after passing out), but full of that family love that everyone hopes to have in their lives forever. I just didn’t realize I would only have it for 13 years. Ha-ha!

That’s not always so close to reality, that wholesome image. Often, families at this time of year consist of a variety of personalities, values, and beliefs. Sometimes those beliefs are outdated and downright damaging. But we’re expected to remain silent (especially women!) and “just try to enjoy the holiday!” So what exactly are we getting together to celebrate here? If we have to just shut up and sit down for this shit, we become part of our own oppression. Wait! Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating togetherness?!

Okay, okay…Family! Maybe your extended family isn’t toxic. Awesome! You sit around the dinner table passing all those delicious homemade dishes you’ve been looking forward to. Grandma’s pie and Auntie’s casserole, but the minute you take a helping for yourself all eyes are on your plate! If it’s only that you’re lucky. Often our worst food and body policing come from those who claim they love us most, Family. If it’s not monitoring your portions or actual food choices, it’s comments on your body, unsolicited diet advice, mentions of abusive ex-boyfriends (okay, that one’s personal), and more. I don’t care what they say, they are not concerned about your health at all! If they were they wouldn’t make you feel like absolute shit for simply inhabiting a fat body! It isn’t your fault! You have done nothing wrong!

The foodstuff doesn’t seem to end, really. If it’s not one holiday feast it’s another, or a potluck at work, it’s always something! And there is always some miserable ninny who will ooh and aah at all those delightful and delicious delectables, only to loudly shame and blame anyone actually eating the fucking food! I hate this person, and I don’t care who they are! This person hates themselves, hard! This person is mad at you for not feeling as bad as they do. This person will steal joy from a toddler! Seriously! Unforgivable! There must be some requirement for every company ever to hire this person. UGH!!! Anyway, fuck them, enjoy and nourish yourself!

The financial impact of this season is perhaps toughest of all. How many of us have gone into debt all in the name of giving? Or had to go without necessities yourself so that you could give to those you love? I get it. It’s hard to make those choices. And I don’t know what it’s like to have the added pressure of having kids who expect things this time of year. I grew up poor, but my grandparents always made sure we didn’t go without too much. Though being an 80’s kid (born in ’77, after all), it was the height of the toy craze. I’m kind of glad about this part in a way, I mean even now I never really want or expect the newest/coolest/hottest/top of the line anything! Ha!

For me, one of the worst parts of this time of year is the societal obligations and phoniness. People you know who outright hate you will somehow make you feel as though you should be buying them a special gift just for knowing they exist. Then there are the competitive gifters! You know the type. You think you got them a nice, thoughtful gift and then they get you something ridiculous like fucking plane tickets or some nonsense (I realize how that sounds, I’m a very untrusting human, because that very thing happened to me). There’s just so damned much you’re “supposed to do” because of what time of year it is and that just stinks, in my opinion! Even if you aren’t religious, there’s this whole American way of consumerism that drives folks out in hordes, and often against each other, all in the name of bargains. It’s disgusting. (I worked retail for ten years.)

Look, it isn’t all terrible. I love the smell of the crisp, late-autumn air! Few things in this world exhilarate me like that or fresh and new rains (it’s so rare in California, I cherish every drop!). The scent of douglas firs and pine and veggies roasting in a hot oven. I love giving gifts most of all and take it very seriously! But the pressures of the holidays are just too fucking much, dude! Gift giving is my love language and let me tell you, I have been hurt and burned far too many times. Now I hold back, I can’t just give because I want to anymore. Not just because I’m broke as fuck, but because often folks don’t know how to handle a thoughtful gift, given directly from the heart. It can be too intense for some.

I’m voluntarily estranged from my family as I write this. I’m also divorced, single (no romantic partner to speak of, not that I’m prioritizing that at all right now, obv.), and unemployed, living alone for the first time in my life.  I don’t know how to feel this year. Mostly just terrified for my survival, but aside from that, how does one celebrate when all of the trappings of the season do not apply? How can I not let all the past traumas of my life drag me down in my darkest hour as these dates approach? I am fortunate to have an incredible friend group who feels more like family (most of the time) than my own ever has. But they each have their own families to celebrate with. I’m not “Oh woe is me!” over here, I am simply looking at patterns and behaviors and society more critically these days.

I used to love Christmas! I would wear Santa hats and eat a candy cane every day with glee! In my town, we have a Candy Cane Lane where all the houses in the neighborhood decorate and the fire department gives out candy canes to the kids, and families and couples stroll along the sidewalks in the evenings. It’s really lovely and special (and you probs have one in your town, too), and I miss all of those feelings that used to go along with all of that. I miss my grandma and my aunt Jo and I can’t ever think about this time of year without them, their warm and inviting homes and arms, their cooking and hilarious banter. This year especially! I have never felt more alone in the world in my entire life! Not lonely, mind you. I just miss what family meant back when ya know? I miss the matriarchs of my family in a deep and cutting way I can’t quite put into words.

This time of year also brings up a lot of memories of my adolescence, like my first love. We met just 1 week before Christmas. I’d sneak out at night and walk around my neighborhood with them or sneak them in my window and just kiss and hold each other for hours. I don’t know how I never got caught! Ha-ha! It felt so romantic though, to be freezing cold out, but so full of warmth from a connection between two people. It didn’t last long, but it is still fresh in my mind and I just haven’t ever had to think about this time of year as a single, solo, independent human. It feels complicated! Ha! I’m glad to have my own space and safe place to live. I just miss having someone to stay in and keep warm with.

Facing December without a job is so tough! Most companies won’t start hiring until mid-January when the new budgets come out. So I have to just stick it out and hope for the best. I have been applying to allllll the jobs and have already had a bunch of interviews, but these things take time. Patience I have, but money I do not. I’m actually far worse off financially than ever before in my life, and I know I have published those exact words the last time I would out of work. I can assure you that this time it is far worse. C’est la vie!

I share all of my absurdities because I want you to know that it’s okay to question what has “always been”. It’s okay to not want to do things that you didn’t or don’t get to have a say in. It’s perfectly awesome to start or create your own new traditions and rituals, with whomever you choose! Seriously, what other point to adulthood is there?!  You get to decide what you will and won’t stand for in your life and in your celebrations. There will always be hard times, complicated feels and so much to navigate through this time of year. You can choose to opt out or to opt-in, in whatever way feels right for you!

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If you do not have a support system of your own for the coming festivities, I offer my unbiased and empathetic ears/eyes. Send me an email, take a load off your mind or chest or whatever, I get it and I’m here for ya! notblueatall@notblueatall.com I’m also on some other apps and things if you need real-time support. I don’t yet know what my plans are for celebrating if I even feel like it at the time. But I’m always glad to be able to provide some emotional support for someone who truly needs it.

What gets you through a difficult holiday season? How do you prioritize your own self-care? What helps you stay away from self-destructive behaviors when it’s so easy to fall into those traps? What is your favorite part of this time of year? Least favorite? How do you stay true to your beliefs when surrounded by others toxic behaviors? Do you have a new tradition or ritual you started? Do you have a fave handmade item or recipe you’re proud of? I wanna hear it all!

Thank you so much for your continued love and support! I have been truly touched by the kindness and generosity of the readers of this blog. My fat community has been such a bright light in a dark time. You have my undying gratitude and affection!

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

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TMI Tuesday!!!

June25

Today’s post is a review of a personal massager/sex toy. If you know me or would rather not know about my preferences or thoughts on this topic, please come back tomorrow for more of my usual fat talk and thoughts. Thanks! 😉

The following review has in no way shape or form been sponsored by anyone, nor have I been compensated in anyway. This is my own honest review of a personal purchase. 

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Oh dear readers! You always know what I need. Often it’s love and support, advice or solidarity, but when it came down to sexy stuff? You did real GOOD!!! I’d heard from many of you publicly and privately (you can always hit me up at notblueatall@notblueatall.com) that the Hitachi Magic Wand is nothing short of amazeballs. But you also frightened me with tales of it’s strength and intensity “so powerful it can give you an orgasm through a snowsuit….from across the street!” Yikes! But I’m here to share my thoughts on this hot topic! Ha-ha!

So, okay, y’all know I’m broke as fuck, but I did this user study thing at eBay and got a $50 visa gift card. I thought it was the perfect time to give the Hitachi Magic Wand a shot! And so…I did! I ordered it from Amazon and found one with two attachments for a great price. When it arrived I was a bit nervous about trying it. At first I just plugged it in and held it in my hand and then thought, “Hell no!” It was big and powerful and noisy! I put it away and didn’t touch it for a week.

Then I ran out of batteries for my go-to toy and thought, “Fuck it! Let’s do this thang!” and gave the Hitachi a go. WOW! It was too powerful for me that first time. It made me cum so fast I barely noticed. Which, let’s face it, kind of sucked. I just didn’t know what to make of it. Again, I left it alone for awhile. A few days later I thought to myself, “This is supposed to be the end all be all and I need to figure this shit out!” So I put on my favorite porn (“Libidinous Games” if you’re curious…it’s pretty tame and hilariously dubbed, but feel free to share your faves too) and took my time.

Holy Shitballs, Batman! I came so hard I thought I’d have a heart attack or pass out or something! This thing has two settings: “Low” (we’ll call it the clit pounder) and “High” (aka: are you insane?!?!). I can only handle the “Low” setting thus far. I’ve toyed with the “High” but only for like a second because I’d actually like to have a pussy left intact when I’m done masturbating! Ha-ha!

I have used the attachments and I have to say that they aren’t really that great. They make the whole thing noisier (no thank you) and are a pain to remove. I personally enjoyed the curved g-spot one a lot, but the straight one was of no interest to me (tried it, meh). What works best for me is using the curved attachment thingy to, um, penetrate myself vigorously (Ha-ha) and then remove it and focus on clit stimulation. Again, removal is no fun. I suppose you could leave it on but it will muffle the vibrations while simultaneously making the thing super loud. I don’t get it. I know there are other attachments, but until I have a disposable income (what is that again? Ha-ha!) I won’t have a chance to try ’em (let me know what you think of ones you’ve tried in comments, please).

The bottom line for me is that this thing is awesome! It plugs in so no more batteries!!! This has to be the best part. No waning battery life, no expense or trips to the store. It keeps on truckin’! I have sort of gotten used to the intensity and do try to take my time with it so as not to hurt myself or whatever. AH! The long handle is fantastic, too! That’s a great thing for a short armed, big bellied fatty like me! Long cord, long handle, never ending vibes: happy ‘bating! Ha-ha!

I was always too scared to spend the money on this sexy legend, but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t hesitate now. And I know many people who use it as a genuine massager for those hard to get knots. Especially in your neck/back/shoulders. All in all this is a great toy and a great buy. Do you have one of these babies? Tell me what you think, what works for you, tips, tricks, etc! 🙂

Glam When You Can

January5

Growing up poor the word glamorous didn’t even enter my life until high school. I wasn’t yet the word nerd I am now (I know I don’t exactly use my love of words here, wev). Later when the fantastic British comedy Absolutely Fabulous came into my life, I was suddenly obsessed! I bought a metallic silver mini backpack that I wore as a purse for ages! I would wear the weirdest jewelry and shoes! I felt at the time that I was somehow emulating those glamorous women when in fact I was laying the foundations of my own quirky style! I sourced much of my stuffs from Ross (Dress For Less) and the Contempo Casuals Outlet that I worked at.

I also see a hint of what I have found myself doing now which is adding a touch of glam to every day. No matter what I’m wearing or what I am doing I try to add just a little something to make me feel good! I don’t know, I suppose it’s useless or silly to some, but they underestimate the value of silly! Woo! I’m sure some of you have noticed my increasing use of fancy-fucky headbands, this was the reintroduction of glam for me most recently. My collection has grown! Ha-ha! But then rather than a typical blag wrist-let, I went with the silver bangle style. Glam! Instead of my usual “dress docs” (Doc Marten’s I wear to dress up things) I wore my black patent leather shoes with the cutie side bow on NYE! There is something about that little touch of glamor that make me smile.

One thing I adore and use all of the time are these two tote bags I got for free on Black Friday from Avenue (click the pic for the link). I have the red and purple and use them for sooooo much! Mostly groceries as of late, but the reactions I get from baggers and checkers is always fun. But they are great for any damned thing! They are sturdy with nice long straps so I can throw ’em over a shoulder. But they are cheap enough, and because they were

Plus Size Metallic Tote image

The other thing I’ve been enjoying is NYC Cosmetics Liquid Lipshine (click the pic for the link). My friend Jeanette talked me into buying the Midtown Mulberry and I use it almost every day now! It smells like vanilla cupcakes or that raw sugar lotion from bath and body works. It’s just yummy and the color is perfect for me! Even if I’m not wearing any other make up I will slap some of this gloss on and feel FABULOUS!!!

What bit of glam do you add to your daily routine? Do you rock a hair bird or giant flower barrette? I’ve been wanting to try the new nail stamping things, but haven’t truly committed to it yet. I know I have readers who love that stuff. Please recommend a good, beginner and affordable kit or something I could put together myself, perhaps. What other glam things should I check out? Lay it on me!

 

My NYE Was Fab!

January2

I had the best NYE ever!  Not even exaggerating. It was so much fun! Jeanette and I went to a local BBW club and drank ourselves silly! Okay, I think the silly would have happened anyway, but since I’m fully embracing and enjoying the silly, I’m all about it! But they did have drink specials if you bought a pitcher of a cocktail…we ended up with three pitchers! And can I just say how fucking babin’ we looked? Mean, we looked fantastic! It felt like a prom to the two of us, minus the dudes in suits and corsages.

They had this cool red carpet as you walk in and they interviewed people as they arrived. It was very classy! As we walked up and Tigress began to ask us what our resolutions and wishes were for the new year, Jeanette came up with a gem right on the spot, “We don’t Resolute, We Revoloosh!” Which we then quoted throughout the evening. And we had a great spot to sit where we could watch everyone coming in as well as on the dance floor. People would just come up and chat with us, it was lovely!

I’d gotten my dress and petticoat from ChicStar.com and had used a fabulous coupon code and got free shipping. I got the size 28, but it was quite big in the bust, not a good thing for dancing. So I got it tailored and now it fits perfectly! I really should utilize that as an option in the future. I’m wearing my black, winter length teggings. And my Fat necklace that I got on etsy ages ago.

Jeanette got the Dahlia Dress from Swak Designs. Her shoes were gorgeous silver flats from Blowfish. Her shrug or “sleeves” was from LucieLu.com. And I believe her necklace was from Torrid (corrected). The fabric of that dress is so gorgeous, it’s mimics a Dupiani silk, though it is not. I just loved it!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend no matter what you did. 2012 is already fabulous in my book, I just know it will be a year of fun and adventure! I start my new job tomorrow and I’m still working on putting the Fatty Affair together! I am so fucking excited for that! I hope to see some of you there! I just want 2012 to be about positive things and meeting people and just rockin’ the shit out of this thing! Ha-ha! Take care of you! *Hugs* <3

I Bought A Bike!

December16

I found it on ye olde Craigslist and just couldn’t pass it up! It’s a SCHWINN “Jaguar” Ladies!!! I love it and got it for a steal and it’s a solid, steel frame thing. The guy repairs bikes all of the time and sells them, even offered additional services if I needed. Super cool!

PhotobucketI have wanted a bike for about four years, but always talked myself out of it. First, the money was always tight, still it but like I said the price was right as well as the timing. Next was the visibility of it, I mean, you’re like just out there! And the thing I still haven’t gotten over and perhaps won’t for some time: Fear of injury! I am still dealing with pain and stiffness in my knees. One is more stiff/sore while the other is a pulled hamstring. Neither seem to heal and I personally think that living upstairs only exacerbates them daily. I remember just a couple of months ago running around with my Puggyman in the morning or being able to sprint out to the front lawn for our walk. Ugh!

But you know what? All of that still isn’t enough to keep me from getting a bike! Because I have stopped giving a damn what other people think, I want to do what makes me happy and it has been twenty…Yes, you read that right…TWENTY YEARS since I’d been on a bike! And I fully intend to Glam-up my bike, too! I want to paint it to match this helmet…which I must have:

Nutcase Swirl Bike Helmet
When I showed it to my husband he said it looked like a jawbreaker…so now I have to have it! It’s just so fun and seriously? It would totes go with any damned thing I could possibly wear! And if I love the helmet I will want to wear it and use it and the bike itself. The bike even fits in the backseat of my car with some minor finagling. I can’t believe it though…I HAVE A BIKE!!!
I was mega nervous when the guy brought the bike out and said I should take it for a spin. Twenty years?! *DeepBreath* I did it and asked him to lower the seat, then again, then raise the handlebars…he did this all with no question or issue what so ever. Really nice dude. And then it felt better. Not quite right, I mean how could it on the first go, but it fit/was comfy enough that I felt confident buying it on the spot. Well, I asked that he help me get it in my car, which again he did without hesitation. Then he showed me how to take off the front tire and quick-release brakes. So cool! The step-through frame makes all of the difference, especially with my knee.
I will start out in the parking lot of my apartment building and hopefully soon get the courage to venture out into our neighborhood. I’m to going to pressure myself. I recall playing tennis with my husband years ago and getting so upset with myself for not being as good as when I was on the Jr. USTA. Which is silly, I realize that now. Your brain remembers your body being able to do things, but your body without practice easily forgets. I will be patient and just try to enjoy the ride.
This is such a dream come true! I can’t truly explain it just yet. I don’t want to use the word liberating. I just…I dunno! Ha-ha! I’m giddy, that much is certain! I practically lived on my bike as a kid. I rode all over town and even to neighboring ones. It was my faithful steed no matter how I felt or where I wanted to go. I never named a bike before, but this one feels so special and the feelings I’m having about it, too.
Have you been holding yourself back from something for years? Why? What’s holding you back? Let’s talk about it!
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