NotBlueAtAll

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

Walkin’ in the Sunshine…Whooooah!

April12

One of the things that I have struggled with in the past has been taking regular walks with my puggo. In his youth, he’s now 9, he would get 4-7 walks a day and went to work with my ex-husband everyday. In my last two dwellings there was a big yard and another dog for him to run around and play with. In my new place, while I do have a tiny yard, I knew this would be a big hurdle for me to get over. He does just fine on his own during the day, sleeping being his main hobby, but I worried about the walks. I am happy to report that this has been mostly a non-issue for me. I love my apartment and my neighborhood is pretty chill. There are a lot of dogs, but most (or their owners) are not friendly so we keep to ourselves.

My neighborhood is mostly medical offices/buildings, which sounds boring, but we enjoy the landscaping they each have. Now that the weather has been warming up and the sun coming out more often, it seems everything is in bloom! Don’t worry, I started on my Flonase Sensimist in early February! Ha-ha! It’s gorgeous though! One problem, I’m allergic to sunscreen and burn in mere minutes. What’s a Morticia-life gal like me to do? Well, timing is everything, but I have a UV Parasol just in case, too. I prefer to take our main walk around 6pm and this has proven to be juuuuust right!

I talk a lot about my amazing group of friends and it’s no lie. They lift me up, they keep me grounded, they show me the light of my own shine sometimes when the grossness of the world dulls my ever perspective. They also give me one helluva hard time when it’s been “too long” since I’ve posted selfies or outfit photos. Ha-ha! I appreciate their love so much, y’all, I have no words to even describe it! The photos thing? Well, I’ve been workin’ on it. I no longer have my very own in-house cheerleader and personal photographer (Ash-Cat! *Hugs*) but I do have great lighting in my bathroom and the best camera on my phone ever (Pixel 3 for the win!).

Having the walk to give my brain a break after work but before I settle in for the night has been wonderful. And the changing season’s light has been very nice for my selfies. I do try to get good pics of my sweet lil’ pugtato, but he’s just not a fan of the cam, nothing I can do about that. Ha-ha! So here I present to you some pics from walks and selfies in my bathroom, because because because. Ha!

3-10-19 This was a post-Drunch selfie after I had finally found my beloved Madonna shirt I thought I had lost a few years ago. I was sober when I got home but then hit up that lovely Trader Joe’s prosecco I love so much to keep the party going! Ha-ha! (My BFF Michaela got a hilarious video that day of me dancing/lip synching “Little Red Corvette” as a result!)

3-17-19 St. Patrick’s Day I had a brunch date with a new person. It went well. We had lovely BBQ food.

This green dress is my newest from Eshakti and I love it so! I get custom sizing because you can also style it yourself. I added the puffed sleeves. 

Wish I’d gotten a full-length shot of this dress, it’s from H&M and the only thing that fit out of an order of 6 items. I get compliments on it a lot. I enjoy it’s floral pattern with fall colors (my jam!) and the midi length with not too high slits on the sides. It creates a neat-o swish when I walk.

Dorking it up, but what else is new?!

I wear these Doc Marten’s nearly every day at this point. They go with everything, are comfortable af, and are just my signature style thing!

Majestic pugtato, doing his darnedest to not look at the camera, ever! He was nice enough to climb up on this rock for after all. “Isn’t that enough, Mama?” *PuggySigh*

I have a thing for trees. In all seasons, really. 

I wish I’d gotten better shots because the colors are just glorious, but he wasn’t having any part of it. Just kept sniffin’!

This was my bombshell dress from Eshakti last year. I still love and wear it so much. It classes up any occasion and fuck yeah I’ll wear it with Doc Marten’s!

I so rarely think to take a side shot! I’m glad that I did. Double bellies to the front! 

The sun actually felt good to me that day. I can’t explain it, but I’m sure it is a normal feeling for most folks. I just rarely get the chance to actually enjoy it.

This is my favorite! Actual proof that I don’t burst into flames when in direct sunlight! Oh yeah! (Duffman voice! Ha-ha!)

Had to go to the dentist two weeks ago, this painting was in their restroom, when a fruit gusher (my first one ever) took out a crown. That one tooth will end up costing me $4600 out of pocket and that’s after my insurance pays their part. UGH!

This magnolia not two weeks ago was mostly bare branches with those big white and magenta blossoms falling from it everywhere. Now it is so lush with fresh leaves I couldn’t look away!

I never wear this top. It’s from Avenue, 3+ years ago. I always get compliments, but it’s not a favorite. The necklace, however, is a prized possession. It’s a sterling silver peace sign my father had designed/made for me when I was 12 years old. I’ll always be a hippie at heart…even if my heart is black now. 

I just love the fuck out of this meme. It’s 100% true, for me, too! I’ve had another date since that St. Pat’s one, and it also went well…and we’re meeting up for drinks tonight!!! In all honesty, though, cis-het-men are just phoning it in on the daily and I don’t have time for that bullshit. 

I hope you have enjoyed my ridiculousness. I know a couple of my BFFs will be texting me the moment they read this. Ha-ha! I love it! I love you! Thank you so much for reading my blog-a-ma-thing. I always mean to write here, to write more, to write at all, but my ideas get too big and I can’t get the words together. I’m still here, fatting it up, just doing my thing. I would love to hear from you about your life and interests or what you’d like to see here. Is there a topic you’d like me to dive into? Would you like to write a guest post? Share a Tank Top Tuesday pic? Haven’t done those in ages, but I miss it so! Wishing you all the very best in all that you do.

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 (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 don’t post much, I have been trying to: 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

Going Back to Cali…I Don’t Think So!

April10

 

On March 3, 2019 I drove to SFO to pick up my BFF Michaela. You might know them from our awesome Fat As Fuck Podcast, or a bunch of other amazing things they’ve done (aka Dr. BadAss!). I was excited to see them and nervous about being a host to an out of town guest for a whole week for the first time. I had baked a cake in preparation, but ran out of time and didn’t frost it. Oh well. I put on what is now my new favorite outfit (and possible soulmate-look) I cleaned out the backseat of my car in anticipation of luggage needs and hit the highway headed north! I arrived in time to beat the line at the airport Starbucks (text her for their order) and waited patiently for their gloriousness to arrive.

I had a vague plan for each day of their visit with plenty of room to just chill out or shoot the shit or random distractions. We headed straight to Drunch with my BFF “P” from the airport and even had to push the reservation back a bit. Good food and plentiful mimosas were enjoyed by all! Then we got back to my place and I frosted the hell outta that cake! Ha-ha! I am a nervous host, but had read some articles about preparing one’s home for guests and how to make them feel more welcome.

The next day we hit up 2 different Ross (Dress for Less) and 1 Home Goods store and lemme tell you all right here and now: Michaela has hella good Ross luck! I found items I had been longing for and at incredible prices! We had yummy Thai food for lunch and laughed a ton! The next day, unfortunately, I was feeling like hot-soggy-garbage and had to pretty much stay in bed. We had made plans to visit their college friend and hit up the Alameda Pinball Museum together. Instead they came down to pick up Michaela and brought me a lovely and very unexpected bouquet of flowers. They spent the day together lunching and caught a movie while I rested and tried to feel human again. Win-win!

The next day they were feeling a lil’ crummy, so we took it easy and hit up Daiso that afternoon after enjoying a delightful Japanese BBQ place nearby. Daiso is a Japanese housewares store, only everything is $1.50 (unless otherwise marked). I friggin’ love Daiso! My BFF “Q” and I used to talk about starting a Vlog called, “Daiso Life” because we love it so much. I do not have any pics of our loot from that shopping trip, but just know that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and found lots of fun home-y items. Ha-ha!

I had gotten us tickets to an experience thing in San Francisco as a surprise! I lucked out with a Groupon, too, or it would have been quite spendy! It was a 2-part thing in a venue called One Dome. One part was called Hidden Garden and was an augmented reality, interactive experience. You wear these VR-like things on your face, only it’s different and you can “interact” with and “unlock” things as you progress. It’s not really a game, but had that vibe. It was created by many digital artists and you could even unlock info about them as you went along. Since this was all in the headset thing I don’t have any pics to share except the one with our dorky visors, but don’t fret, the other part of this was pic-tastic!

The second part of this “experience” was called LMNL and was basically just 14 rooms with different stuff happening in each. Fun times! We took turns using my Pixel 3’s camera (because it rocks!) and gave each other direction in how to pose or evoke, if you will. We had a friggin’ blast! Their outfit was perfection for these purposes as you can plainly see! Ha-ha! I loved the striped room best I think, but we made use of most of the rooms. It was expected that you take pics and selfies, much like the Color Factory or Ice Cream Museum you may have seen pics of on Instagram.

That Friday we had Drunch again but with “The Boys”, meaning both “P” and “J” (the usual Drunch crew, minus Tom) and had another grand ole time of ourselves! Michaela ordered the Chilaquiles and I think we were all envious!  After we went to Peet’s for some much needed caffeination and I snapped a pic of me and P (a rare one without my glasses!). Once sobered up (whew!) we headed to what I thought would be a fantastic photo op spot in Santa Clara where they have these huge spectacles made of recycled glass outside the museum. Well, it was fun anyway. Ha!

Later that evening we met up with a mutual friend and fatty dancer for pizza in Mountain View. I snapped the pic above of Michaela in the red jacket, so hot! Yet time flew by and the next thing we knew it was time to pack up and to head back to SFO again. It was hard to believe that we spent an entire week together, just fattin’ it up and doing our thing, but we did. And for that I am truly grateful! And this lil’ guy had a blast getting all kinds of love and attention from Mychii, his new BFF!

I cannot express in words the feeling of knowing, loving, and sharing intimate space and experiences with someone who is also a radical fat activist and bad ass. I’ve known Michaela for over ten years, first on Live Journal, later on all the things. They were my first guest on my own podcast, years ago, they popped my Skype cherry, were the first to call me a Bad ass ever, and now we have a podcast together! Life is nuts, but it is the people in it that make it so much better and brighter! (I love you, Babes. Five-Ever & Vadgie-D, Biiiiiiitch!)

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 (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 don’t post much, I have been trying to: 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

Dream Coats Are Real!

November15

Dearest Weirdos,

I have dreamt, for years, of finding the perfect pastel-candy-colored faux fur coat. Last week I randomly clicked on a Target ad, of all things, curious about jacket offerings (it’s hella cold in my office, even though I’m in California). Never would I have imagined finding what could possibly be THE COAT!!! And the price is affordable, imo ($42). I once did a ridiculously lengthy blog post about it (https://bit.ly/2Fc8HVZ) because I was obsessed with finding one, but they were never in my size or less than $300. Treated myself to a discounted lippy, too! (Link to the coat!)

Let me tell you lovelies…I just received this magical mint mirage and IT FITS LIKE A DREAM! Even over my 62″ hips! This is the ultimate fantasy coat for me (I’m easy! LOL!). It’s so warm, too! But I’m in California and have to contend with smoke more than coldness these days. Get this coat now! It’s soft af!!!! I’m in love! I cannot wait to wear it literally everywhere!
I just so happened to be wearing the exact same color today (my all-time favorite color ever!) to work! Ha-ha! Meant to be!!! Dream Coats Are Real! It’s satin lined, which is nice and I cannot get over how squishably soft it is. If anyone cares the top is from Torrid a couple years ago, the skirt is stretch velvet, also old Torrid, the shoes are from amazon (here) but it’s my first time wearing them.
What is your DREAM fashion item? What have you always wanted but never seem to be able to find? Or was there a beloved item you long to replace? Tell me all about it! I know I’ve always longed for the perfect pair of tall engineer boots, chunky-ass soles, big honkin’ buckle, but they never fit my luscious 22″ calves! *whimper*

Alone, Not Lonely

August15

I had not spent much time alone, like completely and with intention, until I was almost forty. Even at that point in my life, I can’t say it was with intention, at least at first. Now I seek it out with all of the intention in my very soul. It is a special sort of solace I didn’t truly think existed. I think it is a lost art form in some ways. I had read so many books on Buddhism, zen, feng shui, meditation, mindfulness, being present, and blah blah blah. I spent a good portion of my life seeking outside of myself what was always right there within me.

Image result for alone not lonely

Okay, that may sound very corny and all, but it’s also very true. I grew up with two siblings that I shared a room with. Even in the few years that I was an only child, my mother would often instruct me to go outside to play. Sure, as a child, I loved solo imagination time. I created epic dramas with my Barbies and stuffed animals. I imagined myself a Cinderella type of character and would build castles in the air about the day I would be saved. I concocted secret witches brews in my backyard with mud and leaves and bottle brush blossoms. All before the age of six. Ha-ha! Once I had a baby brother, though, everything changed. I was obsessed with him and he was (is) the sweetest lil’ bro a gal like me could have. (We have a younger sister, but we’ve never been as close.)
I spent so much of my childhood seeking joy and company outside of my house upon the instruction of my mother. When I was home I was care taking and tending to my two siblings (my mother being physically present but mentally incapable of managing). As I got older I spent even more time out of the house and with friends. I never questioned or thought about it or an alternative, it was just life.  Later it was boyfriends and housemates until it was just my husband and me.
When I left my marriage I stayed very close to my husband, in proximity as well as emotionally. We were still best friends. And he lived in the same apartment building as my actual bffs. My new roommate and I got to know each other over time and eventually became close. I was new to dating and had a new career path and everything seemed so new and exciting. Yet I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted in life, let alone where I felt I fit in this world.
At the time I had a very close bff with whom I would text every day and hang out at least once a week. They insisted time and again that I needed to be okay with my own company, that I should somehow force myself to be good with just me. That made no sense to me then, and really forcing anything is rarely a good choice. I struggled from time to time when plans canceled or a rough patch would pop up and I needed support. I would muddle through and not really give much thought outside of the issue at hand.
When I moved back to my home town and all of it’s awful triggers, and far from pretty much everyone I know and love, I was also out of work and still recovering from a spine injury. Isolation hit me like a ton of bricks. If I left the house I would get triggered and have a panic attack. If I stayed home I would feel stir crazy and start to climb the walls or consider self harm. It was maddening in a very real fucking way! PTSD is a terrible thing to live with, and I had gone so long without any symptoms that being faced with so much all at once lead to a complete mental breakdown.
I was applying to jobs everyday, interviewing constantly, and losing my fucking mind at the same time. I ended up being out of work for one year and one month to the day. Once I had a steady schedule, a job I excelled at, and a team that supported me, I felt more myself than ever before! I had been out of work for long stretches before, but never on my own. I had a boyfriend at the time who seemed supportive but it was only words, I would later find out. And while I have always had a great support system in my friends and chosen family, when everyone else is struggling as well, it just doesn’t seem right to ask of them too.
Image result for on my own
I realized during this vast stretch of time on my own that it was the first time in my life that I’d truly and deeply had been alone. I was forced to process and deal with things that I’d never confronted before. I had no roommate, except for my puggo, and no one within 20 miles for comfort or whining or whatever else I felt I needed at the time. It was also the beginning of the end of a 4-year and completely sexless relationship (yeah, that…it never happened, not even once). Unwilling to let go of that very last tether, I simply held on until I could right myself and find my footing in the world again.
Then I finally couldn’t continue to settle for a smaller and less satisfying life than I had set out for myself when I left my husband. I broke up with said boyfriend. It took me a month of processing and mourning the relationship before I did what I knew I needed to. And then they talked me into giving them a second chance, something I hadn’t done before. Let’s just say I won’t be doing it again, either. Ha! So then that was it. I was truly and completely alone…only stoked about it!
For the first time in my adult life I had no paramours or beau, no crushes and no prospects. For the first time I wasn’t chasing or being chased and it felt surprisingly great! I’d been dating (or married) non-stop since I was 12 years old (technically 11, but only by a week). I decided to just fucking chill, ya know? And I relished in it! I read more, I hung out with coworkers more, I just felt more relaxed within myself and more my true self than ever.
When I was wrongly fired from that job (long story), I thought I’d be fine. It didn’t seem as scary as before and yet things felt way worse sooner than I could have imagined. Luckily my friends, former coworkers, and fat community held me up and encouraged me a lot. I was only out of work for three months this time and yet it felt even more desperate than the year previous. I had no safety net, no (selfish) boyfriend, no savings, and for the first time at that point no credit card to fall back on. It was the realest form of alone ever. I freaked out a lot.
To make some room in my non-existent budget I gave up the one thing that had been helping my anxiety so much, cannabis. There were days and nights that bled together and had me literally climbing the walls of my tiny studio/in-law unit. My puggo is a great comfort, but he can’t do it all, ya know? So this was just the toughest of times, and then the holidays hit.
I had never felt more alone in my entire fucking life until that x-mas, early evening. My nearest and dearest were out of town, my family estranged. I dove head first into a terrible bottle of red wine (brand was Bitch with a fab label, but do not drink that shit, trust!). I drank the entire thing in under an hour. Have you ever tried to fucking chug red wine?! DO NOT! I was not kind to myself that night. It was an old self destructive habit that crept up and snatched me, I swear! I guess I was just desperate to numb the pain, but there’s many more layers to it than that.
After sleeping it off, I decidedly pulled myself together and cooked myself a damned x-mas dinner, at 9 pm. Ha-ha! It was actually hella good. It was a Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving Casserole, I highly recommend it if you catch it. I ate that thing for a week, but I digress. I sat with my thoughts while the casserole was in the oven. I didn’t have any screens or even music on. I just sat on my bed and took a deep and hard look at my situation and myself and the life I wanted. It was then that I realized that being single was just alright with me. I had tried to date off and on after the breakup, but just lost interest.
That week between x-mas and new year’s was more of that same soul searching kind of thing. I decided to double down and really go all in on my job hunting. I know what I am capable of. I know what I can and have accomplished. I reminded myself of this and so did my bffs. My PTSD symptoms didn’t pop up this go ’round and I hadn’t had a panic attack in over a year. When January hit I was in full force and how! WHEW! I interviewed every single weekday for a 5 weeks solid and I mean in person and phone interviews, usually back to back. It was intense and exhausting and terrible but I did it and I found a job that fit!
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Having a job, especially one that I feel challenged and stimulated, needed and wanted, makes all the difference in the world. For my mental health especially! Without the usual workday schedule and social cues that go with it, I quite literally fall apart. Now that I’ve been at this job for 7 months, I feel pretty great! Still not dating, still no crushes. I have people who are interested in me like that, but one has become a friendship (thank goodness because they’re awesome just not a romantic match for me) and another who I just don’t even know what to do about (they text me “good morning beautiful” every single day, but we’ve only had 2 dates in 3 months). It’s fine. I am good on my own.
Something shifted in me a couple of weeks after starting my current job. I don’t know what and I don’t know how, it’s pretty tough to explain honestly. I tell my friends and joke about being dead inside but my lovely dance partner explained that it doesn’t seem that way to interact with me. Which is a relief but also just makes describing how I feel harder. Like, I don’t get as excited or upset about anything anymore. I feel things, but not most things. Prior to this happening I was considering seeking anti-depressants for the first time in my life, in the hopes of regaining my energy to do life things like housework and errands. Then when this change occurred it just felt like a relief in a way. Now I’m pretty darn comfortable with it. It’s better than feeling all the things or depressed or anxious all of the time.
I’m still me. I’m still fucking awesome. I’m just calmer, I guess. I rarely even cry anymore, which kind of sucks. A good cry can be very refreshing, even cleansing, or so the Victorians believed. There have been moments when this dead inside thing did make things hard as fuck. I had a conflict with a friend and there were tears and when they hugged me and were just sobbing into my shoulder, I felt nothing at all and it was hella awkward. Yes I said all the right things, but I’m certain it was weird for them, too.
A few people in my life have mentioned to me that I am much quieter than they have ever seen me before. What’s to say? *Shrugs* Seriously, though, maybe this is some sort of new coping mechanism since the world is almost literally and completely a dumpster fire at this point in time. Things were bad before I started this job and have only worsened, and yet I don’t feel nauseated every time I log into my social media accounts like I did then. Meh.
I still feel really good about being alone, though. I seek it out now! It’s odd and not at all what I would have expected had you told me this even last year! I enjoy my own company, I seek out new things on my own, and I ride my own melt. Life is good. It’s not great, but I’m grateful for every breath I get in this world. I have lost people I cared deeply for, some I didn’t know well, others I knew for decades. Cancer is an indiscriminate bastard! I was lucky enough to not lose my best friend to cancer, it was in their body, but it was removed entirely. I thank the stars above every day for that!
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I do feel as though I’m gaining some traction, as hard as things have been and seem at times. Stability is a wonderful thing if you can find it. I think I have minimized, ignored, pretended, and hid my mental breakdowns far more than I realized these last few years. I’m learning to be more open about it and face what happened in a very real way. Like, I know what my issues are, I know how to talk about them and do often, but being able to actually say, “Yeah, I have really struggled with my mental health for the last 3 years and have had a few breakdowns in that time.” is very new as in the last two weeks. It’s not that I wasn’t aware, but somehow saying the words felt like burdening others. Over that! Ha-ha!
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Thank you for reading. I have such a deep longing to write on the regular again. I just don’t know how to get it back. I will keep trying and you have my undying gratitude for paying any attention to this silly ol’ blog o’ mine. **Hugs**
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

**I’m in love with my new glasses from BonLook.com, they just arrived yesterday, but I’ve wanted them for over a year!

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

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