NotBlueAtAll

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

Self-Care Struggles

February9

One of the most difficult parts of moving last week/weekend was suddenly not being able to trust my body. The very first box I attempted to carry down the stairs of my old apartment, I nearly fell! I was instantly in a state of shock and horror! I began to cry…I don’t do that! It was scary. It was because of my knees. I was truly frightened. I hated that I couldn’t rely on what had always been there for me. I’ve never had knee problems before the few months and just when they seem to get better I either re-injure them or I don’t know what. Frustrating doesn’t even cut it! I was angry and sad and everything in between.

*GetsOnSelf-CareSoapbox* Ahem…  *TapsMic*

Y’all! We cannot be our most authentic and amazing selves or even be there for others properly if we are not mindful of our bodies and what they need. We cannot put off pain and rest and healing. We must treat our bodies as our most precious of possessions and resources, because that is exactly what they are! I have been putting ice packs on my knees each night (20 minutes on/off/etc as prescribed by my CMT husband) and it helps. It slows blood flow to the area for a bit and then when removed allows fresh, good, healing blood to flow through the area once again. When I skip a night, I feel it in the morning. The stiffness is mostly gone on normal days, but when I ski a night of icing, I am stiff the next morning and that blows. When I do remember, and I try, I have no stiffness and can get up with little pain.

Why is self-care so damned hard to remember/do? Because we’re taught to think only of others, to be selfless and blah blah blah! Fuck all of that! Be selfish! It’s totally okay! If you don’t, your health will suffer. Your mental health will suffer. I believe that suffering, while a part of life for sure, and should be lessened whenever possible. But here’s the hardest bit for me: Asking for help, time, breaks, assistance, access, care, being held and so on. I realized the other night when I was asked outright, “What do you want/need?” I was dumbstruck! WTF?! I am so rarely speechless. I was suddenly unable to speak! My mind went blank (that never happens) and I sort of just gasped.

How do I get better at this? What steps could I take to improve? How do I take the pressure off of the act of asking? Because let’s face it, being on your own and fending for yourself is not an easy endeavor. I know this, but I also take great pride and satisfaction from doing things for myself, by myself, etc. Perhaps too much pride, stubbornness, etc…but I’m a Scorpio! Ha-ha! But I want to get better at this…no I NEED to get better at this!

I am open to all of your advice and suggestions. I have been able to ask for help with some things, but they were minor. I’m the gal that says, “Can I ask you for a huge favor? Could you pass me that ___?” Real “huge”, eh?! Ha-ha! Every favor or assistance, etc, feels major to me. I have been self sufficient in some manner my entire life, okay, well since I was five. To ask for help was always met with, “no!” or “Get it yourself” or “if you don’t learn to do it on your own you’ll never ___” these old patterns are difficult to break. I know this. I understand where it began and how it’s impacted my life. My logical/rational brain does anyway, but my emotional side? Not so much.

So yeah…self-care! Woo!

posted under DIY | 8 Comments »

My STANDard

February8

There’s an effort afoot, led by Ragen Chastain, to buy space for a billboard in Georgia saying “WARNING!  Shame is bad for your health!”  If you want to help out, they’re raising funds at http://www.gofundme.com/dp16w 

Also check out this great post on this same topic:

http://healthateverysizeblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/the-haes-files-a-tale-of-two-billboards/

Please join in the “I STAND…” photos, if you like! Email your photo and credo to marilyn@fatso.com

The Ultimate Fat Lineup!

February2

When I first started to go to fat events it was mostly just meet ups and the occasional clothing swap or shopping. It took me a few years before I attended more organized events. The first fat event that blew me away so completely that I couldn’t stop smiling for days after was “Go Big or Go Home” by Big Moves Bay Area. The show itself was so put together, but it was the feeling of witnessing something so special and honest and amazing that stuck with me! That first major event featured the Phat Fly Girls, Rubenesque Burlesque and Raks Africa! Talk about a triple threat?! Ha-ha! And my first encounter of Marilyn Wann in the flesh! I also had the pleasure of meeting Carol Squires that evening through sheer happenstance; my friends and I asked her to take our photo during intermission. Little did we know that she used to be a portrait photographer (and a member of the Fat Lip Readers)!

Life changing stuff, folks! Inspiring and empowering and moving and just fan-fucking-tastic! I mean, that was also the first time I’d gone strapless in public! Wow! That was nearly two years ago! Now I own like four or five strapless dresses! Ha-ha! I later attended “Queer.Fat.Political” in San Francisco and discovered the Fat Lip Readers and witnessed so radical a group of women that I was humbled and inspired. Standing in that room (I was video taping) and just soaking in all that was around me? It was like a bolt of feminist-fat lightening went through me. I walked away changed, for the better, forever. Never before had I felt such a sense of responsibility to carry the torch, as it were, that these women lit so many years ago and truly set the bar high. Their activism was to me the truest sense of the word. They put their necks out to improve the lives of fat people everywhere. I was honored to be in their presence.

A few months later Big Moves Bay Area hosted “Fatdance: What A Feeling” again featuring the Phat Fly Girls, Rubenesque Burlesque and Raks Africa…and this time hosted by Marilyn Wann and Amy Benson. It was fantabulous! You just can’t be around these amazing women and not get inspired! At the very least you’ll walk away laughing and smiling. There is something so powerful about witnessing someone doing whatever it is that they are passionate about. I don’t have a word for it. It always makes me want to dance again. I do dance, but I just can’t very often. At least not until my knee is sorted out. I had the please that same weekend of attending Marilyn’s b-day party and WDAL fundraiser. Talk about awesome fatty party times?! So fun!!!

I took these experiences as sort of a template or outline for how I wanted Fatty Affair to be. I didn’t want to copy anyone or anything, but these events had such an impact on me and I knew that good feeling just needed to be spread around! That was the point of all of it for me, to have a good time and to connect people and create a stronger community. The first person I asked to speak was Marilyn, of course! If you’ve never had the joy of having a fat-related conversation with her, well, it’s great! It’s this fantastic free flowing exchange of ideas. It’s what all creative types need. It’s what all activists need. It was absolutely what I needed on both of those fronts! She had tons of ideas and plenty of experience in participating and attending such fat events all over the world. I was delighted when she agreed to speak and pleased that she was excited about it, too.

Not being a professional anything at all, I stumbled a bit when I first tried to get people to perform at Fatty Affair. I wasn’t clear in communication and while still running the cafe, sucked at follow up! Once further details and apologies were worked out, the rest of the lineup came together nicely. The last person I asked was my BFF Jery. I don’t know why…I always feel like he “has better shit to do” (gee, wonder why that is? Ha-ha!) or whatever, but I did and he accepted. It wasn’t until two nights before the event that we actually got together and nailed down a timeline for it. I know, we live in the same building and can’t seem to sync our schedules! Ha-ha! But it worked out just fine.

And here is where I use every ounce of restraint I have in me to not gush over Linda Bacon PhD not only accepting my invitation to participate/speak at Fatty Affair, but that she did so after receiving paid offers on the same day! She says it was for purely selfish reasons, that she needed to be around our positive community, to be re-energized. Can’t say that I blame her. It was yet another life changing experience for me and for many others. Everyone who helped, participated, performed or spoke was so fantastic! I seriously could not have imagined it going better than it actually did!

It was a success because of so many passionate individuals who worked together and helped pull this whole thing off! A special thank you and shout out to Raven Eagan and Amanda Evans! Raven was my boy scout and pressure valve while Amanda was the genius who took over the bake sale for me and really made it shine!

  

Amanda & Marilyn (Belly Bump!)

Raven & Jeanette: Babin’!

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about: The FATshion!!! <3

It’s The Simple Things…

January26

That can make you feel so friggin’ awesome!!!

Like Bright Blue Nail Polish (for the first time)!!! (Not really my nails, camera not cooperating)

New Lipsticks that look good and feel good, too:

Being anonymous in a random town

Being anonymous in a big city and just walking around like you live there

Friends! I have the most incredible friends, y’all!
They have so been there for me when I needed them lately and I cannot thank and love them enough!

My readers and commenters! I love you all! You amaze and inspire me everyday! You have touched me in some unexpected ways and I am so grateful to you for the time you spend on this blog. =0)

 

 

Fears Faced

January20

Sometimes when you step outside your comfort zone you can sort of lose yourself in the moment. I sort of caught a glimpse of my reflection and didn’t recognize myself. It surprised me, but I liked what I saw versus what I was thinking. It was an interesting moment. Life is a tricky thing and perception can be trickier. But I also think that things do happen for a reason. We can’t always see beyond the moment we’re in at the time, but can begin to come together in unexpected ways, too.

I get so caught up in my own thoughts from time to time that I can literally stress myself out sitting still! Not healthy! I needed to do something. It was eating me up inside. Time, after so many years, can lose it’s reliable pace. Childhood summers often felt endless while winter break always seemed so fleeting. We work full time and forty hours can feel like torture. The monotony of life can weigh us down and we may not even realize it. Soon we’re simply part of the machine or system or matrix…

It takes something unexpected to jolt us back to reality. It takes an event, a tragedy, a person, a gift, a stumble, a windfall. Something occurs and you can’t understand how you ended up where you are. It’s like you’ve just been walking and forgot what your destination was. I turned around and looked at where I was and was surprised that I was where I am. It made me sad. It made me depressed. It made me angry and I began to fight back, but without knowing what I wanted I couldn’t find my next step.

So I faced some fears. I stared them in the face and said, “I just don’t care!” I have to finally live for me. I have to be my most authentic self and grow! Being miserable was never a life goal, so what if that’s how I spent a lot of my time. I always thought I’d get beyond that old shit. I just never did. It was always there, holding me back. I had been so depressed it began to affect my health. I had no appetite. My gust were in knots. My digestion a disaster. I didn’t enjoy things any more. Life just became a routine again. I looked back and realized that the cafe was so awful because it sort of concentrated these feelings into a full time job. That isn’t how I wanted it to be.

I’m not looking for riches. I’m not looking for fame. I’m not looking for anything but my own journey here. I know that I need to break out on my own and see what I can do. It terrifies me and excites me! If I fail now, I do it on my own terms. If I succeed, same thing. This is life! I can “ride my own melt” and find pleasures wherever I seek them. I don’t know what new adventures and challenges this will bring, but that is okay. I’m doing it and I’m in it, for me. <3

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