NotBlueAtAll

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

Fierce Fatty: A Book Review

August6

I don’t recall where I had first heard of the book, “Fierce Fatty” by Victoria Welsby, but I believe I saw some special offer to get it at a discount or even free. In any case, I downloaded it to my new kindle recently and finally gave it a read. It didn’t seem at first like something that would make an impact on me. It seemed to be a very fat acceptance 101 sort of book, but when I’m in a groove I can be a voracious reader. And this one I read in about an hour, and I’m not a speed reader by any stretch.
I had subscribed to the author’s newsletter (maybe that was how I got the book?), but found the positivity a bit much for my taste, at least lately. What can I say? I’m a bit of a bitter-Betty these days. Wev! I had finished Nora Ephron’s latest, “I Remember Nothing” (good!) and was not ready to be done reading for the day. I swiped through my “library” and just love the cover of “Fierce Fatty” so much that I jumped right in.
Right away her writing style struck me as very friendly and energetic. I’ve read quite a few fat related/fat authored books and this one was refreshing. The author covers a myriad of topics relating to living in a fat body, including internalized fat phobia and toxic relationships. She really gets into all of it, though not much goes very deep. I like that though.
Having been part of the fat acceptance movement for so long I was not expecting to have things framed in new ways or even a new perspective brought to light, but Victoria Welsby did just that! Things I have known for awhile suddenly were put in such a way that I was like, “Yes! Of course! Yes!” aloud on my lil’ patio. She also references and recommends other fat books that I already know and love.
I feel that this is the type of book I would give to someone new to the movement, or even just dipping their toes in, ya know? Someone who has their eyes open to what has been shoved down our throats by the media and society itself, but maybe not quite ready for all of my radicalized fat talk. (Ha!) This book could really point them in the right direction to finding their own path to loving oneself and carving out the life they really want (versus what we’re all told we should do/have/want). This book would be great for teens, I feel, too. I might even send it to my niece!
One of the biggest takeaways for me was an ah-ha moment when she starts talking about patterns, habits, and creating new neural pathways. It’s not that I didn’t know this is a thing, in fact I’ve read a lot on the subject. It is how she framed it and explained it in such an easy, and more importantly, approachable and understandable way! She uses common sense and just things we already accept as fact to show that you already know the weigh cycling industry is bullshit along with every “diet” and “lifestyle change” slung at us everyday.
I would say that if you’ve been in this movement for any length of time that you likely won’t find any really new or exciting information in the book, but it may be a helpful refresher in understanding where people are coming from when first arriving at the welcome mat of the fat acceptance movement. (Is there a welcome mat? Would it be more like the two door knockers in Labyrinth? Ha-ha!) It is an enjoyable read, regardless.
***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

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

Covering Our Tracks, Not Our Rolls!

July8

^ Photo by Lisa J. Ellis ^

This past weekend was the annual Big Moves Bay Area dance show by emFATic Dance. It was the seventh year that Tigress & I have performed as a duo, and her eighth as a solo performer. The name of the show was Covering Our Tracks, as most of the songs performed by emFATic Dance were cover songs and they were fantastic! Tigress & I spent months trying to find a perfect cover song that just fit us and well, we didn’t. In the end we went with a song I came across randomly down a YouTube rabbit hole one day, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”. We called our piece, “We are the ones your mother warned you about” and went with a vampy-vibe.

Tigress flew in last Saturday night and stayed with me throughout the week, diligently working on costumes and the choreography for her solo number. We had tech and dress rehearsals in the evenings and it’s almost a 2 hour drive at this point to Oakland from San Jose (Bay Area traffic is no joke!). Any other free time we had we worked on our number together and drank to our heart’s content! She also made our fascinators! So fun!

A lot of this year’s performance, at least for me, felt very chill or almost routine. I didn’t even get nervous once! Wild! We kept our choreography a bit loose and uncomplicated due to the short amount of time we had to practice, as well as the additional stress of her having to travel and stay with me during this time. We looked great, though, for sure! We worked our sassy lil’ outfits and smoked that audience right in their damned seats! It was a blast! I wish you could have seen us! And you really wish you could have seen Tigress solo number, it was electric!

I had watched some YouTube hair style tutorials last year on a simple up do and gave it another shot, despite the fact that I didn’t have all my usual tools for this. It worked out awesome! It’s basically a “pull through braid” at the back, or just a bunch of overhand knots that you keep adding the last set to as you move forward up the back of your head. When I got to my forehead I simply created a fat braid that I then fluffed up and bit before pinning in place.

I like the back to look a bit messy. I’m not a fan of an overly “done” look, ya know? But I really dig how the front turned out!

^^^^ I mean?!?! ^^^^

Oh! And this dress?!?! This dress is Calvin Klein, jersey knit in a size 24 (I’m a 26/28 usually but yay stretch!).

I bought it second hand from one of the dancers in the show and I am in love with it!

It just hugs the right places and feels extra sassy-sexy!

In case you couldn’t tell from my pics alone! Ha-ha!

And then the very next day I receive a package from my bff Mychii in Ohio with a custom made light-up nameplate for my desk at work and this lovely rose gold coffee thermos with “Fierce Fat Femme World Treasure” on it and I am just so blown away!

I needed to re-sync with my fat community. I needed to be surrounded by radical fats. I needed to see all our fat bodies on that stage lit up for the world to see our inner sparkle! It was and always is an incredible experience. To share space with such talented artists, friends, and badasses is like nothing else in this world, I promise you. And every time I think I am done or I can’t go on, one of these shows comes up and for the last 7 years it reminds me why I do it, why we all do the work that we do, for the show and in the world. It is so special.

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

Badasses Need Love, Too!

July2

As I grow and age and learn to appreciate things better, I still find myself fighting things that are innate or natural and just…UGH! It’s so ridiculous! I’m feeling strangely blue today for truly no reason at all. I’m just tired I suppose and very much starved for affection. And that’s the thing, I try really fucking hard to pretend I’m a hard ass bitch who doesn’t need such things when, A) I know better and B) you can be a hard ass bitch and need snuggles, it’s science and science is beautiful! Ha-ha!

True facts though, my single by choice life means that I go weeks without a hug, months without a kiss, years since another human has truly held me in a loving way. Having those facts sort of hit me all at once when I was wondering why I was feeling down today, and yeah, that would be a big fucking reason. So why self shame or hide?! I can’t really say for certain, but somehow I got it in my head that it makes me weak somehow. It does not. I need to get over this shit. (“How to get enough physical affection if you’re single” pay wall, but cute as hell comics in a cheeky tone.)
I have been dating more lately and enjoying that for the most part. I have had more affection in a general sort of way but it seems not in the ways I need to feel fulfilled. So what’s this Bitter-Betty to do?! I guess just accept that this is also part of my nature and communicate my needs to those who may support or assist in my fulfillment. Wow! So mature! Ha-ha!

Image result for affection
I must also note here that growing up with very early sexual trauma and further abuse and sexual trauma throughout my most developmental years has certainly made these things all the more difficult. Not just difficult to live with, but to navigate social situations, dating, all of it. Sometimes my PTSD-C will scream “Hell no! No one is going to touch me! NOPE Not okay!!!” even when that feels like the one thing I need most of all. I’m realizing now how much this affected my marriage back when. Ugh. Like I recall aching and longing for my husband to just hold me and see me but could never in a million years actually say those things. Learn from my life, lovelies, lessons abound!
As an introvert as well, I don’t like being around a lot of people, or noisy people/places, nor do I like being around a stranger. It’s a confusing thing to date because of this. Even if I like someone on the surface, far too many have proven that my trust issues are well earned and keep me fucking safe! At the same time I try to stay open and to push myself out of my comfort zone and all of that, and yet? Here the hell I am! Ha!
I suppose those with close families could ask for a cuddle, but that isn’t the case for me. Nowhere near it. I do have my precious puggo that I wouldn’t trade for all the money or Tom Hardys or anything else in the world! But he’s not a big snuggler, he’s more of a snuggle up against you type o’ guy. This shit is complicated! Ha-ha!
Image result for affection
Now I am a big proponent of self love and self care and all of that good stuff. And I am very pro masturbation as a form of those things, and I believe I even excel at them…but I still have this internal ache for that deeper connection with another human being. I guess there really is no substitution for that. In every other aspect of my life I think I’m in a good place. And hey, I’ve been single by choice for over 2.5 years now so if this is the first of this inner longing, so fucking be it! Ha-ha!
Have you struggled with these feelings, too? How have you helped yourself feel better? Do you have a self soothing thing you do? What am I missing out on here? What other things are on your mind or weighing upon your heart?
(Really liked this sentence I ended my last post with, it’s sticking to me and I love that!)
I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

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

Fitting in Amongst the Misfits

April16
I’m in a lot of fat groups on facebook. It’s one of the main reasons why I haven’t left FB all together. The groups I participate in run the gamut of fashion, fatness, activism, feminism, queerness, sex, love, science, art…you name it! Each group has their own set of rules, most of which boils down to: don’t be an oppressive jerk. Even groups that are not fat specific will have rules against body comments or shaming of any kind.
I’ve been writing about my own fat life for over ten years here on this blog-a-ma-thing. Before I took the plunge of starting my own blog, I read so many others! I loved them, too, though most are now defunct. It all felt so exciting and new and thrilling when I first happened upon fat acceptance back in ’05. I wanted to shout from the rooftops and tell every person I encountered that they don’t have to live with that oppressive way of thinking any more! Ha-ha!
I made my own mistakes, too. My passion would overwhelm my reason and I would say something or frame it in such a way that would rub others, more in the know than myself, wrong. Especially on any of the LiveJournal blogs and groups I was in at the time, they also had their own sets of rules and what was not okay to say in a post, and for good reason. We get this oppressive messaging literally everywhere else in the world, we didn’t need it in our “safe space” as well!
Over time these things become reflexive and we can forget our own first few stumbles along the way. I was reminded of this today in a group I enjoy because someone posted for the first time and instantly broke the rules of that group. The thing is, the group is for misfits. This isn’t a group for your plus size instagram models. This is for the offbeat, the dark, the weird, and those who don’t fit in elsewhere. So, I understand their initial confusion when others instructed them to read the rules before posting in the group or at the very least add a trigger or content warning. Instead they did what so many newbies do, they protest and rebel. They also didn’t know there were any rules to speak of.
When I commented that their mention of “progress” of recent intentional weight loss was something that would be rewarded literally everywhere else and that fat people live with that oppression constantly, others chimed in with their knee-jerk congratulations. UGH! I understand wanting to be compassionate, but there was some harmful and triggering language and many commented saying so as well. But I noticed that while they were seeking reinforcement, that they also admitted, at length, how they were full of self hate on the inside.
When I read further down the thread of comments and the poster’s responses it became apparent to me that they were lost and simply seeking connection and advice. That is when I got it and understood exactly where they were at in their own self acceptance journey and I could relate and connect with that easily. When I went to comment I got an error message that the post had been taken down. They didn’t have to delete it, only edit to add the trigger/content warning. So I direct messaged them what I had tried to submit as a comment:

I don’t know that they will read/see my advice. Maybe it came off too harsh. I can be too blunt at times, but I also know that we need that voice in the darkness sometimes. We need someone to call us out on our own bullshit. We can get so confused and caught up in it all that we can absolutely forget to just sit and be with our feelings. It’s a valuable thing to do, don’t discount it. They were much younger than I, but already on the right path towards acceptance. If only they could let go of the voice of the oppressor in their own head. I feel that, deeply.
How hard it is to break up with those old ways and thoughts and truly start anew! To not just understand but to know that your life and your future is in your own hands, to be designed and decided upon as you see fit…right now! Not some far off distant future. You cannot get there though by stepping on others. When you harm others you carry that with you forever, whether you’re aware or not.
So, okay, the “how” part…First, stop lying. Stop lying to yourself that being smaller feels better when you know it doesn’t. Stop trying to be the “good fatty” always trying to fit in when the world won’t make room for you no matter what size you are or aren’t. Stop throwing other fatties (bigger/smaller/in general) under the bus so that you can get brownie points from straight-sized folks! Stop lying in general about anything and everything, to yourself, about yourself, to others and about others. Just stop! This alone will get you on the right path towards authenticity!
Yes, to be authentically oneself is something that is undeniable. To shut out the gross voices in our heads, or in our lives, and to finally walk a path of our own making. You hear that? No? Oh, that’s the sound of my own personal horn section warming up. They get going any time I am about to leave the house. What? The world needs a heads up! I am unstoppable, so long as I stay true to me! The same could be said of you! Give it a spin, couldn’t hurt!
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

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

« Older Entries
Subscribe to my feed