NotBlueAtAll

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

Do the Damned Thing!

December24

Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket.
Move to that city. Do all the things that scare you, because they’re worth it.

What have you held yourself back from doing?
Who in your life has insisted you couldn’t do something?
Have you been told you can’t do something simply because of your size?
Has fear kept you from living your most authentic life?
What would you do, right now, if you knew you couldn’t fail or be hurt or shamed?

One of my nearest and dearest friends, Tigress, posted something along these lines on her iofthetigress page and I found myself typing my own responses before reading what others had written. I just immediately knew what that list was and how much I’ve done in my life despite what others said I couldn’t or shouldn’t. My list of things I’ve done feels both bigger and smaller now than they did when I did them. Time is a funny thing! Haha!

It is a terrible thing to allow others to steal your thunder, to crush your dreams, and worst of all, make you doubt yourself and what you’re capable of. These things become impossible to affect you once you stop caring what anyone else thinks of you. They are also impossible to live with if you want to live a life of our own making and choosing. At a certain point, you have to decide what is best for you. No one else can do that but you.

At the age of 14, I was part fearless and partly lost. It was an exciting time, it was a dangerous time. I’m quite certain that many who knew me then but didn’t keep in touch would assume the worst of my life’s course from that point on. Luckily, I’m one helluva survivor and fighter when I need to be. It is unfortunate that I had needed to be at such a young age and for so long after.  An abusive boyfriend took control of every aspect of my life and identity, though I escaped five years later, it left me a shell of my former self. I literally had to start over from scratch. I really don’t want to call it a blessing. I’ll never know what those important and formative years could have meant for my life’s trajectory, but it is what I survived and formed the individual that I am today.

Finding love in a friend and bonding over our mutual life traumas created a relationship that was strong, long lasting, if not entirely healthy. We were young and broken. We tried to fill each other’s brokenness, but never addressed our own on our own. Instead of telling each other that a traditional marriage wasn’t really our thing, we both entered into that institution thinking it the only way to stay together. We spent so much of our lives not living for ourselves but for each other. That likely sounds normal and right to many of you, but I can assure it is not. Making life decisions for yourself so that you won’t upset or lose the other person is not an authentic life at all. You begin to live a lie and lose yourself and all that you are in the relationship. That is the reason I left my marriage, after fifteen years together in life. I can assure you that nothing has scared me more than leaving my best friend. I am not sure I would make that same decision knowing what I do now, but it felt absolutely necessary at the time.

“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.” David Bowie

When I first had the idea to open my own cafe, it seemed so ridiculous and far-fetched. I went to my nearest and dearest friends with the idea, secretly hoping they’d talk me out of it immediately. They did not. They cheered me on, lent a helping hand, and encouraged me every step of the way. Every second of that, we’ll call it a project or obsession as it was never a lifelong sort of dream, felt terrifying. And yet it is one of my proudest achievements! It taught me so much about myself, what I’m capable of, who my true friends are, and where I do and don’t belong in the world (business is the short answer). It was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done on my own terms. I had so many business professionals insist that what I wanted to do was pointless, fruitless, if not downright impossible. I defiantly smiled right into their faces and said, “You don’t get it. So, watch me!”

What other great big scary things have I done? I started fat positive meet up groups a few times. I started this blog and talked about so many things others call taboo. I organized 2, some may say legendary, fat positive events in San Jose that were free and open to the public: Fatty Affair! I have become a regular performer in the annual big moves bay area dance shows, both as a dancer and later as a singer. I have walked a fashion runway three times now (once in lingerie), though each time it feels so ridiculous and not “me” at all. Haha! I have walked an imaginary runway in front of a group of not imaginary strangers completely naked. I have been photographed completely nude for Adipositivity. I have flown in a helicopter in Maui, even though I had to buy two seats…it was gloriously worth it! I have been to Paris and Rome and a large portion of Ireland. All at a size 26/28 or roughly 300 lbs. Yeah, I did that shit! It was scary as fuck each and every time! But I did those damned things and no one can take that away!

We can’t allow others, the haters, to dictate our lives! Whatever obstacles you may have, I hope you will stop holding yourself back from living your best life! You deserve to have and be whatever you want! Get out of your comfort zone and Choose You! You’re worth it!

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

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

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

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

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

Masturbating While Fat: The Reach!

December22

I want to thank the readers of this blog for the endless support and inspiration! It was a reader comment on a masturbation related post that lead to this one. Please comment with your thoughts, tricks, and tips! This post is centered around vagina having humans who may have trouble reaching said vagina for pleasurable penetration/stimulation. If this is a topic you’d rather not read about, or would prefer to not know my own preferences and experiences on the subject, I hope you will return another day or dig into the archives for some fat-positive fun!

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To begin with, I just want to say that there is nothing wrong or shameful with self-stimulation and masturbation, period. I think everyone should be getting off in whatever comfortable and safe way they see fit, regardless of size, ability, gender, age, race, etc. We all deserve pleasure and it has been proven time and again in scientific and medical journals that masturbation is a healthy practice! It’s heart healthy and stress relieving, we all need more of that!

***Please do not masturbate in public or in front of others without their prior and expressed consent. Thanks!!!***

I have what myself and my BFF call a “B-Belly” because it sort of looks like the letter B in profile, or a double belly if you will.  While I have taught myself to love what my body has to offer, it can occasionally present issues in the boudoir and without. I also have a knee that won’t bend very far, so some things I simply cannot do without accommodation. There are other things, like using a menstrual cup, that I can do that other friends simply cannot. This is because of reach. It could be for a variety of reasons, but for me, it’s my boobs and belly often get in my way or prevent my reaching. (Seriously, restroom sinks/counters are the bane of my existence.)

I hope you can try these or any self-pleasure experience in a relaxed state and take your time, too! Try not to have any expectations other than fun and exploration. Getting to know yourself in your own way, in your own time, is so important and exciting, but also the first step, I believe, in being an even greater lover for others. We all just wanna have fun, but when you know what you want you can make your lover feel more confident in pleasuring you, too! It also takes some of the pressure off when you’re first getting acquainted with someone new, or yourself for the first time. Set the mood, take some time, breathe deep into the glory of all that is you and your fabulous body and how amazing it can feel!

I realized that I had only mentioned the subject of reach, previously, and I have a couple of options that may work for you, but please see this as a starting point and not the end-all of what may work best for you. Positions for digital or toy penetration may prove difficult depending on your personal flexibility and mobility levels, but I have found that laying on my back, with a pillow or two under my butt/hips, and my legs straight up the wall in a v-shape, provided more access/reach. It sort of redistributed my belly/boobs in such a way that allowed me to reach, and because this of just who I am I guess, I quite enjoy the scenery of my topography, too!

Another old favorite for me is a sort of squat position with my back against the wall or even just against the side of my bed with my feet on the floor (this is how I first discovered that I squirt/ejaculate, so have fun and don’t be alarmed if things get wet – I panicked). The edge of my bathtub (when I had one) also worked great for getting a wide enough spread for better reach, though I prefer my massaging showerhead than penetration in that position, I did occasionally throw in my “Lucid Dreams” when the mood demanded it (I friggin’ love that toy – mine is old enough that the vibration died but the shape of it hits my g-spot perfectly)!

My immediate thought for reach for vaginal penetration was to suggest a dildo with a suction cup base. I have personally tried this, though I was a bit too excited by the idea, and ordered a size far too large for my anatomy. I have had friends who have used this style in the shower (suctioned to the wall for a bent over position), the tub ledge -if you have one- for a seated option, and even suctioning it to the toilet seat lid (sounds strange but they really liked the height of their toilet). This seemed like a cheaper option for me at the time, but as I quickly regretted my size choice, I also struggled to get the base to stay stuck on my bathroom tile. I will always recommend reading reviews online, but if you have an awesome store in your area like we have Good Vibrations here, where it is a friendly, inviting and educational environment, I hope you will ask your local experts, too!

I happen to be friends with a couple of sex education professionals and my BFF who has taught fat specific sex workshops, so I hit them up for ideas, too! They suggested some toys you may be interested in checking out and I can vouch at least for the womanizer pro 40, though pricey (it was a 40th B-day gift from my BFF), and only for clitoral stimulation, once I got used to it, it became quickly my preferred toy (even over my magic wand!). If you already have a magic wand (or a knockoff) you might check out an attachment for g-spot stimulation, mine came with two attachments, one straight and one curved. I remember enjoying the hell out of those and the wand provided more than ample reach. I have always wanted a glass dildo, but have never tried one. I’ve heard that the option to heat or chill the glass is a nice thing to play with. Please do look into different materials and how best to care for them. Regardless of your own personal hygiene, different toys require different care and cleaning solutions, so be aware before buying and never share an unclean toy.

Please also check out the fat-specific sex shopping guide here, as provided by my friend Andy: https://www.goodvibes.com/s/sex-toys/c/gv206/shopping-guides/shopping-guides/fat-positive-shopping-guide You can find more content/info and fun on Twitter and Instagram @GoodVibesToys and @EducatorAndy

I hope you find what works best for you! And either comment here or let me know what you think: notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

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

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

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

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

Soulmate in a Dress

December19

Sometime in early 2012, I found my soulmate in a dress from Eshakti (a dress lover’s best friend). I didn’t know it exactly at the time, but this dress would be THE dress for so many important/traumatic/interesting/joyful moments in my life in the coming years. I soon also discovered a love of vintage haberdashery that in the end created the perfect ensemble! My size has changed a few times, the dress was originally custom sized to my measurements but still arrived too big and had to be taken in. Yet it still fits perfectly. When I bought it I had no idea what occasions it might suit, but the hat I found in an antique shop guided me. It was love at first sight with that hat, too.

These things were still so new to me, as I had never truly presented myself as very femme in the past. I was slowly but surely building up quite a dress collection. At the time, Eshakti had fantastic coupon codes and for a year I was part of their board of consumers who provided much feedback on their prototype designs and fabrics, good times. I had been previously gifted a string of pearls by my then (now ex) husband that went perfectly with the look that I was building. Years later I found a pair of vintage gloves in ivory with tiny pearl accents in an antique store for a steal, along with some vintage handkerchiefs. I was amazed at how they all sort of called out to me in their own way and yet all fit together as though they were meant to be.

I have worn this ensemble many times and each time feels like the first. It just works! I’m no fifties housewife, nor would I ever want to be, but something about this look just tickles me. Maybe it’s my own ridiculous form of rebellion by pushing back against what women went through when such styles were in vogue. Maybe it’s a strange way to rebel against my own punk rock heart. I don’t know, but it is love in a very real and pure form.

I wore it for the curtain call in the first Big Moves Bay Area dance show with my dance partner Tigress. I wore it for the Sunday Salon at NoLose in 2013. I wore it to the Fatty Affair Family Picnic. I wore it to my ex-husband’s fancy dress (costumes were encouraged) wedding reception. And just this past weekend, I wore it to the #FatAndFree High Tea! I got so many comments and compliments I finally put all of these moments together in my head and realized just how important this outfit is to me.

I have often struggled with fashion and finding my own sense of style. It’s a lifelong journey that never stops evolving and I have always enjoyed the ride. While I would never call this my definitive style or something that represents me or my personality, really. It is something that I am proud to rely on. I didn’t have to think about what to wear to tea, I just knew! And so I share with you photos of these moments, in this ensemble, this dress, that hat, all of it over the past five years…


After the 2012 Big Moves Dance Show, BFF did a photoshoot for fun…

2013 Last Day of NoLose PDX

2013 Fatty Affair Family Picnic

12-16-17 #FatAndFree High Tea

Have you found such a garment that just makes your heart sing? I remember a specific granny dress (Mervyn’s) from my grunge days that I’d pair with one of my dad’s flannels and my classic Doc Martens boots (that I’d found at Ross for $20!!!). Oh to have that ensemble back!!! I recall my thirteenth birthday gift from my BFF Summer was what would now be called high waisted black skinny jeans with the zipper in the back along with bows and zips at the ankles (and a t-shirt that said “U Cant’ Touch This” with neon handprints all over it! HAHAHA!). I had a beloved peter pan collared Smurf shirt in Kindergarten. Until just now I hadn’t really thought about these things.

Fashion can make us feel so many things, but when it feels most you is when it becomes more than just fabric and thread. It almost bears witness to our moments and struggles and triumphs and dreams.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

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

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

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

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

You Can’t Change Someone

November20

(White text box with black text that reads: “You can’t change someone who doesn’t see an issue with their actions.”

Aprox. 9 minute read
I came across the above-unattributed statement whilst scrolling my Facebook feed and whoa did it strike the nail right on the head! Whew! We need to talk about the people in our lives who abuse, shame, blame, and frame us! I would say especially this time of year, but no, these assholes are always dragging us down and we just allow it until, well, we don’t. I’m definitely of the “don’t” group more often than not, as I have learned far too many times the hard way that sooner is better than later with these jerks. Yeah, jerks! 😛
Okay, first of all, you can’t change someone else, in my opinion. You can influence, you can encourage and reinforce, but you can’t actually change another human being. Like, yes by knowing someone we all over time change, but that’s not what this is about. This is about the people in our lives we may, in fact, love, but who simply refuse to see how damaging or unreasonable their behavior is. Typically at first, it’s easy to forgive a misstep or misunderstanding. I am not an unforgiving soul, but I’m also not willing to be complicit in my own oppression. That is what this is really about!
I know it’s easier for some than others to cut someone out of your life. I have sort of become known for this trait. I don’t hold this as a positive or negative, only something that is necessary from time to time. Some may view this as heartless, cold, or unreasonable, but in most ways, for me, it’s been a matter of sanity and survival. Personally, this has been my bio-mother, friends, romantic partners/interests, and later my step-mother and finally my father. It’s never easy, or something you truly want to do. You want the other person to see how much they are hurting you or how they make you feel. I think all anyone really wants in their relationships is to be seen and understood and supported. When you look at the people in your life, do they make you feel seen, understood, and supported? Do you think you do that for them? It’s something to think about. (And Gaslighting is a real thing that happens more often than we can tell, check out this article on the topic, it was an eye-opener for me.)
I think it’s very telling (and vital) to pay attention to how you feel, that first natural feeling when someone’s name pops up on your phone (call or text). I think most of us ignore that fleeting feeling and move onto action mode, which is unfortunate. If you take a beat and a breath after that name pops up, what then? I think it’s a moment of honesty and self-reflection. If someone makes you feel gross, about anything, maybe give some space and time to that relationship and see how you feel in a few weeks. It will give you time to process your feelings and assess the relationship from a new perspective. It’s healthy! And often by doing so you can improve and strengthen that relationship! It’s not all doom and gloom! Haha! I have often advised friends who were uncertain about whether to break up with someone or end a friendship that they should change their phone contacts’ name for that person to how they make them feel. This way when they get a call or text they’ll see, “betrayal, shame, hurt” instead of Pat. Kinda forces you to think about it if it’s something you were avoiding. I have heard it helps. I’m just glad that Android and most social media settings allow for blocking certain people all together!
My step-mother lied to my entire family (had 3-4 different stories, depending on whom you asked) in order to get them to stop talking to me…for three years! What did I do? NOTHING! In fact, I went out of my way at every opportunity with her (agreed to let her legally adopt me as an adult) in order to keep peace within my family and make my dad happy. Ha! No one was fucking happy, doubt anyone is now, but I digress. No one ever told her that her incessant lying and manipulating was wrong. When my little brother asked her calmly and plainly why she lied to him as she was in the middle of the lie she would start to cry and go right into the next lie to get out of the first. Maddening! When my then-husband and I would meet up with my  family for dinner at restaurants, even when there was no present drama (she once burst into tears and threatened to make us all leave because her shrimp was spicy…she ordered the Cajun shrimp. *sigh*), I would fall into a deep depression for sometimes two weeks afterwards. Mostly due to how both parental entities interacted with my brother (telling him to shut up the moment he said a word), or outdated and offensive jokes they would later deny knowledge of. I didn’t even catch it myself, but my then-husband did. He hated seeing me suffer, and we talked about it.
Guess what? You’re an adult! (I’m guessing, but perhaps not. No biggie! I still think you get to decide for yourself who you allow in your life.) You get to decide who you let into your life and share space with. With the exception of work, I suppose. Can we all just agree to try to nip toxic behaviors in the workplace in the bud collectively? Cool. If you’re not one for confrontation, it is perfectly okay and acceptable and grown-up to let someone know that they are making you feel uncomfortable. There’s no argument against stating your immediate feeling. I prefer to tell someone to their face that their behavior is unacceptable, but your mileage may vary. Another helpful phrase I recently heard was, “We don’t do that here.” It’s a plain and neutral statement, no need for further explanation. Solid! In a society built upon white supremacy and misogyny, we all need to work together to keep these clueless assholes from continuing their reign of violence and idiocy!!! Ahem.
Yeah, I’m going there because we all need to fucking go there!!! Because some people who find themselves with a particle of power will find a way to abuse it! More often than not, this goes unchecked, maybe forever. I say fuck that! Life is too short and too precious to put up with that bullshit! Seriously, even in small doses or minor-seeming offenses, these things add up and they can tear people and families and companies and democracies apart! Microaggressions are real and they chip away at our self-esteem and hold us back from having the lives we work so hard for. It’s important to take a moment to pause and really consider how people impact us. Sometimes it’s our own behaviors exacerbating a problem or perhaps we’re just not seeing eye to eye and a sort of relationship stalemate occurs. This is pretty common, I think. Two of my oldest friendships are definitely there. I don’t think any of us actually hate or condemn one another. It’s just that we live very different lives and kind of forgot how to relate to each other now. This is natural.
Substance abuse has a huge impact on all of our lives. Though I haven’t struggled with addiction myself, I have been very close to many who have. It is heartbreaking what it can do to otherwise brilliant humans. After spending five years as a hostage in an abusive relationship with someone addicted to many substances, I became hyper-aware of those behaviors in others. I once had to walk away, though temporarily (thank the universe), from even my oldest friendship because I felt unsafe and was at the time unable to process those feelings and associations. I felt bad about it at the time, but I see now how integral to my survival it was, too. I do think it is okay to walk away from something you just know you can’t handle. It’s extra hard when you know that the person you’re walking away from isn’t the person you truly cared about, to begin with. Substances change people and turn them into monsters, though not always. I have a lot of compassion for anyone’s life’s struggles, it’s not an easy feat for anyone to go through.
At the end of the day, you have to look out for yourself. You can’t help others if you’re suffering, too! This is a life lesson I have learned, the hard way, repeatedly. I expand and contract with each new human I allow in my life and bond with. I trust until I can’t and then I never want to again, over and over. It feels sometimes as though everyone only wants to take from everyone else or they’re out to get you. I know it’s not true, but dammit if it doesn’t feel that way at times. Especially when going through tough times, it feels as though folks would rather watch you go down flames than offering any actual compassion or support. Yeah, that’s part of the reason why I haven’t been able to write for so long. When people make you feel unsafe or gross about being yourself: RED FLAG! I worked hard to become the person I am today, hot mess that I am. It is a journey and I don’t need fuckers throwing nails on my road, dammit!
Truth is, I’ve written about this subject before, but it was centered around fatness. I think this post does a bit deeper dive into interpersonal relationships, rather than our bodies. Our bodies are not the cause of other people’s behaviors, though they will claim that it is and that it’s all our fault, every step of the way. It’s not. You and I and everyone deserves to exist in the world and live the best life that they can! There will always be fat haters, but you don’t have to allow them into your actual life! You can tell them why, or not, whatever works for you. Fat acceptance is about autonomy, plain and simple! That’s it! Live and let live, ya know? I’ve had a few people cut me out of their lives without explanation, a couple even said that they honestly didn’t know why, and then continued to not want to communicate after and I respect that. It’s not for me to decide what’s best for them. Nor is it anyone else’s to decide for me. Autonomy! Woo!
Are you struggling with certain relationships in your life? Are you dreading interacting with certain people? Are “The Holidays” giving you anxiety because of certain people you feel you can’t avoid? Have you cut someone out of your life? What other relationship struggles are you dealing with? Let’s talk, discuss, and share!

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

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

If you are able, please consider donating any sum you see fit to support and keep the blog alive until I’m back on my feet again. It isn’t much to raise ($150 for hosting), but I am hoping enough people can donate a buck or two in order to keep this little safe space alive another year. I have more things I want to share with you and some exciting fat projects I’ll be partnering on soon! Stay tuned!

Donate 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

I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me 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

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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