NotBlueAtAll

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

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August19

There is so much awesomeness going around right now that I thought I’d share some of my faves with you! Woo!

First off, can I just say how much I fucking love LOVE! love Virgie Tovar?! She is amazing and incredible and is doing a video series, “Virgie Tovar’s Guide to Fat Girl Living” and they are flabulous!!! Here’s episode one to whet your appetite (believe me, you won’t be able to stop!):

Dr.Pattie Thomas & PDA Nation want to hear Your Story (and for more resources, links, etc http://revolutionsresources.blogspot.com/):

Please consider submitting your own story through video or text (you can comment on the videos on YouTube).

Amanda Levitt of FatWaitress & Love Your Body Detroit just opened a fabulous fat positive Etsy shop to raise funds for more fat activism: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LYBDetroit
Do check it out, buy something for yourself (like the fat rights tool kit!!! OMZ!!!)

And a bit of not so greatness, but I hope we can have an impact before it comes out…I first heard about this from Marilyn Wann and wanted to share it with you: Please go to the Amazon pages (US and UK) and post a comment responding to the godawful children’s book, “Maggie Goes on a Diet.”
I was personally shocked that the story itself is about a 14 year old going on a diet, but the targeted age for readers is 4-8 years old. Yikes!!! I hope that you will read the discussion and consider adding your own voice! <3

The Lies We Eat

July29

(Trigger Warning for food issues/demonizing)

I witnessed an exchange yesterday that made me cringe. The son has a severe gluten allergy and my cafe makes gluten-free Belgian waffles. He ate his entire waffle, but his sister barely touched hers. Mom then began to eat the waffle after eating her own panini, but grew too full. She then insisted out loud that it was just too good to waste! And tried to get her son to eat it:

Mom to son: Please, take this last bite of waffle! I didn’t touch it!
Son: No!
Mom: You’re going to make me eat all of these extra calories?!
Son: What? (looks very confused)
Mom: C’mon! Just eat one bite!
Son: No!
Mom to me: He is a germaphobe, very OCD if you know what I mean. Ugh! I can’t believe he won’t eat it! It’s so good! *chews*

Prior to this exchange she was asking me about my paninis and which was “the least fattening?” To which I replied (with a smile), “Are you asking my opinion, because I’m not sure you would want it.” She laughed, so did I, but insisted on which had the least fat and calories and I refused to answer. She went with the vegetarian one (grilled eggplant with sun dried tomato spread, grilled onions and mozzarella) and insisted it was the most delicious thing ever!

My next customer wanted to know similar things, “What kind of bread do you use? Is it thick? I am trying to cut my carb intake…*mutters* and calories (with a sad face).” I reply, “But you need carbs and calories for your brain to function, for your body to move and work and play! Don’t you hate that we’re told that all of this stuff is bad and they make us feel awful for it?” She nods yes and looks slightly surprised by my response. Then I say, “Sorry, I don’t mean to preach, but I read a lot about nutrition and I get so upset that so much of what we’re told about food and nutrition and health are lies. It’s all marketing, you know? It is too bad.” She agrees and orders what she wants and then admits that the restaurants that show the calorie counts on foods really affects her. She says she has a hard time making a decision when faced with these figures. And I agree that it doesn’t really help. Then I explain that our body craves certain foods because it wants those nutrients. Substitutes don’t give those nutrients and often lead to more severe cravings. To this she agrees wholeheartedly and smiles.

I have these exchanges almost everyday. I don’t always get so wordy or mouthy about it, but I am tired of just smiling and nodding and letting these people demonize my food and my fat! Half the time it’s the adults that are the pickiest of eaters, kids just was food! No guilt or emotional attachments…just food/fuel! And food allergies are a serious concern! I cannot stand it when people make light of someone’s allergies or illnesses. Ugh!

I’m sick of people just repeating the exact same lies that are in ad campaigns! I want people to question this shit! To research it and to decide what is right for themselves. But they don’t know TO do that. They just take things on face value. “Oh! Whole grain means healthy!” Um, not exactly. *sigh* It’s an uphill battle. I don’t have $65 Billion to get the truth out there. The diet corporations do. And this is why Fat Liberation seems so daunting to many.

This is where I think we can make an impact though: with our moolah! None of us is rolling in money these days, but there are small things we can do to make small changes in the world and that begins with how you spend your money. Do you buy something that is suddenly advertising in a magazine or on a tv station that is fat hating? Call or email or tweet or facebook them to let them know you cannot support them if they support the fat hate! It works! So few people actually do speak up and contact these companies that when they do get more than say three people calling, they are surprised and want to please their customers (usually). Look into parent companies and see if you can contact them, too! In fact, get to know your congressperson and contact them regularly about discrimination based on height & weight! Many haven’t even heard of this stuff and will be interested and will want to listen to you!

You don’t have to get all shouty or overly political about it (even though it totally is), you can simply tell them that you refuse to support their products and company because where they are advertising (specify) supports the oppression of people based on their looks (weight/height/etc). Yes, you will most likely get a canned response, but you’d be surprised at how few people/complaints it takes before someone takes action! I saw this in the town where my cafe is. People were so annoyed at dealing with the strict 1 hour parking, but few actually complained to the city. I complained, a few of my customers complained, but not enough people did at first. Then I just got angry because they were straight up lying about how many tickets they were giving out (they claimed one a day when I watch them give out a minimum of five!) and started telling anyone who complained to contact the city. It took awhile, but it’s now been changed to two hours. I thought I was dreaming the day I saw the guys changing out the old signs to the new ones! Ha-ha! But they specifically said that enough people complained! Simple as that!

People don’t like to complain to the city/county/state/country. They like to complain to their friends/spouses/neighbors/etc. It’s like a past time for some people. When you suggest they take it up with someone who can actually do something about the issue? “Oh, they won’t listen!” is all I hear. And that is bullshit! If you don’t try how will you or they ever know?! They need to know, dammit! Business need this feedback, they need to hear from their customers or they will ASSUME they are doing the right thing every damned time! I don’t want anyone assuming what I want. I prefer to make my own choices and my own voice heard, thanks.

Okay, so I’m ranty this week, but that’s okay! It’s what I do. I’m tired of just complaining to like-minded individuals (and wonderful as y’all are), I feel compelled to start actually speaking up to these corporations and letting them know what I think. I may be naive in some of my thinking, do let me know, but it’s just too frustrating to be silent.

What products are advertising in fat hating media? I’d love to put together a list and post it. Thanks for reading! Happy Friday (for those who have weekends)! I hope you are all well and in good spirits! <3

Queer. Fat. Political.

July27

Sunday night I was fortunate enough to attend Queer. Fat. Political.: “a flabulous star-studded, politically inspired evening of fierce fattitude and performance sponsored by the GLBT Historical Society’s Womyn’s Committee.  Commemorating the life and work of fat activist Judy Freespirit (who has an archive at the Historical Society) and will feature performance from the legendary FAT LIP Readers’ Theater, Jezebel Delilah X and others! Performances will be followed by a discussion/Q&A and is meant to create dialogue between generations of fat queer activists.”

It was one of the most powerful evenings of my life! It is right up there with the flesh mob I participated in for International No Diet Day. THAT GOOD! I was asked by Virgie Tovar to video tape the evening’s performances and little did I know that this would have such an impact on me. Did I already say “Wow!?” Because WOW!!! We’re talking about a room of radical feminists of varying ages, fat liberation activists from the 70’s, 80’s and now! But I don’t want to get into the who’s who and all of that…

I felt a great responsibility standing in the back of the room. A responsibility to do more, to be more out there and active and public and political. To keep fighting the good fat fight! The feminist fight! To liberate us all and create equality in a nation built upon the opposite. Heavy task, certainly, but I now feel more compelled than ever to organize and do more! These women created these huge radical, very public and very political actions! But I feel that this is something left behind and that pisses me off, for myself and for them. There is no second wave of fat liberation activism because nothing has changed! We’re still dealing with the same shit they did back when.

I love attending fat events. I LOVE IT! I look forward to them and after I am high on fat positivity! But then I go home, I work, I blog, I live. Nothing truly happened, ya know? But when I participated in the flesh mob for INDD? I changed! We made an impact on actual people!  I do feel that these more social events (performances, swaps, etc) are great for the uninitiated or for those who are intimidated or would like to reengage in fat liberation/fat acceptance. They recharge my batteries for sure. But what else? You eat cupcakes, maybe get some cool clothes, but no awareness was created, no waves made. We stick to online activism because it’s accessible, easy, fits into our collective schedules…and there is nothing wrong with that. I just want to do more!

The fire has been reignited and baby? I’m ready to start cookin’! Talking to Virgie and some other local fats all over the bay area, we all want to do more! It’s a fabulous feeling! So now we’re going to start researching and seeing what venues we can find and what things we can put together to keep people engaged, to become more accessible and to stay more political! I just couldn’t walk out of that building without having some sort of mission. I have big ideas, y’all! But I want some of yours, too!

What would you like to get involved in for fat liberation? Do you have a skill or talent or ability that may be useful or helpful for an organized fat action? Artists? Writers? Dancers? You name it! I wanna hear from everyone! What do you want to see happen to create more awareness? Do you think it’s all in vain? Do you think it’s bullshit? I wann hear it all! No judgment here! You know how I roll, honesty, baby, yeah! Ha-ha!

 

Role of Fat Females in Entertainment

July21

Fattiboombalatti here:

Okay so I admit that I have been under a rock for the past year. Working full time and finishing up my masters degree full time kind of does this to a person.  So I was hanging out with some g-friends o’ mine at a karaoke bar and one of them picked a song that I knew subconsciously, Adele. Her music video came on and I would like, double take… WHAT? A chubby chick with a banging voice actually got a music video?!?!  Can it be that the world is thawing in its hatred of fatties? Is it possible that a luscious fatty that I am instantly in love with can actually be known for her music without adhering to the narrow definitions of “beauty” being currently promulgated by our culture?

So I ran into this article about Adele:

http://zeldalily.com/index.php/2011/04/this-just-in-adele-isn%E2%80%99t-thin/

 The article talks about the role of fat women in the entertainment industry: either they are “sideshow” attraction for the entertainment industry, or if they commit to losing weight and are they traitors to who they are. We have seen this latter phenomenon ad nauseum : rad fatty with killer voice/acting ability loses sudden and dramatic weight with her (or his) “I did weight watchers.” Story scoffed by one and all.

This last piece particularly reminds me of something that happened to me when I was in college. I was a rad fatty then and I had rad fatty friends but ended up spending a year in China. During that year I lost a lot of weight, not that I noticed because in China I was considered Sasquatch like in proportions and I was miserable there so when I came back to be enveloped in the soft loving arms of my friends I was kept at a distance. At lunch with them I made a fat joke and was promptly told by them that they were uncomfortable with my joke because clearly I wasn’t like them anymore. Oy Vey!  I was hurt by that because even when I have passed for thin, inside I am and will always be a fat girl. The body that somehow meanders to normal still houses a fat soul.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that we all, all of us as a society, focus too damn much on looks, size, weight, blah blah blah. I don’t know about you, but I am kinda sick and tired of the obsession with the self and how the body is used as a social marker for where we “belong” and who we can be associated with. The whole thing is just one damn hot mess when really we as a society should be thinking about oh I don’t know how about being good and kind people? Helping others or working to resolve the environmental damage we are wrecking as a species?

But none of that can happen until we decide that no one body is inherently better, or more morally upright than any other. That our talents and skills and abilities should be judged by their own merit not as an accoutrement to our looks. Naïve? Yeah probably. But I honestly don’t see any other way around it.  The day that singers like Adele (who is clearly an inbetweenie at least it looks like it to me) can also burst on the scene as a deathfat and the only thing you hear is, “wow her voice is stunning!” is the day I can finally step down from this soap box with a feeling that my work is done.

Self-Care Just Got That Much More Important…

July4

I know I am always preaching self-care, but it’s so important! It really is! And so I wanted to share some more of what I do and have learned…

I think it was shortly after starting my first in-front-of-a-computer-all-day job that I’d heard about the 20-20 rule. Oh, you haven’t heard about the 20-20 rule? The 20-20 rule, when sitting in front of any illuminated screen, is to look away and at anything non-illuminated (preferably natural light but I know that’s not always possible) for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This is for your eye health, people. I used to get dry-eyes and headaches until I heard about this rule. So please do.

A recent study was released this week, it’s all over the news, that claims that sitting for 6 hours or more per day greatly decreases your life span. And it’s worse for women than men. To be clear, I haven’t read the study (can’t seem to find it) and when I google it I get a bajillion results all from various local news outlets. It seems most of these stories stipulate sitting during leisure time only, but I think many of us have to sit for this amount of time at work. I don’t want to assume, but it would only make sense that this would have the same impact on your health if it’s simply the sitting that is the cause. They did point out that diet and exercise in the study had no impact, though general activity was encouraged and of course helps overall health.

I found this interesting because of the diet bit. They said in some (though others claim the opposite) that even those who work out and eat healthfully still were at great risk due to sitting for more than 6 hours per day. They didn’t go into why the risk is worse for women. I remember my old job where I was absolutely sitting at my desk for 7-8 hours per day, then drove home, thus sitting another 30-45 minutes on top of that. So what can you do?

I recommend stretching and getting up and walking as much as possible. For me this means if I am sitting for an hour I need to get up and walk around for about five minutes to prevent leg cramps (bananas help with this, too) and other issues. I have very tight hamstrings that get super tense if I’m not stretching them often. At my desk job I would rotate my ankles in circles and bend and straighten my knees. One gal even had one of those little foot pedal things so she would just sit there and pedal away. I secretly wanted one, but never did anything about it. You should also pay attention to the ergonomics of your desk/chair situation. Specifically, you should have some sort of ramp-like foot rest. This way your feet aren’t flat on the ground and your thighs/knees are hopefully not getting cut-off by your chair. Lumbar pillows (for your lower back) are also highly beneficial.

I had one job with the worst chair ever! That on top of it always being colder than a meat locker in that place lead to my going to an acupuncturist for back pain. He recommended all of the above and after two visits to him my back pain was gone! I highly recommend acupuncture, even for those who are needle-shy. You honestly can barely feel them. I had one needle in the top of my head and didn’t even know it until he pulled it out and showed me. They can help with almost any pain issues you’re having (I say almost because I don’t know if they can help those with Fibromayalgia or other chronic pain).

Stretching is a great low-impact self-care method. My husband is a great believer in the power of stretching. I resisted, but am now trying to get into it myself. I don’t have a routine, but whenever my “hammies” feel tight I try to do some lunges and such. I would also recommend these things for your wrists and fingers and hands if you type a lot or do paperwork/filing things. Shake out those wrists, wiggle those digits and stretch your arms over your head. Good stuff! And you know how when you have been sitting awhile or in a uncomfortable chair and your butt had that flat/dead feeling? Yeah, time to get up and move and shake it! If you’re embarrassed you could always head to the restroom for this, but I love seeing people smile so I just do it whenever and wherever.

What other self-care do you do? Do you do anything like the above at work? How do you remind yourself to do self-care every day?

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