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

Steppin’ it Up!


Why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves? More so, why do we feel like we have to justify it or feel the need to make excuses to not do it? It’s ridiculous! It is not selfish of you to take care of yourself, to look after your own wellness and well being and health (mental and physical). It’s just not! It’s not only okay, it’s absolutely necessary! No one calls you selfish for getting an oil change or getting your teeth cleaned. These are seen as necessary and responsible things. So, can we talk about taking better care of our feet for a minute?


I know I’ve talked about it before, back when I had my shoe revelation a few months ago. I have to tell you, I’m still all evangelical about it! The thing is, there’s a big reason why it was such a big deal for me (and still is). I grew up poor. We didn’t have money for new shoes. I got one or two pair of shoes when one of my grandma’s took me shopping for school every August. That’s it and let’s face it, I was lucky as hell to have even that. When I was 11 and got in trouble for stealing money out of a family friend’s house (it was a foreign concept for me to see a huge wad of cash ever, let alone out in the open), my parents asked me why I needed the money and what did I spend it on…it was a pair of Payless shoes. My other pair had worn through and at that age I had long known better than to ask for anything at all ever (the answer was always no). 
Even as an adult and working full time I wore Payless shoes. Oh sure, I’d snag the occasional pair of Doc Marten’s for $20 at Ross and wear the hell out of those, but they are not very supportive. Years and years of crappy shoes and working retail (which means 8-12 hours days on your feet on awful flooring) and not only did my feet spread but I now have flat feet. Yay! Not! Pain became a part of life (but that’s another post all together). I didn’t realize how my feet had changed due to all of these factors and ended up wearing the wrong size shoe for many years. I just thought all shoes sucked at one point. I randomly decided to measure my feet using an online guide (I may have been trying to see if a certain brand would fit before I ordered online?) and realized I wear an 8, not a 7w! Holy crap! What a difference just that made!
Then I tried to fit in like a silly person and wear shoes that I just, well, can’t and shouldn’t have even tried to! Ugh! Note to everyone and especially myself: never try to fit in! Always just be you! Trust me! Soon I sought out shoes meant for support and comfort, but being broke most of my adult life, I also cheaped out many times even when I probably wouldn’t have had to. It took so many years of blisters and aches and pains before I got the final fucking clue! Duh! Better shoes!
When my BFF “P” worked at a shoe store that specifically sold shoes for working people who are on their feet all day, he schooled me on the whole shebang! I had no idea! Even socks matter! SOCKS!!! Yeah, news to me, too! At that point though I had no money to spend and put it off until I literally couldn’t any longer. 
When I got the job at “the fruit” I was on my feet all day on concrete floors in my crappy shoes. I would come home and collapse every night. My feet felt broken. I tried ice, heat, epsom salt, elevation, baths, massage…everything! Two weeks of this agony and I headed to that shoe store (even though P no longer works there) and asked a ton of questions and walked out with some awesome shoes that I am still wearing today. I got better socks and insoles, too. I had made a conscious decision to take better care of the very things I rely on most of all…my feet! Not only are they adorable (shut up! They totally are!) they are everything to me. I couldn’t do much without them and I do love to dance, but most of all, I need them to work and earn money for food and shelter. You with me?
With my feet feeling better I am able to walk and stand more. I have other issues I’m working with/on, but those shoes and insoles help so much. This past weekend I went to Bed Bath & Beyond because my boyfriend had purchased his Dr.Scholls insoles there and he loves them. They have this machine that tests your foot needs and gives you a personalized recommendation for their insoles. They are $50 but BBB usually mails 20% off coupons (sadly I could not track one down but know that they never truly expire, even if there’s an expiration date). I went ahead with it anyway and at first they felt hella weird, but to be honest? My feet weren’t quite as tired as the day before. And today? Well, I overdid it with running and walking with the pugs over the weekend and woke up feeling like my left foot was broken and was afraid of what my day might hold (pain!). But I put in my insoles, actually I put them on top of my superfeet insoles, and I instantly felt better! Whoa! And now, after a full day’s work, my feet are still okay. I don’t know what my superfeet insoles cost originally, I’ve had them for some time, but the new ones I put on top really did the trick! The combo stabilizes my feet and gives me arch support. Nice!
I know it’s difficult if not damn near impossible to do the right things to take care of yourself when you’re poor. I know because I have lived it. But when I could I felt good about splurging a bit on such things because this is my health and my body and I need to take better care of myself when I can. Life is too short to be in pain if it’s preventable. I’m no longer ashamed to take the elevator when my knee is hurting and I will take a rest when I need to. I know what I need and do my best to stay true to that. I struggle, mostly with food, but I never want to be the girl walking like she’s got needles in her shoes. I deserve better, we all do. 
I will say that better shoes are not cheap, but they should be well made and last a good long time (with proper care), depending on wear and tear. Insoles can work in many types of shoes, so you might try that first before investing in shoes. Do the research to find what brands are best for your lifestyle and budget, but knowing exactly what you want (brand name, model #, etc) will help you get closer to the price you want online. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I asked the sales guy at Beck’s Shoes a million questions and he answered them all with enthusiasm. Don’t let salespeople make you feel pressured. If they do, say so and walk the fuck away!!! You are not obligated to buy anything you don’t actually want. You might tell them up front that you have many questions and might not be ready to purchase that day, or something like that. Ask other fatties! This always helps me when I’m looking for stuff. Read reviews & Write reviews! I love when a review specifically mentions the person’s own issues (sizing, foot issues, etc). My point is that the information is out there and that, for now, is free. 😉


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