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

The Life You Actually Want


I wrote a series of posts back in 2011 that really helped me start my life over again after leaving my marriage and selling my cafe. I thought about just revising and updating them, but instead I took a different approach. I still think those posts are helpful, especially as a jumping off point or as prompts to get you thinking about things a lil’ differently. I hope more than anything that this connects with you, even in a small way. Feel free to add your thoughts or comments below. 

What matters to you? This can take some time but give it some thought. Deep down, do you have some core principles or beliefs that have never changed for you? For me that would be fighting for the “underdog”. When I was younger I leaned a bit too hard on the fighting part and it took me well into my thirties to do the real work which is listening to the marginalized. The fight only helps or works if you listen to those with the experience of what you’re fighting for or against. Listening to ourselves is so important, too. Listen to your inner thoughts and pay attention to how your body reacts in different situations or different people. It can be shocking to discover how much of yourself you have hidden away or tamped down or contorted in order to make things easier or better for others. When you know what matters most to you, you can then do more of what aligns with your true self and begin building the life you’ve always wanted. Your confidence will increase, things like others negative comments or obligatory family things feel less stressful when you know what You are all about. You are an adult and can opt out of any and all things that make you feel less than or gross about.

Who do you look up to and why? What qualities do they have that you admire? Are there qualities you have that you don’t like? I found that I admired people who were quick to admit their own faults and learn from them rather than those who would cover them up or get defensive. I looked up to people who read books and had an inner fascination with the world. I always loved people who sought out, fought for, and revealed the truth to all. Rarely the popular ones, but something about that fierce integrity always captivated me. So, back in 2010, I made a commitment to myself to stop lying entirely. I started small, by not lying to myself about things and people and soon challenged myself to stop lying for niceties sake. It was a big game changer for me. It shifted my outlook on myself, life, and other people, too. You can make very small changes that will have a ripple effect and really turn things around before you know it!

It helps to think of these things in smaller and simpler terms. I am not a goal oriented person. I do like a challenge, however, so that is what helped me to change parts of myself and become more aligned with who I wanted to be. I would challenge myself to try something, to push beyond my comfort zone. Even so far as scaring myself a little. Wow! That really changed my life! I opened a business, walked in fashion shows, danced on stages, sang in public, went for jobs I never would have dreamed of. Push yourself a little, see what happens. You will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of. Now I am able to look back, even in my darkest moments, and know that I really did those things. Just over five years ago I would cry myself to sleep sometimes hoping, wishing, dreaming of one day being able to rent an apartment of my own (as in with no roommates or partners). It felt so unattainable. I thought I’d be living in roommate hell or makeshift housing forever. I have been happily living solo for five years exactly! Even as I was making the changes I needed to and was working towards this long sought outcome, it didn’t seem possible or real. Now I have to laugh at that but we are rarely the ones to see right away how our hard work has paid off, so to speak. 

You will need to create boundaries for how you will accept being treated by others. This will not be easy, and it will likely be painful. You get to decide how you want to be treated. You do not have to accept being treated as less than. You do not have to bear witness and sit helplessly while others tear you down. Yes, even if it’s family. You are an adult who gets to choose who you want in your life, and who you want to share company or your free time with. If you feel like shit whenever you interact with someone, you get to say when you have had enough and you won’t tolerate it anymore. That will often mean cutting people out of your life entirely. Not always, but it is difficult for people to see how their own behavior affects others, and they get to decide if they want to change in order to keep you in their lives. You do not have to put up with assholes and bullies. Especially when it is family, friends, or even your own intrusive thoughts. 

Does the life you want include feeling like dog poo? Demand better and be willing to walk away from people and things that don’t make you feel welcome and valued. 

Get out of the scarcity mindset. I still struggle with this. Just because someone came from nothing, or is struggling with poverty now, or is older or fatter or whatever, it does not mean that they are less deserving of something. You do not deserve less just because you don’t feel like your best self or are going through a tough time or are different from someone else. Just because I’m not rolling in riches doesn’t mean I don’t know how to have fun or enjoy my life. No matter what you look like or came from, you are very much desirable and even a dream date to others. You don’t get to decide how others feel about you, it honestly doesn’t even matter what others think of you. If you are living in alignment with the life you want and the person you want to be, the people and opportunities will come. You do not need to fit into someone else’s box or ideas of you in order to be happy. This is about you and your life, no one else’s. 

Think about how you can accommodate yourself now for the life and body you’re in today. Putting off things “until…” is self sabotaging, in my opinion. That goalpost will likely keep moving and no one on their deathbed wishes they ate less or did less things with fewer people. Whatever the inhibitor, ultimately it is us that holds ourselves back from the things we want or dream of. When I was inspired to open a cafe years ago, I wanted my friends to talk me out of it, though I never said so. Part of me still felt less than and unqualified or unworthy. I thought surely someone who loves me will tell me not to do it. Not a single person said a single negative or worrisome thing about it. My nearest and dearest were my biggest supporters. That is how it should be of course, but it was never clearer to me than then. I think I wanted to be let off the hook but everyone was so excited for me to do this big thing that scared the shit out of me. So I did it anyway! Do the scary thing, often that fear can be fuel or even confused for excitement. Also, make accommodations for yourself in just practical ways like maybe you love cooking but you have back pain that prevents you from doing the prepwork or whatever. Get a rolling stool for your kitchen or a smaller table you can use to do that work sitting down. Just because we have been taught to do things a certain way doesn’t mean there’s no other ways and you have to give up things that you enjoy. Get a shower stool or buy that lotion applicator so you can use the lovely smelling lotion that makes you feel dreamy. Shame and guilt suck the joy out of life, release it and find new ways to get back to or discover the things that bring you more joy, not less.

It took me ages to understand what it means to truly enjoy your own company. When I found myself moving back to the hometown that I experienced horrific trauma, during one of the lowest points in my adult life, I was faced with fighting my own demons on top of everything else I was going through. I was dating someone that wasn’t right for me, but was close enough that I settled for four years of what was really just gaslighting and a good sense of humor. It was really hard for me to be alone with myself and not disassociate or lean into old habits and self harm. I stumbled a lot, but felt determined to survive and find my way to the other side of my own CPTSD hell. Sometimes I kept on keeping on out of sheer spite. It works for me, but your mileage may vary. I would be in my worst moments and then think of like Mitch McConnell and just think fuck that guy why does he get to be happy? Certainly I am deserving of a decent life if that evil motherfucker is still kicking and smiling. Also, super volcanoes. It was comforting for me at times when very depressed to go to sleep and tell myself that a super volcano can erupt at any time and I wouldn’t even know it, I’d just be gone. Poof! Again, we all have things that can help us through, I think because I went through some true horrors so young that things like that can feel better than the things I actually experienced. Find what helps you and use it! 

A lot of our developmental years are spent having adults in our lives tell us things and insist they are the only or right way to be or think or feel or live. I recently heard this phrase, “Who taught you that and why?” and it can really help find things that you were taught that a.) aren’t actually true/right and b.) are not in alignment with who you are or want to become. So much of our upbringing is learning how to just be in the world, but our adult lives are more about finding our own way in the world. which often requires unlearning a lot of what we were taught. Some things I was raised to believe have been helpful and meaningful but some of it was and has been actually harmful. I learned my work ethic from my dad and grandma, and that has definitely helped me in life but it has also harmed me. My dad worked a full shift with a burst appendix, while working in retail management back in the day, and then drove himself to the ER. I had pneumonia for a month while working overtime as a retail manager, and I do not recommend it. I think many of us are raised with a specific idea of what success looks like, especially in American Capitalism, but is it what you truly want or view as success? It’s not for me, though I was also duped by those beliefs. I was climbing the corporate ladder and had a career I never could have dreamed of only to constantly feel like a fish out of water trying to fit in with the wolves of the corporate world. Don’t let others beliefs or desires dictate what matters to you.

Check in with yourself often. Life happens quickly and if you don’t stop to check in with how you’re really feeling about things you can easily get overwhelmed or feel out of control. Maybe you feel like nothing is going your way or you’re in a rut. So what would change that? What would make you feel more engaged or in control of your life? Sometimes it can be the smallest thing that can completely change how you feel about your life. Clothes have always been a struggle for me, and then of course having to organize them in some way always felt out of reach and stressful. When my clothes rack broke years ago and I was lamenting the mountain of chaos it made in my room, a friend offered to help me install an exterior closet sort of thing. It was such a simple solution, took all of ten minutes to install, and it lifted such an emotional burden from my mind. The next few weeks I would smile every time I walked into my room and saw my pretty dresses all hung up together instead of feeling overwhelmed and ashamed at the mess. Things we put off or ignore or pretend are fine usually feel way bigger than they really are. Putting off a phone call you’re dreading always feels worse than actually getting that call over with. Whew! 

Did you used to love something but was shamed by others? Did your parents forbid you from or take something away that you always wished you could go back and have again? Find a way to bring that or its elements back into your life. There’s a lot to be said of nostalgia, but it does give your brain a lil’ hit of dopamine. It also helps to heal some things from childhood whether we want to address them or not. I was dating someone who was an excellent gift giver. They gave me a special anniversary edition of Strawberry Shortcake for my birthday one year. When I opened the box just a smidge to see if it smelled like it did in the 80’s, the joy and absolute dreamy-pleasure of it and the memories it evoked, unmatched. But it doesn’t have to be a thing, maybe it’s music you weren’t allowed to listen to or perhaps you were told you couldn’t sing so you stopped. Find something that recaptures that pure happy feeling you had back when. Maybe it’s a dish your grandma made or a place you used to visit. It all may sound frivolous, but it can be so powerful it will knock your socks off. This has helped me with reparenting myself, too. When you grow to not trust adults at a young age even hearing the word reparent sounds revolting, but these little nuggets of childhood awe and joy led me to what I really needed then, a parent I could trust and would protect me. So now I do that for myself and it is helping me in so many ways.

Once you know what you want in life, and who you want to be and not just what you were told you needed to be, you get to practice and adopt these attributes and ways of being for yourself and create the life you can truly enjoy. When they say “fake it ’til you make it” it is really just another way of saying “practice makes perfect”. First of all, perfection is a myth, toss that concept out the window! No one and nothing is perfect, never has been and never will be. Practice is how we get good at things. You didn’t just come into the world walking or talking or snapping your fingers. You had to learn, which takes practice. You have to try on and practice this new person and life you’re trying to become. Something that helped me practice is having a little sign  with an affirming phrase or photo on the inside of your door and on your bathroom mirror, somewhere you look at at least twice a day. One of mine was “You’re a total badass!” and another was, “You’re fucking awesome!” I like swear words, you may or may not, whatever works for you is the point. You don’t have to believe what it says at first, but I encourage you to read it aloud at least once a day. On my mirror at home now I have this silly little stick figure flossing their teeth with the words “floss them shits!” on it, and I love it, I laugh every time I see it and I don’t forget to floss.The things we surround ourselves with have an impact. I soon found myself not just saying, but believing and ultimately knowing that I am a total badass. Nothing can take that away from me now, it is me. For me, being a total badass at its core is caring. I care, often more than I should, but I care deeply and I refuse to feel ashamed of that anymore. To be kind and caring in this world is punk as fuck! 

All that matters is you and how you feel about you. I use the deathbed metaphor a lot, but if I can look back and have no regrets, then I feel good, ya know? I don’t regret not fitting in or never becoming class president, even though they felt important at the time. I didn’t get the opportunities others have had. I have had to fight and work hard as hell to even survive but I am a wonderful person to know and be around with unbeatable integrity as a result. I know that my principles have never wavered. I have always cared, but I used to hide it and suffer because of that. I let go of the guilt and shame I was raised with and decided for myself what success looks like. I never saw myself as a corporate climber, but found myself trying so hard to be that even though it never felt right. Trust your intuition to tell you when things aren’t right for you, it won’t steer you wrong. Most of my very few regrets are when I ignored my intuition because I felt I had to or was trying to be nice, but it wasn’t nice for me in the end. If something feels off, hit pause and find out why, or simply get the fuck out of there. I may have missed out on things that traditionally others look back on as their glory days but those people rarely like themselves now. Me? I love myself! I can honestly say that. It took a ton of work to get here but I don’t need others’ validation to feel good about myself now. 


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,

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