Fatshion

I promised you all a post this weekend and by god I’m going to give it to you! So, following my last post, I had few requests to do a blog about fashion for us fabulous and fat ladies who want to look fierce. Now, those who know my, know that in the last few years, I have become obsessed with fashion and cycle through way more clothes than any reasonable person ever should. I feel like there is a time and place for every outfit on earth. However, I have been avoiding a conversation about fatshion and here is why. Inevitably, every time, someone asks me “can you tell me how to dress for my shape?” and this question is the bane of my existence. SO, I will talk about fatshion in a minute, but the social justicy/body positive person in me can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about the aforementioned question first.

What is wrong with “dressing for your shape”

  • It implies that there is an ideal shape that you are trying to achieve. It’s drenched in tones of, how to do I erase my shape and make it look like something more pleasing to the eye?
  • Dressing for your shape is filled with outdated and offensive tips like, ” you should wear black, it’s slimming” or “have you tried vertical stripes to make you look long and lean”
  • It’s filled with shame and cover up. You don’t need to cover up your body or hide your natural shape.
  • It buys into the idea that you owe it to someone to “carry your weight” a certain way ( another bane of my existence phrase. UGH)

Buying into dressing for your shape reinforces unrealistic expectations of what your body should look like. I have a friend who refuses to invest in the body positive movement, and she has explained to me that if she “had a figure like mine” that she wouldn’t mind being fat. To her, my body type is ideal. Which is silly. There is no wrong or right way to inhabit your body. End of story!

Okay so now! My top fatshion tips for looking fierce and living on a budget.

  • Shop the sales: I know that this one may seem obvious, but here is the deal. I NEVER buy anything retail. I don’t care how bad I want it! I refuse. I will wait for a sale or I won’t get it. So, you need to learn sale cycles. For example. several times a year Cacique has their bra’s buy 2 get 2 free. That’s $80 off. Also, Lane Bryant, Deb, and Torrid all have special sales where they have an additional 50% or 60% off on their clearance. Today, I got all of this for 80 bucks.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • Buy versatile: Buy things that have more than one use. My favorite versatile piece is a black maxi skirt, where it as a tube dress with a waste belt, where it high wasted, where it on your hips, where it long with one side tied up. This one piece can be worn so many different ways that you can wear it everyday of the week and no one would know.
  • Invest in your accessories: Accessories really are just as important as the clothes you buy. Accessories can completely change your entire outfit or just add that little splash of color that you need. My top 3 favorite accessories:
  1. Belts. Omg, I can not express to you how much I love belts. I have somewhere in the vicinity of 25. These can be worn with dresses, jeans, sweaters, over a tunic, over a cardigan with the cardi open. They can really make a difference in bringing your outfit together AND make you look put together,
  2. Scarves: Buy them, buy them all. Use them in your hair, around your neck, around your waste, tied in the belt loop of your jeans, or even tied on to the strap of your purse. This is one little accessory that can set you apart.
  3. Red Shoes: If you don’t have a pair of red shoes, run to the store immediately. Not only are they fierce as hell fire, but they are a great conversation starter. Every conference I go to , I wear my red shoes and I can’t tell you how many professionals from around the country I have met because my red shoes caught there eye.
  • Be comfortable: Now, I don’t mean run around in your sweats. I mean that you have to feel comfortable with your body in what you are wearing. It’s not so much about physical comfort as mental comfort. If you feel uncomfortable or exposed in your wardrobe, it will show, and people will notice. If you want to be more daring, I suggest wear some more adventurous stuff around your house alone first, then around your friends, and then take it out in public. These baby steps really helped me strut in my first bikini.

and finally!!!!!!

  • WEAR WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT! Seriously, fashion/fatshion is supposed to be fun. Stop worrying about what others think, and how you look, and whether or not people can see your fat rolls, and just put on the clothes you want to wear. Find your own style. Seriously! and if it isn’t out there, create it! I used to tell everyone my style was urban boho chic. Wait, that might actually be a thing now….Anyway. find what works for you and just do it, don’t be afraid to wear what makes you happy. If someone doesn’t like it, there is this really cool thing that was granted to humans, it’s called the ability to look away and mind your own damn business. BAM!

The sexiest and most beautiful thing you can wear is a smile and confidence. If you have those on, you’re good to go!

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New Year’s Resolutions

So, today is the day after Christmas, and for those of us who celebrate it, we probably over ate, and are stuffed to the nines with sweets, turkey, and all of the amazing fixings.  Now, the day after, we feel bloated, and gross, and are bombarded with before and after pictures and overkill from the diet industry leading into the new year.  This may have some people wavering about their commitment to jump off of the diet train and stick with Health at Every Size. So here is my list of 10 better New Year’s Resolutions, than losing weight.

  

   1.Commit to doing activities that make you feel good 5 days a week.

Go ride a bike, play tennis, go for a walk, or just have a fucking living room dance party! Do these things because they feel good in your body and they are good for your body, not because you are trying to make your body something that it isn’t.

     2. Start living your life the way you planned to when you got thin! 

Instead of hiding in a shell and waiting for some arbitrary number to pop up on a scale to live your life the way that you want to, do it now! Always wanted to wear a bikini to the beach? Strap one on! Want to go to a bar and flirt your ass off? DO IT! Want to by that new outfit? Buy it now and  IN YOUR SIZE!

     3.Stop! Body shaming yourself. 

We’ve all been there, and I’m not going to lie to you, after all of these years, I still struggle with this sometimes. You get up in the morning, and your just not feeling it. You walk to the mirror and you start picking, you pick apart your body, your face, and your life. This year commit to stop! It’s like smoking, you just gotta quit cold turkey. Try that rubber band on this wrist thing that people are so fond of!

4. Be more spontaneous.

Sometimes, being a grown up, seems a lot like committing to be in a rut for your entire life. Break the cycle, and in 2013 try to be more spontaneous! Get in the car and just drive, let the GPS guide you back! Ask someone on a date. Go up and talk to a new person. Try a new restaurant. Doing new and spontaneous things can be exhilarating and boost your confidence!

5. Overcome something challenging.

My big challenge? Completing a Master’s degree. I wanted it so bad I could taste it. I wanted to give up many times along the way, but by god I finished it! What’s your challenge? What do you want to complete before the end of 2013? Make it happen!

6. Educate yourself.

2013 can be a year of learning for you. Despite what we may like to pretend, none of us knows everything. So this year, you can commit to learning about X# of new topics!

     7. Spend more time with the people you care about.

When people say life is short, they aren’t just kidding you. The older you get, the faster time seems to travel. When we get older, I assure we aren’t going to regret not accomplishing a purchasing order. We won’t be wishing we had just spend 5 more hours a week at work. And we sure as hell won’t be wishing we had spent a few more hours obsessing over our weight and body. We will wish we had more time with the people we loved. So, this year, don’t wait until it’s too late, do it now.

    8. Commit to a cause.

There is a lot of messed up stuff going on this world. There are people starving, children who can’t afford to go to school, LGBT people still can’t get equal rights, racism is rampant, everywhere you turn there is something going wrong! So, this year, commit all of the time that you used to spend obsessing over your body, dedicated to making the world a better place! Maybe  you don’t have the time to volunteer, whip out that wallet! Maybe you don’t have the cash, write your legislator. This year, do something to change the things you don’t like in our society, instead of on your body.

9. Reduce!

Forgive me, but I am going to get  preachy for just a second. We live in a consumer/throw away society. We do it with people and we do it with things. This year, make a commitment to stop doing it. Reduce the amount of things you have to throw away, instead choose recyclable materials when possible. Reduce the amount of animal products that you consume which are bad for your body (in excess), bad for the environment, and in the farm factory industry, bad for the animals. Reduce your buy in into mass consumerism, do you really need another Apple product? Finally, reduce the number of times that you throw people away because they don’t match up to your expectations. We are all just trying to get through this crazy messed up life and sometimes people need a little extra love and support.

Interested in reducing? Check out my friends blog about her minimalist journey (www.bornagainminimalist.com)

10. Be honest, be yourself. 

I saved this one for last, because it is also my New Year’s resolution. It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of life. In a digital age, we are constantly aware of what we post on the web and how quickly information can be passed along. We have to be aware of not only what our friends and family may think, but what future employers may think of who we are and how we behave. It’s no surprise to me that we may all be a little guarded. My commitment this year, is a commitment to myself. I will be open and honest with myself, and the people around me.  I will let people in, and let them see who I really am and what I want out of my life. This year, I commit to tearing down the walls, that I have built to protect myself, and just live honestly, and happily. Maybe you’ll give it a try with me!

Now, these are just a few suggestions for resolutions that would be a better commitment than wasting time worrying about your weight. I’m sure you have got millions, and I would love to hear them. Leave your suggestions or personal resolutions in the comment section!

Self-Care

I’m sure we have all been paying fervent attention to the rise of self-care terminology. While you may be thinking it’s all mumbo jumbo, I have got to say. I’m a believer. Self-care makes you do good work and feel great doing it. So, this week, I wanted to share my top 5 self-care tips.

1. Take an hour for yourself each and every day. This may seem kind of obvious, but it’s really important to take that time for yourself to clear your head and pamper yourself each and everyday. I know it can be hard to get away, especially if you have little ones running around or are working multiple jobs, but you are worth it. So, make the time! I use my lunch hour each day to escape and do whatever I want. Sometimes I knit, sometimes I read, sometimes I veg out in front of the tv, and sometimes I just like to sit quietly and think. No matter how you choose to spend your one hour, an hour spent just for you will help you to feel relaxed and re-energized!

2. Write, write, and write some more! Now as a blogger, I obviously enjoy writing, but beyond that, writing can be very therapeutic. Writing can often help us get out thoughts and feelings that we dare not say out loud, or just don’t want to. In this life, we can deal with a lot of frustrating people and situations and we can’t always say the things that we feel. For this, I strongly recommend journaling or just writing when you feel overwhelmed. Some examples of writing projects that have helped me deal with frustrating situations:

  • A letter to my father who passed away.
  • A letter to my ex who infuriated me and broke my heart
  • A letter to a friend who moved away
  • Journaling my thoughts through the grieving process
  • Telling off a co-worker
  • Writing all the things that make me happy throughout the day
  • Writing down the reasons I love my job

Maybe, you have encountered one of the situations above, maybe you have something entirely different and frustrating to deal with. Beyond the topic, writing out your thoughts and feelings helps you connect with yourself and connect with who you want to be, so write, write, and write some more.

3.   Pamper yourself once a week. Pampering and treating yourself does not make you selfish, it makes you healthy. So treat yourself to pampering once a week. This pampering session can be whatever you need it to be. I know personally, I like a nice hot lavender bubble bath and a Johnny Depp movie. I’m a sucker for a good J.D. movie. I have a friend who get’s a manicure like clock work each week. Maybe pampering for you looks different. Maybe your treat is a road trip, a movie, a nice dinner out, or something nice and cheap like a game night with your family. Take the time to treat yourself to what makes you feel happy and beautiful!

4. Affirm your beauty and have faith in your confidence. It can be hard sometimes to live in a world that constantly reminds us that we fail its expectations. With each of us viewing 600 advertisements a day telling us we are not good enough, it can be easy to forget the amazing and beautiful creatures that we are. So, cheesy as it sounds, take the time every day to remind yourself how amazing you are. Here are some helpful ways that you can tackle this 365 task:

  • Pick a new body part or character trait each day to compliment.
  • Write a list of positive affirmations (or yoink one from the internet)

Use your affirmation list to do the following:

  • Write yourself post it notes and leave them on your mirror each day.
  • Write your affirmations on tiny sheets of paper, put them in a jar, and pull one out to read each day
  • If you use a calendar for work, write your affirmations in as a task each day so that they pop up and remind you.

5. Get Fancy. Take the time to do you every now and again. Get dressed up and fabulous and go out or just take gratuitous pictures of yourself. You deserve to feel smoking! You like make up? Put it on! High heels? Strap on those stilettos? You feel bad ass in a pair of converse high tops? Lace um up and strut like the magnificent person you are. Take the time to get dressed to the nines and check yourself out!

Give these tips a shot and if they don’t work for you, make up your own top 5! Above all, as we move into the Holidays take the time to Laugh, Love, and DO YOU!!!!

 

Got more ideas for blog topics or great self-care tips? Leave them in comment section!

“But you’re promoting an unhealthy lifestyle!”

Okay, so this blog entry is dedicated to the haters. Okay, maybe not haters, but ill informed, ill motivated “do gooders”. This post is for the people who are out to save us from our fatness, save us from ourselves.

There are few things in this life that are considered both a medical condition and everybody else’s business. Rarely do you see people run up to a smoker, who is a complete stranger, yelling about cancer and about how disgusting they are as a human being for smoking. Or how about running up to thin people eating McDonald’s and other processed foods yelling at them about their diet/lifestyle. People would be livid if we displayed this kind of behavior. Yet, somehow, it is perfectly acceptable to do these exact same things to a fat person that you have never met before? So, before I delve into any science or medical reasoning behind HAES, I just want to tell everyone one thing. If it’s not your body….SHUT UP! That might sound really harsh, but here is the deal. I don’t come to your house and slap the high fructose corn syrup snacks that are killing your kids out of their sweet little hands. I don’t come over and cry and yell because your eating meat even though I am a vegetarian. I make choices about my life and you make choice about yours. It is beyond rude to assert your assumptions about health, beauty, and quality of life on someone else. So, don’t do it!

Now, let me hop down off of my soup box and let’s talk science and dollar signs. Here is what we do know about “obesity” (I hate that word, but whatevs, we are talking science here). We know that despite the “war on obesity”, a 58+ BILLION dollar diet industry, and every fad diet that you can possibly imagine, fat people are not disappearing. There has yet to be creation of a pill or diet that magically makes all people the alleged “perfect” thin ideal.  To make things more complicated, we know that the few people who do find weight loss success, only experience it for a limited time. In other words 90+ % of people who lose 20 pounds or more will gain it all back within 5 years. If you jump to the 10year mark, that percentage gets pretty close to 100. So what is the driving force behind our diet culture? The most common response that you will hear is health. So let’s take a look at how weight loss/diet culture is affecting our health.

Let me start with asking, what medical treatment do you know of, besides weight loss, that would be recommended as a cure with a less than 5% long term success rate? Just throwing that out there. But what if I told you that diet culture is not only not the cure, but it’s also a major part of the problem? What if I told you that your weight isn’t actually whats dictating your health? Well recent studies show that this is true. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center conducted a study that showed that losing and regaining weight lowers the functioning of your immune system. Dr. Tracy L. Bale of Univ. of Pa. conducted a study that showed that dieting changes your brain chemistry and causes your body to crave high fat foods leading to additional weight gain rather than weight loss.  And here is a real kicker, recent studies, one conducted by the Presidents Council on Fitness and Sports and one conducted by the American Dietetic Association, showed that there is strong evidence that “overweight” or “obese” individuals can get healthier by becoming more active, regardless of how much weight they lose or if they lose weight at all.

So, I know I just crammed a lot of information into a short blog space, but what does it all mean? Here is a summary of what recent studies show. There are actually no significant health risks associated with being “overweight” or “obese”. The health risks commonly attributed to size are actually a result of behaviors and eating habits that lead SOME people to be “obese” or “overweight”. So! If you are concerned about your OWN health, then become more active and eat the right things. STOP putting the focus on weight loss. This, my friendly readers, is Health at Every Size (HAES). When you eat healthy and exercise, your body will balance out. Don’t believe me? Seven years ago, I jumped off of the weight lost band wagon and started thinking HAES. In the first year I lost 60 pounds, I have maintained every pound of weight loss for seven years. I now weigh in the ten pound range of 280-290, have an average blood pressure of 117/60, no blood sugar problems, and I never get winded going up stairs. My fat is a part of my health and mental well being.

The point I am trying to make is every body can be beautiful and healthy, any size, any shape, period, end of story. The science backs it up. So don’t assume you know someone’s health on the basis of their body. AND don’t assume it’s any of your business.

Empowering Fat

So I have received quite a few comments and messages of concern around my usage of the word fat over terms like plus size, voluptuous, fluffy, etc.  I wanted to take the time to talk about the reclamation of the word fat and how we can use it to feel empowered instead of victimized.

Let me start by saying that I certainly understand why people might be off put by the word fat. For many of us, that word has been hurled at us violently from family members, strangers, doctors, and from moving cars. It has been used to attack in expected situations like family dinners and doctor visits, and it has surprised as we walked down the street minding our own business. It has been followed by snorting pig noises, moos, and commonly derogatory terms as in fat bitch, slut, fuck, asshole, and so on. I get why fat can be a pretty damn hurtful word for people of size. So, why do I use it?

I feel like when we continue to allow it to be a four letter word, we continue to give it the power to hurt not just ourselves but other fat people. When we use terms like voluptuous or fluffy over fat, it perpetuates the idea that there is something shameful or wrong about being fat. It’s something we have to cover up, hide, and stuff into a pair of Spanx pronto. I have no shame about fat, I want to stick that word on a pedestal in a bikini with a neon sign that says “Hey there sexy pants!” Too far? But you get the idea.

I use the word fat to rob it of its negative power. I’m a fat woman, but I am also quite tall. I am 5’9”.  I have never described myself as tall and had someone rush quickly to me and be like “Oh no! You’re not tall, you’re just vertically advanced.”

I don’t need someone to make excuses for my size, or qualify my size. I don’t want to be told “Oh you’re not fat, you’re pleasantly plump, rotund, fluffy, or a meat and potatoes kind of gal”. And I especially don’t want to be called hefty. Kind people, I am not a trash bag. I am fat, tall, pale, red haired, and freckled, and each of those descriptive words should merit the exact same reaction.  And it’s for this reason that I loudly and proudly use the word fat, because nobody should be afraid of that word or of that idea. 

If only you could rearrange the letters in obesity to spell obsession.

Every once and a while when I am surfing the glorious interwebs I come across an article that is not so much appalling as just completely and totally laughably entertaining.  This article is one of those things.

http://www.examiner.com/x-41615-Philadelphia-Diets-Examiner~y2010m3d23-Has-daVincis-Last-Supper-Uncoded-Americas-Obesity-Epidemic

These people legitimately spent money to study different versions of the Last Supper over the last thousand years to see if the serving sizes on the table got bigger?! the best part of reading the article was how scientific and serious they tried to make themselves sound:

“Using the size of the diners’ heads as a basis for comparison, the Wansinks used computers to compare the sizes of the plates in front of the apostles, the food servings on those plates and the bread on the table. Assuming that heads did not increase in size during the second millennium after the birth of Christ, the researchers used this method to gauge how much serving sizes increased.”

I ‘m sorry I just had to share this because I found it so very entertaining!

DEEPLY SORRY

I just want to apologize to my readers and to anyone who has been trying to contact me. I moved and also went through a sort of very personal crisis that I don’t feel at liberty to discuss, but I am back now after a very long time and I hope to resume writing my blog on a regular basis and discussing all that is fat in the media ASAP!

So here is an update on me really quick! I was recently accepted into graduate school which I am very very very excited about! I am working on getting a graduate assistantship to pay for my tuition. I have also just recently started seeing someone and he is probably reading this right now so I should only say flattering things =) . I am also thinking of adding a page just for personal pictures and things so that you guys can keep up with my life just because I seem to be getting a lot of requests for that. So hopefully that will be up soon!

NOW fat in the media!

I wanted to address this article because I LOVE Gabourney Sidibe. I thought that she did a fantastic job in the film “Precious” and I have noticed that a lot of people in Hollywood have felt very comfortable discussing her weight from Jaime (sp?) Foxx to Howard Stern. The whole article can be found at the link below, but as always I am just going to hit on the key points.

http://www.usmagazine.com/healthylifestyle/news/gabourey-sidibes-mom-slams-howard-stern-for-fat-jab-get-a-life-2010163

Let me start with my instantaneous childish reaction

Howard Stern “called the Oscar nominee, 26, the “most enormous fat black chick I’ve ever seen… She should have gotten the Best Actress award because she’s never going to have another shot. What movie is she gonna be in?””

First of all, if someone could give Howard Stern, with from what I can tell not one redeeming quality a job, then I am pretty sure that Gabourney will be okay out there. Secondly, why does Howard Stern always feel like he has the right to degrade women and talk about their bodies. UGH the man drives me insane!

But HERE is the kicker to add insult to injury

“weight loss company AcaiSupply.com publicly offered her a one-year supply of their product to “reach your goal of someday winning an Oscar… by being active, fit, and most of all, healthy!”

When I read this I was so appalled I could hardly even think straight! Can you imagine. As if being thin would make her a better actress! This is just as insulting as if a plastic surgeon publicly offered Pelelope Cruz a nose job to improve her chances of winning an Oscar. It is an insult not just to Gabourney but to women in general. As if their worth and skill lies souly in the width of their thighs.

This all brings me to my final point. Amidst all of this garbage Gabourney still carries herself with poise and grace! She says:

“It’s something I’ve had to work at. My first diet started when I was six years old,” she said. “I’ve never been a small girl. One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body.”

I say bravo to loving yourself in the face of an industry that openly mocks you and treats you as less than! SHE ROCKS MY SOCKS!!!!

Home At Last?

So, I am back in my hometown for a few days getting my car fixed and visiting family. After being away fro so long, I couldn’t wait to get home, see old friends, chat with my mother, just relax a little bit. The problem? My family still does not get this whole “I’m happy being fat thing”. Now you would think that me telling them to drop it would be enough, but no, it comes up at every meal. “You were so pretty when you were thinner.” “You are gonna die at that weight” and my step father is the worst! “You know being fat is a product of laziness” “What do you do eat a whole tub of ice cream” These are the things I face when I go home. I know that they are trying to guilt me, or scare me into losing weight, and a few years ago they may have succeeded. Now, I know the facts, I know that I am a healthy happy vegetarian, who loves yoga, and long walks, and is yes indeed fat.

So, I have made it my goal to fill them in on some of the facts! Whether they want to hear the facts or not at this point is irrelevant, I am on a mission lol! My mission of the day? Print off some news articles and medical journals to help educate my family about the real issue of size, since my wod doesn’t seem to be cutting it. Wish me luck!

Big Bodies In Motion

Okay, so you might have noticed that the official name of my blog is BigBodiesinMotion. I cam eup with this idea based on the stereotype that many people have of the fat community. Many people think that fat people sit on their butts eating bon bons and watching soaps all day. I know this stereotype is false, and I would like the opportunity to prove it. SO, I am going to be dedicating a page on this blog to Big Bodies in Motion. Here is the catch. I want all of you to email your pictures of examples of being fat and active to bigbodiesinmotion@yahoo.com! I will upload the pics as long as they are not vulgar or offensive! So let me see how you all love to be active!

Fat Fashion Woes

Throughout time curvy luscious bodies have been worshiped and adored for their beautiful lines. For many years the fashion industry took notice and designed beautiful outfits for women with a more abundant body type. But in the height of the  skinny revolution many plus size women find themselves in a fashion draught searching through piles and piles of tweety bird shirts and lycra pants for one cute piece to add to their wardrobe. So what’s a plus size girl to do?

There are stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid that are catering to women of size. They offer  many fashionable options, but for women living on a budget (which in this economy is everyone) these stores may be a little bit too pricey. Although TIP check out the clearance racks. Many ‘a’ time I have scored an adorable outfit for under ten bucks.

There are also many stores and botiques only that cater the fat and fabulous crowd, such as http://www.alight.com,  http://www.kiyonna.com/, http://www.igigi.com/, http://www.sizeappeal.com/, and many more.  Personally, I have trouble buying clothing that I don’t get to try on, but these are always options for the gal who can’t locate a plus-size botique near her.

So, what can we do to change this problem. I did something personally drastic for myself as an accessory lover. About a year ago, I started refusing to shop for anything in a store that doesn’t carry my size. Goodbye Chartlotte Ruse! I loved thee well. While sometimes its hard to pass things in the window, I feel better knowing that I dont’ support their sizist chain, and I suggest everyone start doing the same. We fatties spend money the same as skinny folk and if we pull out our funding of chains that won’t cater to us, especially in this economy they will feel the hurt. So, if you are looking for an easy way to get involved in the Fat Acceptance Movement, this is a great opportunity!