Dear Interwebs, I’m Tired…

2013, Body, Body Image, Body Narrative, body parts, cheese, Dear Interwebs, Fat, Health, I'm Tired, Kristin Bell, legos, lightbulbs, motor oil, oompa loompa tanned, Rain, scissors, sharks, skinny, stuffed teddy bears, sumi ink, Trees

topics

Dear Interwebs,
I’m tired of constantly debating women’s peoples’ bodies. I’m tired of it being the sole focus of so much conversation. I’m tired of “healthy” this and “unhealthy” that. I’m tired of “men want meat not bones” and “eww, gross, you are so fat!” I’m tired of all the health-nut trollers. And I’m even tired of trying to get the health-nut trollers to understand how they are not helpful. I’m tired of ranting about how fat is not the devil. I’m tired of all of the tired “debate” (*cough* yelling *cough*) about how obesity is the single biggest plague on society. I’m tired of having photo competitions to show who is sexiest—fat, skinny, fit, unfit, tall, short, round, normal bodied, differently bodied, tattooed, maimed, jaundiced, oompa-loompa-tanned, blonde, brown, lumpy, frumpy, dimpled, ab-rocking, make-overed, pierced, Barbie, grungy, blah blah blah, etc.—why can we NOT stop talking about bodies?!? Do we all have some form of body? Why yes, yes, we do. I think we can all pretty much agree on that. There are no brains in jars being pushed around on carts that I know of. Yes, our bodies are wonderful and amazing, but can’t we PLEASE PLEASE quit talking about them for five seconds?!? Every day it is a firestorm of shit about people are too fat, people are too thin, people are healthy, people look this way, people look that way, OMG Becky, LOOK AT HER BUTT!!!

Why are we all incessantly patrolling each and every body part of each other? Dude, it is sooooo out of control! Stop the madness! Calgon take me away! So, in an effort to alleviate some of this nonsense, here are a few examples of topics to discuss with your neighbor. You don’t have to discuss heavy world politics or anything (like anyone understands THAT anyway)! JUST SOMETHING ELSE, PLEASE! I’m going to try to make these topics as banal and non-controversial as possible.

Topic #1: Cheese.
Topic #2: Lightbulbs.
Topic #3: Sharks.
Topic #4: Scissors.
Topic #5: Legos.
Topic #6: Rain.
Topic #7: Motor Oil.
Topic #8: Sumi Ink.
Topic #9: Trees.
Topic #10: Stuffed Teddy Bears.

Now, there’s a list of ten things that are rarely discussed on Facebook and the rest of the interwebs. I’m sure if you try hard enough, you can think of many more things to add to the list, and so can I. The next time you are tempted to post about weight loss/gain, your new healthy cleanse/diet/lifestyle, someone else’s (or your own) boobs, thighs, butt, flabby/not flabby arms, how someone is too skinny/fat/unhealthy/healthy/lazy/beautiful/ugly, how the world needs to be changed because people are too fat/skinny/unhealthy/healthy/blah de de blah, etc., well, just consult this list of banal topics. Now, I am not talking about eliminating critiques of culture/body culture all together, but if all you (or I) am going to add is blah blah blah GARBAGE, ill-conceived nonsense and old tired tropes to the conversation, PLEASE put down the keyboard and WALK, CRAWL, SCOOT, LEAVE, GO AWAY FROM the computer! Interwebs, you are just making me too tired to even stare at the screen for hours on end! How dare you!

Dear Abercrombie & Fitch, I Hope You Choke & Die On Your New Plus Size Clothing

2013, Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrummy & Filth, Activism, Body, Body Image, capitalism, Clothes, clothing, Discrimination, Evil Empire, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Hate

abercrummy

Okay, so if you haven’t heard, Abercrombie & Fitch clothing is made of human assholes and excrement. Yes, you heard me right! Abercrombie & Fitch, who defended their NO PLUS SIZES policy by saying that they didn’t want uncool and fat people sporting their brand, is now going to carry some plus size clothing and accessories, because their stock has tanked. Let me just say to Abercrombie & Fitch, YOU CAN SUCK IT! I hope your company dies in the stinking ball of hate from which it was formed. Sure, there are other companies that also discriminate against fat people, but Abercrummy & Filth was very vocal about their hatred of us fatties and how we are not good enough to don their crappy wares. I would, of course, love to see all of the clothing companies that don’t include fatties in their agenda wiped off the planet, but I will settle first for the much belated death of Abercrummy & Filth.

Shadow On A Tightrope 30 Year Celebration!

1980's, 1990's, 2013, Activism, Anorexia, Aunt Lute Books, Bailey Coy Books, blog carnival, Blogging, Body, Body Image, Body Narrative, book, Books, Bulimia, Bullying, Discrimination, discussion, Equality, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, feminist, Gastric Bypass, Grrls/Women, Hate, Health, identity, Kristin Bell, library, Magic, Plus Size, Psychology, Reading, Scales, self-care, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, Shadow on a Tightrope, Shame, Supersize, Support System, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry, weightloss surgery
shadow

Kaweria (mom) and Nayeli (daughter) reading “Shadow on a Tightrope”

This year is the 30th anniversary of the publishing of Shadow on a Tightrope by Aunt Lute Books, and there is a blog carnival this week for the book! I am so happy to be participating. I can’t think of a lot of books that have changed my life, but I would say that this one has. I was about 19 years old when I first picked up SOAT. I was bulimic and fat, and had always been told that being fat was the worst thing in the world to be. In high school I had starved myself down to a “normal” weight, but I gained back some of the weight by the time I was 19 when I was trying to starve myself again. I remember being in Seattle at Bailey Coy Books (now out of business) where I found the book, and later reading the book during my lunch break at the University Bookstore where I worked for a short time. I could not believe what I was reading! For one thing, there were these other fat people out there! Who knew?!? And some of them had endured horrendous surgeries that I didn’t know existed back then (which are all too common now). AND then they were saying that fatness wasn’t the horrid devil wrapped in bacon strips that I had always been told it was! WHAT?!? Did I read that correctly? I didn’t know it at the time, but the book forever changed my outlook on fat and fat activism. Maybe not all at once, but it all stayed with me. It found a little space in my brain, and when everyone else and all of society screamed at me to be thin I remembered the words in SOAT. I remembered (for once) that this experience of being fat was not something I had to do alone, and even though I didn’t stop the bulimia for years, and hated myself for being fat a lot, the messages from SOAT were there working their magic. And, I really think it was like magic that these words in a book could so profoundly alter my view of the world. Years later I stopped the bulimia, and I now consider myself to be a fat activist of sorts, and SOAT is still helping me to figure out how to live with my body and how to live with a world that hates my body. I am forever indebted to Aunt Lute and all of the people who put the book together. I hope that this book can get in the hands of more fat people just so they know that it doesn’t have to be like this, they don’t have to hate themselves, and they aren’t alone.

Fashion Fix: Presents From My Favorite Companies!

1XL, 2012, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL, 5XL, Body, Body Image, Body Narrative, Bracelets, Clothes, clothing, Extended Plus Size, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Free, Kristin Bell, Plus Size, presents, scarf, Simply Be, Ulla Popken

Imagine my surprise when I got something in the mail that I didn’t even order! The pictured bracelet came from Ulla Popken for no reason at all! How nice! And I love what it says! The scarf is from Simply Be, simply because I entered a photo of me wearing my favorite Joe Brown’s item! A big thank you to both companies for not only the items they gave me, but for catering to the plus size chubb-chubb girls like me! Without them I’d be naked!!!

IMG_3444 IMG_3446Photo on 2012-12-26 at 17.16 #3

Mental Health Update: Monday, May 28, 2012

2012, Abilify, Acceptance, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, Anxiety, Autobiography, Bipap, Body Image, Body Narrative, Brain, Buspar, Depression, Diary Rant, EDNOS, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Happy, Health, Injections, insanity, Kristin Bell, Medicine, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Stabilizers, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, Psychology, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Sleep, Sleep Disorders, stigma, Weight, Zoloft

I thought I’d do a little mental health update, since it has been quite some time since I’ve blogged about my overall mental health. As some of you dear readers may know, I have schizophrenia. I first had issues with it when I was about 15. My first hospitalization was when I was 16. Towards the end of 2000 I got mostly stabilized with my Haldol injections and Zoloft. I haven’t been in the hospital since then! Yay! Quite a long run I’ve had and I hope it continues! For quite some time I had problems getting things done, being motivated and feeling down…that sort of thing, even though I was mostly fine. I think it was last year that I started taking Abilify and it has made a HUGE difference! I’m still taking Zoloft, Buspar, Haldol and some non-psychiatric meds in addition to the Abilify, but the addition of the Abilify was great. I’m doing really pretty well these days. Sometimes I have anxiety, although I think it might generally be related to performance issues with school. I also tried taking Topamax to help with weight loss, but I thought it might be making me stupid and giving me more anxiety, so I quit taking it. I think overall, the Topamax was not helping. It seemed like I was becoming less motivated and more sad with it. I also had that bad anxiety day that I wrote about recently.

So, I think I was just hoping for a magic weightloss bullet with the Topamax. It didn’t work. Boo. I have lost about 90-100 pounds though which is good, but I still need to be less sedentary. I’m also a believer in fat acceptance, but of course it is hard to say that I never want to try to lose weight. I would be an even bigger believer in fat acceptance if I wasn’t actually fat I think!!! hahaha. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is kind of true. I can accept the hell out of everyone’s fatness, but my own! lol.

Anyway, enough about fatness for now. What I want to say is that I’m doing well on the whole. My sleep patterns have improved with my sleep apnea machine, and while I’m not sleeping on any kind of normal schedule yet, I’m getting sleep every day and mostly at the same time! I still tend to be somewhat paranoid, but I’ve found that opening up with people over the years on the internet has really helped me to realize that I don’t need to be afraid of everyone in the world. I still have some delusional thoughts that blow through my brain now and then, but I consider them to be more of a slight annoyance than a big deal right now. But seriously, it is because of the medicine. If I wasn’t taking my meds, and doing so faithfully, I would be in and out of hospitals and massively psychotic. Some people don’t believe me, because I “seem so normal,” but I have to wonder what THAT means anyway? And, I don’t know, it seems like I should be insulted when people say that to me, but I’m not sure why I find it so insulting! I don’t necessarily want to be abnormal, even though I pretty much am, but I think it just bothers me that people attach a kind of value judgement to the term “normal” as if “normal” is superior. It is definitely easier to live in the world if you are “normal,” but it isn’t the only way to be in the world, that’s for sure. Normal is just such a peculiar word, no?

So, I’m doing fine. Some anxiety here and there, some weird thoughts here and there…a depressed mood now and then, but mostly just good. Which is nice. Thank you meds and thank you lucky stars! So, that’s my update after living with schizophrenia for 24 years. Wow! 24 years! Man am I getting old!!! LOL.

Review: Loud In the House of Myself by Stacy Pershall

Acceptance, Anorexia, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, Anxiety, Ativan, Autobiography, Binge Eating, Bipolar, Black & White, Body, Body Image, Books, Borderline Personality, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Depakote, Depression, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, insanity, Internet, Kristin Bell, Lithium, Loud In the House of Myself, Mania, Manic, Manic-Depressive, MAO Inhibitors, memoir, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Stabilizers, Navane, Prozac, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychoactive Substances, Psychology, Reading, Review, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, Stacy Pershall, Stories, strange girl, Suicide, Surviving, Thin, Weightloss

Loud In the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl is a new book by Stacy Pershall. Of course, I was immediately drawn to this memoir, because it is a) a memoir b) about a “strange girl” and c) deals with mental illness. Yay! Since I’m undoubtably a strange mentally ill girl, I knew I had to read this. Pershall writes about her life growing up in Arkansas and her morphing from an über-sensitive child into a teenager and young adult with Borderline and Bipolar issues. Anyone familiar with the mental illness memoir genre will certainly have heard of Elizabeth Wurtzel, and I just bring her up, because UNLIKE Wurtzel, Pershall is not whiny in her writing! Pershall is matter-of-fact about her trials and symptoms, even though the reader can imagine the actual playing out of illness to be much more harsh and unbearable.

Pershall describes her unrelenting eating disorder, mood swings and suicide attempts with a steady and precise hand. This book seems really accessible to me, because Pershall speaks not only to those of us who have been through the mental health care system, but also to people who might not really understand this special weirdness. The only thing I would like to see more of in this book is more OF this book! haha. Seriously though, I enjoyed reading this memoir and would love to read more from Pershall. I would especially recommend this book to people struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder. There is a special misery only known by Borderlines that is never really represented in the books that ostensibly deal with Borderline Personality Disorder. I really wish there were more accounts like this that show the uncrazy through the crazy of Borderline Personality Disorder.

Yah, Barbie Totally Needs to Lose Weight!

Anorexia, Barbie, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Children, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, dolls, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Figure, Grrls/Women, Kristin Bell, ModelMuse, Obsessions, Plus Size, Thin, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry

WHAT?!? Yes, it is true. They now make an even skinnier Barbie! Apparently she wasn’t thin enough, so they have flattened her out some more. It is okay with me, as long as they make a FAT BARBIE, which they never will do! It is hard to say how much Barbie really warps young minds, but I do think she has had some influence over generations of girls. There have been endless discussions about the body image of Barbie of course, but Barbie is only a part of what the issue is. While Americans get fatter, body image issues get more complex and the Hollywood image of beauty gets thinner and thinner. I guess I can’t be too surprised by Barbie’s new look, but did Barbie really have to go there?!? At least her boobs are smaller, but the dolls are seriously anorexic. Barbie was so thin and out of proportion before. What good could come of anorexic Barbie dolls I ask you?

Steps To Body Acceptance: A Process

Acceptance, Anorexia, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Discrimination, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Plus Size, Self-Harm, Steps To Body Acceptance, Supersize, Thin, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry

It has been a long while since I’ve written about body acceptance. I sort of ran out of “steps” that I could think of. For me, it really is a process. I told my therapist that when it comes to weight, weightloss and size acceptance, I feel like I am walking on a balance beam. Not quite a tightrope, but still balancing nonetheless.

Over this past year quite a lot has changed. My blood sugar levels were elevated with an A1C level of 6.3, so my nurse practitioner qualified me as diabetic. She also did other blood work and discovered that I was really low in Vitamin D and that my thyroid was off (hypothyroidism ), so I started meds for those too. I decided that I was sick of people suggesting that I get a gastric bypass, and I felt like I really could be in better shape, so with the combo of meds for my thyroid and blood sugar, watching what I eat a little more, and getting a bit of exercise, I have lost some weight.

However, I still want to maintain my outlook as one of size-acceptance. I know it seems kind of weird to say I am for size-acceptance and still be trying to lose some weight. There really is no manual for this kind of thing, so I’m just working on it as best I can. I am taking steps to improve my health. I got my A1C level down to 5.3 (non-diabetic) so far and my other labs are looking better. I’m still taking meds, but I’m TRYING to take a bit better care of my body. I know that at my size I am not quite as healthy as I could be, but I also know that I am not going to starve myself and turn into a raging bulimic again to try to maintain and lose weight (well, I really hope not at any rate!!!).

But, it is hard in some respects, because when I do make some attempt to pay attention to what I am eating, all of those negative thoughts tend to come back to haunt me. Thoughts like if I eat something “bad” I am being a “bad” person. My therapist calls thoughts like that ANTS (automatic negative thoughts). You know, some months I might gain some weight or not lose weight, and I have to be okay with that.

As a person who has struggled with weight issues all of my life, it isn’t like losing weight is just a matter of calories in and calories out. It is a whole quilt of past experiences, thoughts and feelings related to weight and how I have dealt with things throughout my life as a fat person.

So, I feel like I’m in a process of understanding how to accept myself and my body while trying to take some steps to improve my health. For me, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, the whole world drifts away and what matters is how *I* feel and how *I* can function and accept my body in this life. So, maybe I want to lose some more weight, but I still eat. I still eat “bad” stuff and I’m not ever going to live on a diet of celery, that is for sure. I don’t want to give up my life and I don’t want to give up eating. I just want to live my life the best I can!

P.S. And just so you know I am not anywhere near skinny, I have posted a picture of myself that was taken a couple of days ago! lol

So…the Bulimia.

Acceptance, Anorexia, Anxiety, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Denial, Depression, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Food, Grrls/Women, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Obsessions, Plus Size, Psychiatry, Scales, Steps To Body Acceptance, Supersize, Support System, Surviving, Teeth, Thin, Weight, Weightloss

Well, not only am I a schizophrenic, but I’m a regular girl type. The kind of girl you all know. Which means that growing up I had regular girl problems (not that eating disorders are girl-only problems), not just schizophrenic girl problems. I was a chubby kid. And then as a teenager I went on a crash diet right around the time I first started losing touch with reality. I essentially starved myself so the weight would come off, but then, my hair started to come off too. And, eventually

The Fat Skeleton in the Closet

Anorexia, Binge Eating, Body, Body Image, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Counselor, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Extended Plus Size, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Food, Health, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Obsessions, Psychiatry, Scales, Secrecy, Surviving, Therapist, Thin, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry

I don’t talk that much about my eating disordered self. My eating disordered self is like the proverbial (fat) skeleton in the closet! Okay, I know skeletons aren’t fat, but mine is! haha. People tend to think one of two things when you are fat. They either think that you don’t have an eating disorder and that you are just lazy, gluttonous, disgusting, and everything else along those lines…OR if they don’t think that, they think you DO have an eating disorder and the eating disorder is OBESITY period. So, basically