Desire for More, Happy With What You Have

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Tuesday was honestly one of the fullest, most exhausting days I had in a while. A 13-hour day at work and I was depleted by the time I got home and had nothing left to give. Yesterday I did a 5.5-hour day at work and so took advantage of a small window that I could spend on myself. I luckily got a hair appointment at salon (ugh now battling the beginnings of covering gray) and had lunch on my own. No kids. No hubby. Just me, and it was nice. I even stopped by a boutique and although it was tempting to spend money in the very posh place, I made it back to my car empty-handed.

It was okay for me to desire the luxuries of $100 face cream, $26 one-use bath fizzies, or a $20 pair of lingerie undies (on 50% sale), but in the end I realized I didn’t need that stuff. I’m pretty happy with what I have when it comes to my life: a family, a home, transportation, a job, food on the table, clothes, etc. The basics are covered, I shouldn’t desire more when I’m already happy with what I already have. I say I’m happy, but am I really?

But I do desire more — more time with my family, vacations, and even though I am trying to embrace the current body I have, I often desire a different body shape, a lighter, thinner one. It’s a conflict of interest. At the same time I’m trying to learn to be a body love warrior, I slip into a train of thought that says I’d be better thinner. I’d look better and get cuter outfits if I just dropped 75 pounds. I want to be more like my sister: taller, thinner, more motivated to work out and watch what I eat.

I know deep down that I am who I am. Why would you want to be someone else because then you wouldn’t be you? I saw a post today by Fat Mom Writing that just hit me as the most relevant thing I could read about today — that being thin(ner) isn’t always about being healthy and happier. As my hubby always chimes from time to time, “The grass is not always greener on the other side.” What we think will make us happier isn’t always true. What if I could get myself to a place where I loved myself despite my dress size? Could I be strong enough to accept myself, embrace my curves, and not care what others think of me?

Can I smile in the camera like Toni did with her guitar, no shame of her own body? She was loving herself and her life, instead of damaging her body to fit the picture of what society expected her to be — and expects the rest of us women to be: thin (but not too thin), curvy (but not too curvy), great hair and make-up and “let’s be healthy not fat” attitude 24/7. That desire to fit our square selves into the round hole of what our culture says is beautiful is making our lives exhausting, and for some people like Toni with medical issues, it is also a dangerous way to live.

I love reading the journeys of so many plus size women struggling with the same body image complex as I am. There is encouragement, inspiration, and real choices shared every day. Revelation and appreciation are wonderfully common and I really enjoy each and every story. We all have a story, we all have something to say.

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Having a Fat Girl Moment – Wait, Did She Just Say That?

Was scrolling through my Facebook feed last night and I came across this gem by someone I thought was a bit above this type of thing.  I saved the post on my phone and decided not to post a comment there but just vent my shock on here. I know this person professionally and also know she had gastric bypass surgery to lose a lot of weight a number of years ago. Logic would follow that if you struggled through it, you shouldn’t be making fun of it in a negative way, right?

Maybe I haven’t thickened my skin enough, but does this bother anyone else? Did she really have to caption giving into her candy corn craving as a “fat girl moment”?

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So the second someone binge-eats candy corn, it is all of the sudden a fat girl moment? So the only moments fat girls can have are eating sugary, fatty foods? What about the OTHER moments we have 99.99999% of the time: playing with our kids, enjoying a movie, doing the laundry, spending time with our spouse, or cuddling up with a good book? We are so much more than shoving candy corn down our throats. Come on.

I don’t even like candy corn.

Rant over.

A Miserable Person

If I listened to society and others, I would be a miserable person. When people marvel at how well I dress, I have to laugh because in this day and age, with all of social media, you still think a fat women cannot dress well. – http://www.ivoryjinelle.com

Powerful words right there people. I bring this amazing blogger’s statement up because a girlfriend’s photo showed up in my Facebook feed that made me want to roll my eyes. This friend of mine used to be a larger girl and decided for herself to have a weight-loss procedure. Post-surgery was rough with taking care of her two-daughters but now 1.5 years later she is a size 8 and I really do think she’s happy with herself because she now posts full-length body shots of herself trying on different outfits. Pre-surgery she rarely posted photos of herself, mainly of her adorable girls. If there was a photo of her it was simply shoulders-up selfies and the like. Her confidence obviously came with the weight loss and she admitted online she feels prettier and happier with her body now.

If I had to pin point her behavior pre-surgery, I’d call it shame.  Shame is the result of listening to society telling you what you aren’t, that you failed and you aren’t worth it. And bam, I am right there — that’s me! I don’t like photos being taken of me, I rarely am ever happy with my image — I don’t consider myself photogenic AT ALL and I generally don’t like people seeing me when I know I look terrible, and fat. Fat. Ugh.

And then it hit me, I am already that miserable person. I want to have that confidence to not care what others think. To not care about wearing horizontal stripes because at the age of 12 my mom told me to never wear stripes because they’d just make me look wider, a.k.a. fatter. I know I could dress better, be like Ms. Jinelle and throw caution to the wind.

I think my journey starts at the source of my shame: not liking myself because society doesn’t like me.

My hubby tells me all that matters is he likes me and my kids like me, so why should I give a care what other people think? And it’s so hard, as women it’s ingrained in our brain to care, we have to please and be pleasing. Ugh again. I want the freedom to express who I am, easy to do inwardly, but to show it on the outside  — what others see, it’s a tall order for me.

Can I get past the shame, can I celebrate the way my body is RIGHT NOW? The way that it is today? No diets, no surgery? Can I be happy with who I am at this moment, instead of wishing 100 pounds would magically melt off my body?

I surely can’t be the only one who has thought these inner thoughts.

The next time I take a selfie, how long will I move my head around to get the most flattering angle? Will I only show chest up in the frame? Will I be brave to show all of me?

What I saw in that friend of mine and wanting to judge her after my initial reaction to her photo of her too-happy poses in the Forever 21 dressing room stall, was really an internal battle of my own. Recognizing I have a bigger problem with my size than I thought I had. They say the first step to recovery is realizing you have a problem in the first place.

Shame is the first dragon I have to slay. I guess this blog has shifted to a new purpose. It has become the means of starting a new chapter, a new journey. Setting up little goals and achieving them one by one.

Step one: Lose the shame.