Because LIFE!

There’s a debate going on these days about whether or not it is okay to tell fat people or fat children that they are just fine the way they are. There’s this odd fear that if you do so, you’ll be condoning their “self-destructive” behavior…that shaming or constantly reminding them of their need to change is the only way to move them towards “health.”

Sounds a lot like the fundamentalist Christian attitude toward the LGBT community, but I digress.

Here’s the deal. No one has any right to tell another person how to live their life. No one has any right to shame another person based on their looks.

I am 5’6″ tall and weigh 213 pounds. I waver between a size 16 and 18. And I’m done trying to be something I’m not.

In the past week, I’ve begun choosing joy. I’ve begun looking for happiness in the body that I’m in, rather than hoping for happiness once I’ve changed. There’s no time for that; life is now! I have a trip to London coming up that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. I couldn’t care less what my body looks like for it. I’m not going there to impress anyone. I’m going there to BE. IN. LONDON.

To just be. That is the point of life. To be you. And if you’re fat, be joyous. Why? Because you’re alive, you’re living, and there’s no one else out there that can live it like you.

And let’s look at the lean community’s blatant double-standard. They are so afraid of accepting fat people as they are because being overweight could shorten that person’s lifespan. So…what’s with all these extreme sports? How many lean people die every year from their dangerous sporting choices? A lean body doesn’t do you any good when something goes wrong on your base jump. But such obviously dangerous life choices are okayed and the newly-dead are celebrated because, as their grieving friends will say, “They died doing what they love.”

If we are supposed to celebrate someone who reveled in life-threatening behavior because it gave them joy, then stop staring judgmentally at the fat person enjoying an ice cream cone. You have no idea who they have helped, how much they are loving those who need it, and what contribution they are bringing to society in ways that have nothing to do with their size.

Life is to be lived as each individual chooses to live it. It doesn’t matter when you die as long as you’ve lived your life to your satisfaction.

The Bloggess

You know, you can never tell where encouragement will come from. I’m reading a few more blogs these days and there’s one I can always count on to make me smile and laugh. That’s the Bloggess. The humor she sees in daily life has opened my eyes to my own life in that way and I’m trying to see with humor, too. However, she recently posted a thank-you blog to her readers and it was the sweetest thing. So I thought I’d share it because it reminded me that we are all connected. We never know what little thing we do will have a major impact on someone else’s life. Someone you might not even know. You know, we Christians talk about how we may be meeting “angels unaware.” The truth is, we are all those angels. :) Be encouraged in your life today. You’re an angel to someone.

Those are hair curlers, not a new take on Princess Leia. :D

Those are hair curlers, not a new take on Princess Leia. :D

Comfort

This sounds cliché but I am working hard on letting myself just be myself. I’m a plus size woman and have struggled with my weight all my life. Then I see strong, healthy people like Paul Walker get killed in a car crash and I think, “What did all that fitness do for him in the end?” All this energy and thought time we spend on fretting over our bodies…for what? A few extra years at the end of our life that we are not even guaranteed? I think what is really important (despite that darned desire to just fit in) is that we are giving love and receiving love. I mean, really, if that is happening, if love is happening in our lives then our jeans size begins to shrink in importance, if not in reality. :) It’s hard. It takes fighting decades of ingrained thought processes that make me see myself in pieces and parts instead of how I see my friends and loved ones: as whole people. Their body size is of so little importance to me; I want to see myself that way, too. It takes a huge burden off to let that go. And is a great comfort.

Circuit Class for One

Soooo…one of my worst nightmares is the idea of personal training. I really can’t imagine working out with one person watching you and pushing you to do more and more. It’s kind of like…hell.

I got to circuit class tonight and as time ticked away and the start time came and went with no one else showing up, the young trainer and I took a gander at each other. I had already been in one of Jesse’s circuit classes and he’s a good teacher and leader. It’s just that there’s usually more people. Like…Lots. More. People. It’s easy to hide and modify what you’re doing as you lope along after all the gazelles. But you need a bunch of gazelles. Otherwise there’s just no cover.

Intensity is my middle name.

Intensity is my middle name.

Jesse looks to be about, oh, 20 years old. He’s got a bright smile and kind eyes. Actually everyone at Inner Circle is awesome and when I realized it was just him and me, as the theme to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” played in my head, I thought, What the hell. Bring it.

And it was kind of awesome. Whereas in a circuit class full of people, I can’t keep up and have to modify everything, Jesse created a mini circuit just for me. Rowing, box step ups, lunges, squats, body weight rows…all things that were right up my alley. And he did all of them with me. I kept thinking this was probably equivalent to sitting in front of a TV for him effort-wise (he’s super fit), but I just kept going. And when we had done three sets of the mini circuit (he said only THREE SETS), that kid had the AUDACITY to say…”One more set! I think you can do it!”

Oh, good God! He’s doing the personal trainer thing! With his big smile he was like a happy puppy wanting to chase the Frisbee again. And of course I had it in me. I was really glad he pushed me, actually. It reminded me that I’m capable of so much more.

And now I’m sore. But in a good way. :D Tomorrow morning will tell that tale.

Battle of the Mind

It is so hard to battle my own mind when it comes to body image. I believe that changes in my body will only come when I learn to love and accept myself as I am. I know not all conventional wisdom goes that way, but for me, the more I’ve disliked my body, the more it has remained as it is. Honestly? I am healthy and beautiful, so if I don’t accept that simply because my body doesn’t conform to the cultural norm, I will probably remain where I am.

I am not limited by my body. Therefore, I will look at the world outside for opportunity, not naval gaze and despair.

This means quashing negative thoughts the minute they enter my head. All it takes is passing by a mirror for those negative thoughts to hit. It’s like a game of Missile Command in the ’80s where you have all those lines coming down on your forts and you have to shoot them out of the air as fast as possible. While Missile Command gets harder each round, I don’t think negative thoughts are as resilient. They will be for a while, but as I get better at defeating them, they’ll become less and less. Here’s hopin’! :)

Girl Gets Moving

Me Jumping Jack

Workin’ it out!

So I got back to Inner Circle Gym today for the circuit class. And…ouch! Talk about hurts so good! I’m really glad I’ve signed back up; the owners Cathy and Adam are so great and encouraging. I’ve missed being there and I’ve had enough distance (two years about) to decide that I really want to stay active. After several squats and work with kettle bells, I had to hobble away from the group and get on the stationary bike–my quads were barkin’! But into the third round of exercises, I was able to get back into the swing of things. When I got back to work, facing the stairs was quite the horror. However the elevator was way too far away to make going up the stairs unpalatable. So I zombie shambled up the stairs and headed back to my workstation. Honestly…that circuit class is so good but for the first time back in 2 years, it made my body feel a bit like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBqM2ytqHY4

And, yeah, that’s how I drove back to work. ;) On the undercarriage, yoga style!

Brightness

I’ve had several reminders lately to enjoy life and let go of the things that are unimportant such as my weight or broken dreams. I’m worrying less about making sure I get “my time,” instead looking for activities that fulfill me. Did you know they have roller skating at the Town Toyota Center these days? Oh, happy day. :)

This little video was just one of the things that has gotten me thinking this way. Enjoy!

Playing House

So, if I make it sound like a game, will house cleaning be easier? It’s worth a try, isn’t it?

Dragged out the vacuum cleaner and gave the living room a good once over. It’s interesting how suddenly you see everything that needs doing, so the day included cleaning the cat litter box with bleach. Stimulating! Still, that makes for happy cats and Tucker’s allergies get alleviated. Always makes me feel like a bad cat mom when I see little allergy tears going down his face. Cat allergy tears can break your heart!

But I found that “playing house” had a bit of a fun ring to it. Windows open, nice day. Didn’t get as much done as I wanted to before the siren song of “Deadliest Catch” had me back on the couch with snacks, but all in all, not a bad time.

Maybe the vacuum and I can yet become friends…

Forging Beliefs

I’ve been thinking about a couple years ago, maybe not that long, when I was struggling with the concept of hell. The whole idea of eternal torture was so antithesis to the character of Jesus. I was questioning the concept because I had so many new gay friends due to my podcasting on Greetings from Nowhere. Like with my grandfather who died potentially “outside of Christ,” I was questioning not God’s compassion, but the idea of hell in the face of God’s compassion. Continue reading