Archive for the 'Fat' Category

02
Dec
09

Tis the Season…

…for technological problems. Y’all, my internet has been broken, then my computer was wonky…all this to say, I managed to be blacked out during the best shopping weekend of the year.

But no worries, I still got some good things up my sleeve for y’all. There’s some giveaways in the works that I’m super excited to share with y’all. More is coming, stay tuned. (And by hook or by crook, I’m gonna make sure it actually makes it on the blog!)

It’s also that time of year where you sometimes find yourself having to explain to, ahem, well meaning friends and family why you are not on a diet, why you don’t want any of their tips, and yes, you are indeed going to eat all of that.

It’s the holidays, y’all. I can feel the excitement coming through the screen.

There was a time when I was younger that I found myself dreading this time of year. Yeah, lights and trees and presents were all good, but I didn’t want to go to dinner. Ok, that’s not true. I definitely wanted dinner. I wanted a couple of plates, because this was the only time of year Great-Aunt G would make her apple pie, and let me tell you…that pie could end wars, man. I didn’t want dinner with family that scrutinized everything that went on my plate. I always had a well-meaning great aunt or uncle asking if I was really gonna eat all that food. Did I really want all that starch on my plate? Aren’t I gonna save some room for later?

Ugh. Most people look forward to being able to eat what they want and as much of it, because the holidays are a time of indulgence and pleasure. Me? I just wanted to go to one holiday dinner and not feel like all eyes are on me when I went to the kitchen for a glass of water. I know some of y’all out there have endured (and continue to endure) this same agony. My awesome mother (who was the subject of the same scrutiny) found a way to solve the problem: she made a meal for us at home. That way, I could eat the one plate of food in front of the family (and then get praised for being “so good!” as the offending family member ambled to the kitchen for more dressing), and thoroughly enjoy my dinner at home where I wouldn’t be bothered.

But I always felt bad about that. Why did we have to hide? I should be able to eat my meal without shame, especially this time of year, but that’s not always the case. I always felt like I needed to have some license to eat my food and enjoy it, and that’s extremely sad. Yet, it’s how it went on for years.

This year, since going home wasn’t in the budget, I spent Thanksgiving with all of my friends. BuddingStarlet and I cooked tons of food and we had a full house until about two in the morning (I had to tap out around midnight; I had to work the next day.) We all had multiple plates of food, complimented each other on our favorite dishes, and in general had an amazing time.

Food has always been an integral part of my life. My maternal grandmother was a pastry chef, and she passed that love of baking on to me. For me, the holidays isn’t just about eating yummy food, or even the cooking of yummy food (although it’s one of my favorite things to do), it’s about sharing it. I’m thankful to her for introducing me to cooking, and how to make sure everything I make has love in it. I’m thankful to my mother for doing her best to keep my morale up when faced with some irritating family members. And finally, I’m thankful this year about having friends who I love enough to cook for and share a meal with, and that don’t give me any grief for eating as much as I want.

And my wish for all of you, my dear readers, would be that all of you are able to have love and peace of mind this holiday season. It’s late, but Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

19
Mar
09

Taking a Bite of the Big Apple Part Two: Shopping

So, this post was supposed to have gone up yesterday, but I got caught up taking care of other things. Per usual. I need to work on my time management.

Anyway.

So, of course the biggest part of going to visit with my two best friends was going to shop. Now, BuddingStarlet and I did the clothes shopping thing before IntellectualFeminist made it to the city because, as she’s told y’all before, she hates clothes shopping. So, on an unseasonably warm Friday morning, we made a trip to the ATM and took a stroll down 125th street in Harlem.

Aside from the various shops, there were many people with their own tables set up selling everything from candles to elaborate blown-glass bongs (BuddingStarlet doesn’t know I really thought about buying one just to set on my dresser because it was so pretty.) I saw books, incense, “designer” handbags, a plethora of black art, Obama t-shirts…you name it, they had it. If they didn’t have it, they’d get it.

Of course, they had Ashley Stewart, Lane Bryant, and the Avenue for the usual plus size offerings. I actually ducked my head into the LB to see what I could see, and I found a beautiful cream, black, turquoise, and orange dress (cream background, black sash and hem at the bottom, turquoise and orange accents) which for some reason I cannot find online.¬† ETA: Thanks to Christie for putting a linky to a picture of the dress in comments! I still can’t find it online; but should you want to peruse the stores, this is what it looks like:

Let the spring dress shopping officially begin!

Let the spring dress shopping officially begin!

I was happy for the 30% off friends and family discount because let me tell you, I wasn’t excited to see the $69.50 price tag. But that discount, plus the added excitement of no sales tax on clothes in NY, brought it down to a reasonable $48. When I got home, I’d received some new coupons, so I’ll probably get this dress next time:

It's more beautiful in person.

It's more beautiful in person.

I also went to the MAC store to look at the purple eyeshadows, and I picked up two beautiful shimmery shades and a great pink creamsheen glass. And I managed to convince BuddingStarlet to try out some red lipstick…it looked amazing, just like I told her it would! (I wouldn’t be a friend if I didn’t rub it in! ūüôā

The day before, BuddingStarlet, myself, and one of her gentleman friends (who I’ll introduce to y’all in the next post) walked around Times Square, looking at the lights, the sights, and of course, shopping. I got the opportunity to see the biggest damn Macy’s I’d ever seen before.

No, really. It’s MASSIVE. As in, we’re walking past, and I say, oh, this is the Macy’s you were telling me about! And then I look back across the street and realize WE’RE STILL WALKING PAST IT. I didn’t go in, because I was afraid I’d buy the whole world. Next trip, though, I’ll have to make a day of it.

We also went to H&M. Now, I’ve been to NYC before, when I was in high school, and I loved the accessories because they didn’t make any clothes in my size. Well, they still don’t make clothes in my size, but they still have amazing accessories. I picked up this beautiful white straw fedora (it’s a man’s hat, but whatever) with a blue striped ribbon trim for $7.90. I tried to find more hats because at that price, it’s totally a bargain, but no dice. It was ok though, because that hat will be in heavy rotation come this summer (BuddingStarlet picked one up too.)

When IntellectualFeminist made it to the city, we had one more shopping trip to go on. She wanted to go to the Old Navy. I, of course, was wary as all of the plus sizes have been taken out of the store. But you know, it’s like 4 or 5 floors of merchandise. Perhaps, just perhaps, this massive flagship store would have something there.

Not. A. Damn. Thing. It’s hard to sour my mood when it comes to shopping, mainly because I am so desensitized to not being able to find my size in stores, but this just pissed me off. All these floors, all of these pieces, not ONE thing for me? WTF? I simply leaned against a railing as BuddingStarlet and IntellectualFeminist looked at jeans. My co-blogger looks at my face and says: “Ah, we’re in protest mode, huh? I understand.” I’d tell the Old Navy to go to hell, but I know that there is stuff on that website RIGHT NOW that I want because on my salary, I can afford it. Bastards. Ugh.

Anyway.

My mood perked up pretty quickly by the time we made it to the bookstore. Not the Barnes and Noble or Borders, but the Strand Bookstore. It is this awesome store full of used books at amazing prices. I picked up a baking cookbook by Dorie Greenspan for HALF the price I would have gotten it in the BN. When BuddingStarlet first told me about the store, I told her I was pretty familiar with them because I think (and I’m pretty sure about this) they also sell books on Amazon too. I’ve gotten many a textbook from them at an amazing price.

So really, as much damage as I thought I’d do, I didn’t do so bad. A hat, a dress, a book, two eyeshadows, and a lip gloss. And I had a ton of fun exploring the city.

Coming up: the serious part of my trip. And y’all know that if serious doesn’t mean the shopping, it’s got to be deep. Stay tuned.

02
Feb
09

Travel Swag!

Well, folks, on my long list of resolutions was to travel and see friends more often. So, I’ll be flying to the cold, snowy North next month to visit BuddingStarlet, and IntellectualFeminist will be there too!

Did I mention I haven’t seen IntellectualFeminist since I graduated in 2007? Yeah. About that.

Naturally, this was as good an excuse as any to go shopping.

Being a Southern girl, weather down here is…well, spaztastic at best. Last Tuesday, for example, it got so cold there was ice everywhere, schools closed, whole nine. Yesterday? It made it to 75 degrees. I was wearing flip flops and sitting on the front steps with a lemonade.

Texas weather is the best, y’all.

Anyhow, I’m going to New York next month, and to Florida in June, and well, I need clothes since I cleaned out my closet and all. So, I’m introducing y’all to my latest additions, and giving some reviews.

First up: SWAK Designs.

Lesley over at Fatshionista reviewed three dresses for them.¬†¬†They contacted me and asked me to review some pieces for them as well. Some time ago I told y’all about a dress I wanted to pick up, but sadly, they no longer had my size. So I was stoked to be able to try out some of their clothes.

So Pretty!

So Pretty!

The Desi dress ¬†is the same that Lesley reviewed, and seriously? That dress is made for summery vacations, y’all. I mean, I can’t say it much better than this:

Frankly, this dress makes me stare bleakly out at the frozen heaps of old snow outside my windows and wish I had a beach vacation coming up. It’s that kind of dress. The kind you want to wear stretched out in the sun with an alcohol-laden frozen drink in your hand.

I have the 3x in black and the fit is so great. Plenty of stretch in the arm–I have a hell of a time finding sleeves that fit my arms properly. I cannot wait for the weather to stabilize so I can wear it. June can’t get here fast enough!

Work comfort at its best.

Work comfort at its best.

The Gaucho pant¬†was my responsible pick. I say responsible because these are intended for work. I say intended because they’re so comfortable I want to wear them everywhere. I work retail, so there is a lot of move box, open box, sit in dusty floor, restock, take out garbage, help customer…so on and so forth. When I purchase work clothes, they have to look nice enough for me to not look too bedraggled in front of customers, but be stretchy and comfy enough for me to move around quickly. These pants…are AMAZING. Now, I’ve told y’all before my waist is smaller than my hips, and so have to go up a size in order to accommodate them. I got a 3x, but I could have easily gotten a 2x and still have had a flattering fit (I kept the larger size because I prefer my work gear to be a bit loose.) The best thing? They dress up so easily with just a simple heel and a shirt change. I actually lounged in them yesterday while I watched the Super Bowl. (And no, I wasn’t at work first.) This is a great multi-purpose pant.

Now, I read about eShakti in the Fatosphere, but had never been to the site. One day, bored, I surfed on over there to see what they had, and OMG. OMG! I love dresses, and they have dresses as far and wide as the eye could see. So, after much contemplation, I ordered this dress:

Gorgeous, but they didn't have my size!

Gorgeous, but they didn't have my size!

This is the Climbing Rose Embroidered Dress¬†(and now it comes in blue!); I¬† just fell in love with this. Unfortunately, they no longer had my size. The lovely people at eShakti promptly emailed me to let me know I couldn’t get that dress, and asked me to pick another I might like. If I couldn’t find anything, they would refund my money, no questions asked. Now, that’s some customer service I can believe in. After some deliberation, I ordered this dress instead:

This will be the go-to summer dress this year!

This will be the go-to summer dress this year!

This is the Embroidered Ruched Sundress (also available in a lighter blue). When I got this in the mail, I squealed with delight. Often, the colors on my computer are way more vibrant than the actual garment. Not so in this case. It is an amazing, vibrant royal blue with cerulean, dove grey, and white embroidery. I ordered a 3x, but with the stretchy (and non-pinchy) ruching on the top, I could have gone a size down and had plenty of room. I’m keeping it because it’ll give me a chance to wear a fabulous belt, , and I just don’t get to wear my belts often. I’ll definitely be buying from them again, because when a company makes me have to grab my Crayola box in order to properly label their colors, I know I’ve found a good thing (I’m SUCH a color junkie!)

Speaking of color, I’m now going to show y’all what I picked up for the NYC trip.

Even though it gets cold here in Texas, I usually don’t need a wool coat. Up yonder, however, I figure I might want a wool coat so as to not lose a nipple or other useful body part. I want to know why in the mauve hell wool coats (or a warm coat, really) cost so damn much. I went round and round and round trying to find a coat at a reasonable price. While this coat from Target isn’t as low as I’d wanted to go, the color won out:

Bright, Beautiful, and Warm (hopefully!)

Bright, Beautiful, and Warm (hopefully!)

I haven’t gotten it in the mail yet, so I can’t attest to fit and warmth, but I have my fingers crossed that it will work out. Otherwise…back to the drawing board, I guess.

Second purchase: Boots. Now, I’m aware I don’t have to buy boots solely for my one trip to NY. Heh. I’m actually buying boots because my other pair met with an unfortunate accident known as Cobalt the Weimaraner. He was a cute puppy, but shoes shuddered at the sight of him! Now, my not-practical purchase was this pair from Lane Bryant:

Just for dressy events, I promise!

Just for dressy events, I promise!

I ordered them in Cedar, and I’m still waiting on them to get here. But I’m sure they’ll work out ok, and will look fabulous with my dress I’ll be wearing to church.

On the more practical side, I’m considering getting this pair of boots from Woman Within:

I want the black pair.

I want the black pair.

I’m still thinking about it. But the more I do, the more I like them.

To round out this post, let’s talk about jewelry! I’ve often heard Etsy discussed around the ‘sphere, but hadn’t had the chance to really check it out. Friday (payday!) I took a look-see.

Love. It. I bought some adorable earrings! I got sundae (yep, as in the hot fudge kind)¬†earrings from this seller (and I’m totally going back for the pink frosted donuts–unless y’all get there first, that is), and happy smiling tofu and happy smiling onigiri studs from this seller.

It’s been some good shopping around these parts, and I wanted to share it with y’all.

Any suggestions for other things I should get before my trip to the frosty North (I did get some sweaters from Old Navy)? Tips for not freezing? You love/hate my picks? Leave ’em in comments!

31
Jan
09

Why I Love Kate Harding…And You Should Too!

First things first. I sincerely hope that everyone’s new year is off to a grand start. If not, I hope for only great things from this point on. One of my new year’s resolutions is to make sure that the things and people that have touched my life over the years and continue to do so do not go unnoticed. In pursuit of this goal ¬†I realize what a long list this is but I am confident I will get to everyone no matter how long it takes me. In light of recent experiences I would like to start with Kate.

On Thursday night I attended a book release of the anthology Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. The anthology includes an essay written by Kate entitled How to Fuck a Fat Woman. I will not attempt to do that fantastic piece justice by summarizing. I can only say, buy the book. Its phenomenal. 

As many of you may know I am a grad student in a gender studies program. I knew many of my classmates would be at the reading and when I found out Kate was coming it gave me a tremendous opportunity. I shared with my fellow feminists: this is Kate Harding and this is why she is so important. I was able to share with them that Fat Acceptance is both powerful and feminist and no one could illustrate my point better than Kate.

Even though I had already read her piece a couple of times by then, I was still completely in awe of Kate’s bravery. She shared her story with a fearlessness that I aspire to have. Afterwards, I had the chance to tell thanks her for writing her blog, and for giving me a platform to share Fat Acceptance with my peers. I hope many of you are readers of her blog, and if you are I implore you to take on my New Year’s challenge and share your thoughts and feelings with her. And to buy her book. (*wink wink*)

I must say that she is so dedicated to the community at the conclusion of our brief conversation she was familiar with this blog and even said to tell fashionablenerd she said hello. A message I gleefully passed along.

To conclude I will leave you with Jaclyn Friedman’s (the anthology’s editor) answer to Kate’s title question. How do you fuck a fat woman: with enthusiasm.¬†

Have a wonderful Superbowl Weekend.

16
Jan
09

Let Me See You Shake A Tailfeather!

Well, we’ve got to do something to avoid freezing. But before I get into all of that, an update.

So, I told FashionableMom about the blog I wrote earlier this week, and everyone’s suggestions. She wanted me to tell everyone thank you, and that she won’t be returning to that particular doctor. She’ll ask her GP to recommend someone else. And yes, she still considers him to be a liar, as her knee has swollen again and it’s bothering her once more.¬† (“He said I’d feel better! He didn’t say it would only last a week!” I’m pretty sure it’s because she went back to work, and her body’s got to adjust to that…but yeah. She’s still pissed at the doc.) So I’m sure we’ll have another doc trip to go on. I’ll keep y’all abreast of the situation.

Now that’s out of the way…

About the shaking of a tailfeather! Earlier this year, I promised myself I’d try to come out of my anti-social cocoon and get out to enjoy life. So, my social life has finally bloomed!

At least a little bit.

You see, I don’t dance.

It’s not that I can’t dance, it’s that I’m not as comfortable dancing in front of people I don’t know. My weight isn’t part of this equation, it’s just that I feel like people are EYEBALLING ME OMG. I mean, it’s nothing for me to get down in my house while I’m cleaning or just because I really love the song that’s playing, but in public? With like…other people? I freeze.

This isn’t fun for me, or for the folks I go out with.

So, a couple of days after New Year’s, I actually went to the club…and shook it. All of it. And while I had a great time, I was petrified within. Would I be harassed? Was I gonna have to pull out my salty language?

Nope. I, and my friend I was with, got invited to another party. And I’ll be out again tomorrow. I’m gonna have to beef up my going out wardrobe (that’s gonna be an upcoming post) to prepare for my blooming social life.

I still have a slight fear of dancing in public, but it’s getting better. It’s just gonna take more going out and shaking it more often when I do.

And just so folks with icicles in their houses can thaw out some…come on and shake a tailfeather! (This may be NSFW due to much shakin’, and language.¬†Consider yourselves warned.)

Have a great weekend y’all!

12
Jan
09

In Which I Ramble About Health and Age

Last week, my mother went to the doctor to have him check out her knee. It’s been “giving her the blues,” as she puts it, for some time, and she’s been limping a bit.

Once the specialist looks her over and takes some x-rays, the diagnosis comes back: she’s got arthritis in her knee. The treatment: cortisone injections and weight loss. I’ll get to the weight loss part in a bit.

So, the doc pulls out this BIG ASS NEEDLE (yeah, needles are the reason I have yet to get a tattoo) and proceeds to well, stab it into my mom’s knee. She, of course, responds with language that would make a sailor blush. After he finishes, he reiterates what will help her knee feel better: the cortisone, the anti-inflammatory medication, and weight loss. To his credit, he does emphasize that said combination therapy won’t cure her knee, but it will make it better.

As my mom’s knee is smarting at this point,¬† she is still swearing under her breath, and is NOT paying attention to what’s going on,¬†the doc speaks all of his recommendations to me, so that I can remind her of them later. As he talks of the “getting some weight off of that knee” part, he eyes me and my belly. I respond by laying my patent-pending fuck-you bitch-face stare on him. He averts his gaze.

I wasn’t there to see him, and there’s nothing wrong with my knees. I suppose it was a concerted effort on his part to wordlessly (he was talking to/ about¬†my mom, after all) get me to consider MY weight and what it’s doing to my knees. *eye roll*

Once we’re back in the car (once we get my mom’s pants back on and she stops swearing) I tell her what he said. I don’t mention him giving me the once-over. Her response: “While my knee does feel better when I weigh less, I’m more concerned with strengthening it. So, I’ll work on that. I’m not concerning myself with the rest of it, because I think he’s a liar.”

Me: “Eh? Liar? Where did THAT come from?”

Her: “He promised me something to numb my leg before he STABBED me in the knee, and he didn’t. (When I thought about it…he did say that.)¬†He also said it would feel like a bee sting, and THAT was a damned lie. Besides, unless me starving (this is her pet word for dieting) is going to cure this, and it isn’t, I’m not focusing on all of that.”

Me: “Ok, then.”

We ride in silence for a while, before my mom quietly says: “Damn it. Old age is kicking my ass, but I’m not gonna go quietly! It’ll have to take me kicking and screaming!”

When I get home, I relay the abbreviated version to BuddingStarlet. She responds: “What’s old age have to do with it? I’m 25 and I’m considering knee replacement surgery. I have arthritis as well. I mean, I suppose all those years of dance lessons and gymnastics didn’t help, but age? Not even.”

It was here I had a bit of a realization. See, when folks are diagnosed with arthritis, often the first reaction is “Lose weight!” But what if it’s brought on with way too much activity? Maybe it’s hereditary. Hilariously, my mom’s concern had nothing to do with her weight, but everything to do with her being 45. I might add she was an avid athlete when she was younger, and has been working retail since before I was born (I’m 23.) I’m sure that helped.

My point to all this rambling is, I guess, that just as fat and health can’t be lumped together, neither can age and health. I know folks older than me who are much healthier than I am, and in fact, unless they told you their real age, you’d assume they’re much younger. It’s all relative, and I’m of the mind that you’re only as young as you feel. (And seriously? That makes me about 70. I have an old soul, y’all.)

And since my mom wants to feel HER age, I’m gonna look into some strengthening exercises for her. I’ll go too, and see if I can start feeling my age as well.

23
Sep
08

Diaries–A Retrospective

I’ve been rearranging my rapidly growing book collection. I’ve been tossing out things so old I can just no longer read them, making lists of books to buy, and, my favorite, creating a pile of books to donate. And I ran across some of my diaries from middle and high school.

As I am wont to do, I managed to get completely sidetracked. I began to flip through what was my FAVORITE diary at the time (a really cool Lisa Frank number with polar bears on it) and started to read. This diary was from high school, started right when I moved to Florida and I was just MISERABLE, y’all. I had no idea that I had an accent (and we’re talking full-on Southern lilt, y’all) and the kids just jumped all over it. Nelly’s Country Grammar was in heavy rotation on the airwaves, and for the first few months I was there, Country Grammar, or, perhaps even more affectionately, “Big Country”, was my nickname.

Charming, ain’t it?

Well, I continued to read, and I ran across an entry I must have written when I was having just an AWFUL day, because at the end of the entry, I’d written a prayer of sorts:

God, if you love me, why don’t you just take away this accent, and make me skinny? I’m tired of being picked on, I’m tired of people making jokes that aren’t funny. God, please, make me normal.

Sophomore year was a booger, folks.

Well, I closed that diary and picked up a smaller white striped one with hearts. I remembered that diary as one I bought during the Scholastic Book Fair (remember those?) This one was from my last year of elementary school (6th grade for me) through freshman year of high school. I realized the FashionableNerd in the Lisa Frank diary was slightly less miserable than the FashionableNerd in the Scholastic diary. Oh, I chatted about my teachers and my friends, I wrote countless entries on the various diets I tried and how my family members tried to bribe me into losing weight, but the connective tissue was the plea for somebody, anybody, to make me NORMAL.

What strikes me about my diaries is that I just don’t remember being so sad. Oh, I might mention to friends, as we spoke of our childhoods, about being unhappy with my body, but I never went into depth about the hurt I was obviously experiencing as a child. Perhaps, with the blinders that hindsight can place on one’s eyes, I simply rewrote history a bit. I tweaked it to make it sound like I’d never been picked on, harassed, or ridiculed. Maybe I wanted folks to think the strong, no-nonsense persona I developed in college had always been there. Maybe I just didn’t want to remember it. I’m not sure. Goodness knows that as I read the entries I remembered each event, and I remembered and experienced the hurt with the 12 year old me. I wish I could give 13 year old me a hug and tell her that a boyfriend isn’t going to make her happy with herself. I’ve spoken at length before about what I’d say to 14 year old me.

The last diary I found was one I kept in college. In one of the entries, dated right before I graduated, I wrote:

As my graduation day rapidly approaches, I get ready to finish another chapter in my life. I’m sure I whined extensively in this diary, as I’m sure I did when I was younger. But, you know, I’ve realized something. In the future, everything I’ve considered to be serious or situations I’ve deemed make-or-break won’t even be important when I reread this.

Well, I have to disagree with myself. All the issues I’ve had, all the situations I’ve gone through have all been important. I realize how my past has shaped me. I realize how important every tear I shed during the writing was–it was my outlet; my coping mechanism. And every time I take the time to read through my old entries, I see just how far I’ve come in terms of mental strength. Because now, I finally understand that I AM normal. Everyone has different versions of normal, and this normal? My looks, my personality, all of it–is MY normal. And I’ve learned to own it.

So, I put the diaries in a Rubbermaid container and slid it under my bed. Sometimes the past is hard to remember, but even when it’s rough, it is not always¬†something one should forget.




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