Thursday, May 21, 2015

Eff Your Beauty Standards

I know my posts are completely random but I've decided really to just post when something is on my mind.  I've talked a lot about my body on this blog and the last blog when I used to blog regularly.  Tons of discussions on where I was with my body, changing my body, losing weight, celebrating my body and then going quiet when the pounds came back on.

Right now there is a movement, created by a woman named Tess Holliday, who just so happens to be the first plus size model signed to a major contract.  Tess is a big girl, she does not deny that.  What she does say though is she is happy, she finds herself beautiful and wants to encourage others to find that beauty in themselves no matter their size or shape.  I admire her for that.  I also find her beautiful.  Then there are the commenters, a rabbit hole that on most issues I wish I would avoid with a 100 foot pole.  Damn people are mean.  They slander her and try to take her down for "promoting obesity."  People who are just completely missing the message.

Here's the deal.  I have been ALL shapes and sizes.  I've been 5'10 and 133lbs.  I've also been 5'10 and over 250lbs.  I have had HUGE boobs, I have had small boobs.  I have been able to shop at normal stores and I have had to struggle to find in style clothing that fit my body.  At any of those moments and any of those sizes I still ALWAYS HATED MY BODY.  I never celebrated it.  There was always something wrong with it.  Let's be honest, 5'10 and 133lbs is waaaay too thin.  However, if you had asked then what I thought of my body I would have told you that my boobs were a terrible shape, that my thighs had cellulite, etc. etc.  Here is what I have ALWAYS been no matter my size....athletic.

It has taken me 39 years to finally have an appreciation and love for my body.  Are there things I'd like to change?  FOR SURE!  I'd be lying to myself if I said that there weren't.  However, I'm not going to beat myself up for it.  I grew tired of crying in my kale and realized that there is so much that I have done and so much that I can do and my weight and size should not determine how I feel about myself.  It tells absolutely nothing about who I am.  For the first time in my life I think I see myself smaller than probably most other people see me.

I also brought my son to work with me yesterday and was online and there was a photo of a woman that was overweight.  He started laughing, pointed at her and said...."she's fat!!!"  Now, he is only 5 but I could tell it was in a tone that indicated he was making fun of her.

I turned to him and point blank asked him: "Leyton, do you think Mommy is fat?"  He replied, "Yes."  I said, "Yes, that is true...I am fat.  I'm fat just like that lady in that picture.  What do you think about that?  Is it bad that I am fat?"  He replied, "No.  I think you are pretty."  We then had a quick discussion about how it's not fun to tease people for how they look.  Some people are fat, some people are skinny and on and on, but every one of those people has feelings.

That is what I hope Tess is able to accomplish with her movement.  We need to teach our kids not to judge.  We need to teach our kids to LOVE THEMSELVES.  We have enough challenges in this world and things to be sad about then to sit around and tear ourselves down for what we may or may not look like.  Life is TOO HARD for that.  Find the beauty in yourself and celebrate that beauty and that strength.  Take pictures of yourself and instead of picking apart all of the bad things....celebrate the stuff that is great.  I did this last year in a boudoir shoot for my husband.  Something that I always thought I would do later when I was whatever it was I thought would be more perfect.  I'm glad I chose to do it at this point in my life because I am able to look at myself and see a woman who has gained and lost hundreds of pounds in her life, who has had surgeries and injuries that left her unable to walk and can now swim miles and chase after her child.  Find that, celebrate it and tell yourself how wonderful you are now.  Not how wonderful you will be when you get to a certain place because trust me, you will get there and find something else to be unhappy about if you don't start with finding your beauty now.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Checking them off and taking names.

I am making SUCH GREAT PROGRESS on my list!  I seriously am pretty damn proud of myself that I made the list but also that I am actually sticking with it.  I feel like most of it will get marked off.  I do have my concerns about a couple items, but for the most part it's going well.  It is making for a crazy busy calendar but I kinda thrive off of that stuff.

So, without further ado, here are the items that are scheduled or completed.
1.  Reread Hamlet - Book is purchased, reading will start on my plane trip to NY.
2. Visit Yosemite - Booked for October!!!!
3.  Skinny Dip - CHECK!  Boobs are amazingly buoyant.
4.  Take a guitar lesson - Start on June 24th for 6 sessions
5.  Go wine tasting in Napa - Trip purchased and needs to be scheduled.
6.  Go to NY with Bill - Happening in July and CAN'T WAIT for this one.  Foo Fighters here we come!
7.  Take a solo trip overnight - Might combine this with wine tasting since sleeping over somewhere seems like a good idea.
8.  Keep a blog/journal for a  year - WIP but doing it.  Not as good as I wanted but I have a handwritten journal that is going better than the blog.
9.  Take Leyton to Modoc - August during fair time.
10.  Put $100 on blackjack hand - January in Vegas.
11.  Bake Christmas Goodies - December and I decided I'm doing it for the firehouse down the street.
12.  Have a Halloween costume party - October
13.  Participate in a fun run - September!  Just signed up for the Wipe Out Run!
14.  Take Leyton to Disneyland - We leave in less than a month!
15.  Swim Donner Lake open water event - August 15th, I sign up on June 1st.
16. Join a book club - Done.  We have only met once but have another meeting in a couple weeks.
17.  Pay it forward at least 5 times - Done and continue doing.
18.  Go ice skating - December with Leyton
19.  Organize a Christmas program at Elder Community - Contact started will happen in December.
20.  Volunteer for Alzheimer's Assoc - Application submitted!
21. One no buy month - Trying again in September
22. Ride in a helicopter - July in New York!  Paid for and booked!!!
23. Vegas for my 40th - January!
24. Take an Improv Class - Done! 
25.  Get a tattoo for my Dad - WIP, get most of it finished today!

Not too shabby for being less than 4 months in!  Now, here are the items that are still up in the air.
1.  Fire a handgun.
2. Take a hip hop dance class.
3. Write a letter to 5 people that have influenced me.
4.  Cook a 5 course meal for friends.
5.  Knit 10 items.
6.  Organize Leyton's crafts.
7. Visit Humboldt.
8.  Go dancing with girlfriends.
9.  Go whitewater rafting.
10.  Get SUP certified.
11.  Write Bill a love letter.
12.  Put my Grandpa's recipes in a cookbook.
13.  Take Leyton to a live concert.
14.  Sit by a campfire on the beach.
15.  Read at stand up poetry event.

Now the good thing about what is left is most of them are pretty easy.  I left a lot of generic to do items on the list that I knew I could finish quickly and didn't require money or scheduling....just doing them.  There are a few I have concerns about though.  One is the white water rafting.  This has been a shitty rainy season and there's not much water right now.  I need to do some research and find a good place to do this.  The second is getting SUP certified.  This is dependent on if the guys who run the SUP group do certification courses this year.  That's it though!  Only two items!!!

All I can say is I highly encourage people to do this.  I love the whole bucket list idea but that seems so broad.  I needed items and a time frame in which to do them.  I think I will do something like this each year even if it's only 5 items and then I'll do another big one before I hit 50!

Yes, I might be naked in that photo.  Here's to skinny dipping and buoyant boobs!