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The hubby and I have just one week left until we meet our new little one & I can’t wait! This weekend was both the unofficial celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and the *real* St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to rock a little green at work on Monday to show my spirit. Be easy on me… I’m not very experienced at selfies, these are only my 2nd attempt ever, and i still haven’t managed to master the whole not-looking-at-the-camera thing. Lol. I hope you all have a great week & enjoyed your Irish pride safely and responsibly!!

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My Assignment for the week:

Write down 5 things that you are going to do that make you happy. Not “even though you are fat” but because you are fat and awesome. 5 things that have nothing to do with trying for the sake of others. 5 things for yourself and your well being. Like “go out dancing and actually dance”, “throw away my scale”, “make something yummy and bring it to work to share”, “join a yoga class” and “wear that tight leopard skirt”. Blog it, Instagram it, Tweet it (#fatbitchecourse, #nearsightedowl), etc. and share it in the comments below. EXTRA CREDIT: Do some of them!

1. Get an edgy new haircut.
2. Put on makeup just for me. Try a new, bold color or technique without worrying whether people will think that I’m just putting a pig in a party dress.
3. Rock my baby bump in some tight clothes! I’ll only have this beautiful, glorious bump for another 2 weeks, so I am going to enjoy my goddess body while I have it.
4. Begin postpartum body-positive meditation exercises. My before-plus-sized body will be a whole new kind of plus-sized body and I will need to learn to love it all over again, new bumps, lumps, dimples and all.
5. Start putting aside a few dollars from every paycheck for my awesome new green zebra glasses. I really, really *want* those sassy glasses!!

Our discussion topic: 

How do you deal with people that make assumptions about you based on being fat? Is the best revenge to live well and be happy? How do you feel about the concept of there being a “good fatty” and a “bad fatty” perceived in society?

As a large woman in society, you face hurdles every day that people who are “normal” just don’t have to worry about. And to that I say, why in fuck’s name do we do this to each other? As human beings, isn’t it our responsibility to take care of one another instead of turning on one another like rabid wolves because that person’s sensibilities or appearance or likes/dislikes or beliefs don’t totally jive with our notions of the world? I am a firm believer that a person should love themselves at any weight, because in all honestly sometimes it is just as hard to love yourself when you are thin. But just because I am fat doesn’t mean I am lazy or dirty or gross. Quite the opposite, in fact. I am a diligent worker who has to be told to stop and slow down most of the time. I have great hygiene and take care of myself, my husband, my household, our dog and our unborn child. Doesn’t sound too lazy to me, but maybe I’m biased. Lol. When I get judged, whether verbal or implied, it gets my dander up. It pulls up all of those insecurities from my past and that really pisses me off. I hate that someone else’s judgement about what my body says about me can affect me so deeply and so swiftly. So I try and let it go, let it slide. Try. If you happen to catch me on one of those days where I’ve just had enough, you’re going to get an ear full. Or an eye full, lol. But those outbursts never make me feel better, and I’m fairly certain that they don’t positively impact the person I’m trying to defend myself against. So I would say, yes, the best revenge is to live well and be happy. To be healthy, contrary to their assumptions.

“Good fatty v. Bad fatty” is just a ridiculous concept. I can see how it may make thin people more comfortable to think that all fat people are trying to change their bodies, how thinking that a fat person could ever be confident in their bodies might shake their carefully cultivated notion of what it takes to be happy. But I also think that saying that every fat person must diet or hate themselves to be accepted by society, society is doing us a huge disservice. By denying us our right to love ourselves, you are essentially denying us our right to live.

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I’ve decided to take a major step in my life. Again. You see, I have failed to keep tabs on a serious problem I have. That problem is called low self-esteem. If I work at it, pay attention to it, and make a concerted effort to stay positive and recognize all the good in myself, I do pretty well. But I’ve had so much going on lately that I’ve let it slip and now I’m in a little bit of a dark spot, and I need to address it and quickly.

Pretty soon, I will have a new little bundle of love (as in, less than 2 weeks soon!) and I know how important it is that parents love themselves as well as each other and their children. I want to make sure that my little one gets to have a mother who loves herself, is proud of who she is, and sports a positive attitude about her appearance. It’s so easy for children to develop complexes from the judgement they face outside the home every day, I don’t need to add to that pressure or stress by showing my child that I can’t love myself. That could easily turn into “Well, if mommy can’t love herself and I’m so much like mommy, then how can I love myself?” I just can’t have that happen to my child. Ever.

So, I’m embarking on an amazing eCourse called “How to be a Fat Bitch.” And yes, it’s just as rad as it sounds. But the first week, the discussion topic got me a little off track and I realized at the end that I hadn’t even begun to answer the question at hand, but instead had poured out all these years of repressed feelings and shame. And what do you know… By getting off my chest and into words, I somehow felt better. Like, a lot better.

I didn’t want that energy or catharsis to go to waste. I don’t know, it might even help someone somewhere along their journey. We’re not so different after all. Everyone has a story, and this one is mine.

I’ve been large for the majority of my life. I was the little girl put on the carrot and water diet when she was 6. The little girl who was kicked out of tap, jazz and ballet because the teacher thought I was just a little too big to fit into her show. The little girl whose parents were told that she would be so pretty if she could just lose that baby fat. And I didn’t see it. As a child, I wondered why so many people cared about how I looked. I thought I looked great in my spangly jumpsuit as I practiced tap dancing to “The Locomotion” for hours in front of the mirror. I would pull my hair back in a tight ponytail, throw on my brightest, biggest headband and my awesomely humongous red plastic-framed glasses, don my puffy-painted bunny sweatshirt (my mother’s creation, mind) and traipse off to school never even considering that someone else would have something to say about my getup. But boy, did they ever. Parents, students, teachers (shame, shame)… Everyone seemed to feel like they had the right to tell my parents not to “let me wear this” or to “watch what I ate” because obviously they were failing at this whole parenting thing by having a chubby little porker like me running around the world like I actually belonged there. *Gasp!*

There was a period of time in college when I was “fit and trim,” and honestly it will go down in the annals of history as one of the most miserable stretches of my life’s road. I was obsessed with the food I was putting in my mouth, often restricting my calorie intake to less than 800 calories a day and to top it off, I would exercise more than 5 hours a day. Did I mention I was also in college with a full-time class load, working a full-time job and going through cancer treatments? I was convinced that if I kept myself healthy and exercised, my health couldn’t possibly diminish. I was compulsive in my habits, often waking in a cold sweat at 3am with the idea in my head that I had to go running *that very moment* or I would succumb to my illness. Every choice I made with regard to exercise was dangerous, from running in dark, unpatrolled, unsafe parks at 3 in the morning to doing so many weight-bearing exercises that it sent me into ketosis.

That girl? Weak, sad, miserable, terrified, and just barely holding life together under the seemingly beautiful exterior. I prided myself on my diet and the fact that I hadn’t lost my vigor (or my hair) during the course of my treatment. I was a poster child for vain pride, but neither self-acceptance or self-love. After I was given the all clear and pasted with the sticker of “in r——ion,” I slowly started to conquer my compulsive habits and realize that I had a serious problem. I ballooned. More than 100 pounds in the course of a year. Hell, more than 100 pounds in the course of about 4 months, if I’m being honest here. Still didn’t have a great view of myself, but I felt healthier once I stopped the restriction and obsessive exercise. I could sleep through the night again, and suddenly I just started to feel better all around.

I found a partner who, while not super supportive or loving, stayed with me despite my weight. I should have seen the warnings, should have held out for someone who loved me because of my body and all it encapsulated and not despite it. But I didn’t, and I hated myself more every day because I just couldn’t shed the weight, even with my lover’s “help.” He would do everything from fat shaming to pinching my body fat to sabotaging meals he saw as unhealthy. I saw this as his attempt to help me, because I still didn’t care for myself. I heard how worthless and disgusting I was from society and, more detrimental than that, I heard it from my would-have-been spouse and family. At this point in my life, I started to hide. I hated how I looked and didn’t want to put anyone else through the horror of having to look at me.

That girl? Still weak, sad, miserable… still barely holding it together, but this time she didn’t have the “beautiful exterior” to rely on and fell way down the rabbit hole of self-loathing. That dark and scary rabbit hole led to an eventual suicide attempt. Luckily, it didn’t work. Obviously, lol. And I am so happy that it didn’t.

I woke up the morning after my failed attempt and decided that that was quite enough of that, thank you very much, and that I was going to fix myself and my attitude. And you know what? It worked. I put myself on a strict diet of positive self-talk and redefinition. I embarked on more than three years of self-imposed celibacy to try and correct my pattern of abusive choices in partners. Turns out… yep, that was exactly what I needed. I needed to discover myself again, my positive outlook, my independence, my love for life. At the end of three years, I was amazed at who I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was big *and* beautiful. I was complicated *and* lovely. I was kind *and* feisty. And that was ok; I could be each of those things. I could be a big ol’ mass of contradictions and still love every convoluted inch of me, just as I am.

Now, that girl? She doesn’t care if people in the grocery store mutter when they spy cookie dough lounging in her cart. She just happily tosses in that bag of oranges and goes on about her day. That girl doesn’t mind when parents come into her place of work and ask her if she gets stuck in the tunnels (oh yeah, that girl? She works in a children’s museum. Lol). Well, truthfully she minds like hell, but it no longer pokes holes in the delicate balloon of her sense of self-worth. That girl has the most amazing husband who loves her just as she is, not despite her size, but because her beautifully big, imperfect body holds in all of her sass, her talent, her intellect, and is currently creating and nurturing their first child. And that man? He’s just about the best thing to ever happen to any human being; and this woman, yes this woman right here, is the luckiest person in all of the world because that man chose to love her just as she is.

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