Friday, 29 May 2020

THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – THE TIME TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF IS NOW


THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – THE TIME TO ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF IS NOW



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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Is Fatphobia the Opposite of Skinny-Shaming?

OURSOC~1In a social media conversation, a fat person posted about fatphobia and received this response from a thin person:

I’ve never really heard of fatphobia to be honest.
I can tell you from the other side of the fence is pretty awful. When you’re thin (in my case underweight) people just randomly ask me awful questions….
OMG, you’re so skinny! Do you eat?
You should gain weight. You’d look better
Sigh, I would never talk about a person’s body like that.
So is fatphobia like the opposite of me?
I’m sure this person was not ill-intentioned, but this is an excellent example of harmful behavior that is driven by privilege (in this case thin privilege.) This person has never heard of fatphobia (despite living in a world that is literally built on it) and instead of, say, Googling to learn more about the oppression they had not previously been aware of, or even asking for education, they’ve decided their best move is to try to shift the conversation to their experience as a thin person, and reframe the concept of fatphobia as something that happens in relation to them. I’m sure that this person didn’t mean to be harmful, but one of the ways that we can become more competent in dismantling oppression is to realize that centering ourselves in the discussion of other people’s oppression is wrong, and that working to educate ourselves is the way to go.

Now to answer the question Is fatphobia the opposite of thin-shaming? No, it’s not.

While thin-shaming is wrong, and harmful, fat-shaming (including being asked rude questions) is just one component of fatphobia/weight stigma (which includes the shame, stigma, bullying, and systemic oppression that fat people experience.) Our society is not built to accommodate fat people, meaning that fat people literally live in a different world than thin people – with greater oppression happening to those with larger bodies and those with multiple oppressions.
a
A few examples:
a
Fat people have many fewer options when it comes to clothes, and our options are often more expensive (including because they aren’t sold in stores so we have to pay for shipping both ways to try them on.) This affects not just our ability to develop a personal style, but our ability to dress appropriately for situations from job interviews to red carpets.
a
Thin people have an expectation that they will be given accommodated by seats wherever they go – whether it’s at a restaurant, on a rollercoaster, at a wedding or funeral, on a plane etc. Not only do businesses often fail to accommodate fat people, but they often then blame fat people and force us to pay twice as much for the same service (for example, a trip from point A to point B in a seat that accommodates us.)
a
Fat people often find it impossible to get ethical, evidence-based healthcare because our practitioners are so distracted by their stereotypes about our body size, and so committed to forcing our bodies to look different (even if they kill us in the process) that they fail to treat our actual health issues.
a
Fat people are hired less and paid less than our thin counterparts. A study by Jennifer Shinall, at Vanderbilt found that heavy women earned $9,000 less than their average-weight counterparts; very heavy women earned $19,000 less, Very thin women, on the other hand, earned $22,000 more than those who were merely average.
a
And that’s just the tip of a very large, very harmful iceberg. I’ll mention that weight stigma harms people of all sizes since it drives unhealthy thoughts and behaviors around the fear of becoming fat, though the harm it does to fat people would be enough to dedicate resources to dismantle it. Fatphobia is real and it deserves entire conversations that are not diluted or derailed by the experiences of thin people.
a
Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Poverty and Suicide Are Not Natural or Inevitable

The pro-plague protests have made it to my area, and I’m more than a little frustrated. People keep pitting the devastation of a novel virus against the devastation of economic policies and social conditions that humans have chosen, as if those choices and their effects were completely out of our control.

Yes, it is really horrible that people have been laid off or sent home without pay and that there’s little to no social safety net for them. That was horrible before COVID-19 existed, and will continue to be horrible after it’s wiped out, if that ever happens. But a capitalist society that’s set up to funnel money toward its richest members isn’t some unstoppable force of nature. There is no reason, except for a lack of political will, that we can’t do what other countries are doing and send people a check every single month they’re home.

For that matter, if people making money without working just horrifies you, there are dozens of things that a functional government could pay people to do that would help us get through this pandemic. No-contact grocery, toiletry, and prescription delivery to high-risk people. Sewing face masks. Manufacturing PPE, ventilators, and test kits. Phone calls to isolated people to check in on them and give them at least some social contact. Building projects to allow schools to employ some level of social distancing when they reopen. Massive food reclamation efforts to distribute all that food that farmers are throwing away because they don’t have a market for it. Throw massive grants at crisis services of every sort. Create some kind of partnerships with hotels and domestic violence and homeless shelters where the hotels, which have severely reduced business right now, get paid to safely house people who would otherwise have no place to go. Lots of different jobs at lots of different skill levels could be created, if that was something we chose to focus on.

Also, let’s talk about suicide. Social isolation is a huge risk factor for suicide, absolutely. Bad financial circumstances, also a massive risk factor. At the same time, mental health is complex. People who are going through difficult shit, whatever form that difficult shit takes, deserve better than to be trotted out when you can use the idea of protecting them to promote a cause, and then ignored when they need actual substantive help.

I have heard of people who died by suicide after losing their business due to the lockdown, and I don’t want to minimize in any way how tragic that is. Without knowing the individual’s situation, I can’t say what they would have needed to keep going. But if the loss of the business was the trigger, certainly having some of those forgivable loans made available to actual small businesses could have helped. Not knowing what their business was, I don’t know if they could have temporarily converted to doing something toward fighting the pandemic, if the money and support had been there, but some of the businesses that people have lost most likely could have. And if their customer base had access to enough of a stimulus, they might have been able to buy whatever products or services the businesses could still offer, or buy gift certificates.

And, again, if losing a job or a business didn’t also result in not having food or a place to sleep, it would still be a major blow, but not to every area of a person’s life at once. It’s a lot easier to envision where to go next when you’re not staring eviction or starvation in the face. Would it have still been a cause for suicide for an individual I don’t know, who I heard about from someone I used to work with? No possible way to say. Would it be a cause for suicide for *fewer* people than it is in our bullshit capitalist system? I’d bet money on it.

When we treat political choices as inevitable, we get locked into a binary way of thinking that pits hurting groups of people against each other. What if we could all be on the same team, the team that’s trying to prevent as much human suffering as possible?



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Saturday, 23 May 2020

Quarantine Comedy – Weekly Roundup

This week in my quick comedy videos I talked about things people say to fat people that they think are compliment but are actually terrible, what rescue dog profiles would say if they were honest, these bullshit anti-mask protests, and I wrote a song about these awful COVID-19 weight gain jokes that are going around.

You can play them all below (they’ll play back-to-back)
If you want to pick and choose you can see the playlist here

If you don’t want to miss a laugh, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel

What to experience my hilarity and activism in person (kind of…)? You can take my online workshop about dealing with fatphobia – scroll down for details!

 

What to experience my hilarity and activism in person (kind of…) You can take my online workshop about dealing with fatphobia!

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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Friday, 22 May 2020

THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – THREE MORE INSTANCES WHERE FAT IS PROTECTIVE!




via Fatties United! https://ift.tt/3g9bEVH

Making Activism A Self-Care Practice

Making activism a self-care practiceI’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now – about ways to make activism into a self-care practice so that it’s more sustainable because it builds us up instead of tearing us down. I wrote this guide for Better Humans, you can check it out here:

Activism As Self-Care: How to Energize the Most Important Work of Your Life


ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

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Thursday, 21 May 2020

No, Anger Does Not Excuse or Justify Fat-Shaming

anger doesn't justify fat-shamingYesterday I wrote about the three arguments I had seen people using to try to justify Nancy Pelosi’s unjustifiable fat-shaming of donald. Today, a new bullshit argument seems to be emerging.

To review, yesterday I covered included: It’s not fat-shaming, it was fat-shaming, but it’s ok because it’s donald and he’s a garbage human, and it’s science.

Today’s festering turd of a justification is some form of “she was just angry.”

She was just angry from dealing with donald, she was just frustrated hat he was lying, it was just a low moment for her blah de blahbity blah.

Here’s the deal on this. If our reaction to being angry, or frustrated, or having a low moment is bigotry, then we are a bigot. If we are willing to oppress when we get mad, we are willing to oppress people. And we have a responsibility to root out our bigotry and eliminate it – not to justify it or excuse it. And certainly not to take to the internet to justify or excuse it on behalf of people doing it from a national stage.

We should be so committed to anti-bigotry that there is no situation under which we would engage in bigotry. If we’re trying to argue that it’s ok to oppress people when we’re angry, then we’re simply arguing that it’s ok to oppress people. And it’s not. Ever. For any reason.

Fat-shaming is wrong. It’s wrong all the time. There is absolutely no justification for fat-shaming ever.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



via Dances With Fat https://ift.tt/36ipZub

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Yes Nancy Pelosi Was Fat-Shaming, No It Wasn’t Ok

There is no way to fat-shame anyone without shame every single fat person. There is no justification for fat-shaming.Yesterday donald claimed that he is taking hydroxychloroquine – a drug that he has been touting from quite some time. Of course, there’s no telling if he’s actually taking it since he lies as easily as he breathes.

Nancy Pelosi jumped on the opportunity to make a comment. She didn’t mention that there might be a financial reason he’s pushing this so hard. She didn’t mention that his pushing of this drug can cause shortages for people who legitimately need it. No, she took a stab at donald’s body size…

“He’s our president, and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and his, shall we say, weight group … m*rbidly ob*se, they say,” she said.

Plenty of people pointed out that this is fat-shaming bullshit, but in a burst of “they tried it” others immediately jumped in to try to claim some form of the following three arguments:

  1. It wasn’t fat-shaming
  2. It was fat-shaming, but it’s ok because it’s donald and he’s a garbage human
  3. But it’s science

Let’s take these one-by-one:

It wasn’t fat-shaming

It for damn sure was. Look at the phrasing of it “his, shall we say, weight group…m*rbidly ob*se they say”

Nobody frames a physical description that way unless they think it’s something to shame someone about. Nobody is out there going “her, shall we say, hair color…brunette they say.”

Note that she was able to say “age group” without engaging in ageism.

It was fat-shaming, but it’s ok because it’s donald and he’s a garbage human

Donald is a garbage human. Fat-shaming him is still wrong, because his size has nothing to do with his being a proud racist, misogynist, xenophobe, sexual predator, and white supremacist. When you fat-shame, your victim is every fat-person person you perpetuate the idea that fat-shaming is ok.

I covered this in detail the post Your Justification For Fat-Shaming Donald is Bullshit, Here’s Why. 

But it’s science! 

These people seem to break into two camps.

The first insists that since the term “m*rbidly ob*se” is a medical term, it must be ok to say. That ignores an extensive history of “medical terminology” being used to perpetuate oppression. It ignores the fact that the term is used as a way to pathologize a body size in a way that is neither research-based nor helpful. And it ignores the staggering amount of medical weight stigma that fat people have to deal with, which harms us in a myriad of ways.

The second camp insists that it’s ok because she was telling the truth about the risks. Except she wasn’t. There is no evidence that being fat creates more risk when taking (or lying about taking) Hydroxychloroquine. Even if she mispoke and was trying to make a claim about COVID-19, the evidence around body size and COVID-19 risk is dubious at best.

This was fat-shaming and there is absolutely no justification for it. Nancy Pelosi should apologize and do better in the future.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



via Dances With Fat https://ift.tt/3g2eBqW

Monday, 18 May 2020

Response to the NYT Article about Size Acceptance and Weight Loss

INTENT~1I was recently briefly quoted in a New York Times article called “Fighting Fat Discrimination, but Still Wanting to Lose Weight” and subtitled “Is it OK to be “body positive” while striving to be thinner?” For the record I was interviewed at length by the article’s author Abby Ellin, who was clear from the beginning exactly what kind of piece it would be. I’ve received a lot of questions about it, so I wanted to address it here.

In order to keep this post to some kind of reasonable length, I will be discussing the personal stories and the original questions of the article.  I’ll leave the issues with the studies included, the misidentification and missapplication of the concepts of Size Acceptance and Body Positivity by some interview subjects, and the appalling behavior of some of the “healthcare professionals” for a possible future post.

The thing that strikes me in the opening paragraphs is how easily we blame body size for things that happen to people of all sizes. The subject wants to walk a certain distance without becoming out of breath. She wants to walk around New York City in the summer without “sweating to death.” She wants to climb Machu Pichu.

There are people of all sizes who sweat their asses off when it’s hot in NYC. There are people of all sizes who get out of breath quickly for all kinds for reasons – some of which are changeable and some of which are not.

The issue here is that if a thin person says they want to be able to climb Machu Pichu or walk farther without becoming out of breath (after being tested for underlying issues) they would be given options and programs to increase their strength and stamina. But when it’s a fat person so many people (even including doctors) go immediately to “change your body size” even though there are thin people with the same issues, and even though there are plenty of people much heavier than this woman who are marathoners and ultra-marathoners, and who’ve made bigger climbs than Machu Pichu.

Now, fitness by any definition is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control, and adding healthism and ableism to fatphobia never improves the situation. Still, when it seems normal for a fat person who wants to be able to walk farther to attempt to change their body size (knowing that almost everyone gains back their weight and manygain back more than they lost,) rather than working on strength and stamina, that’s a good example of how pervasive fatphobia is and how much it hurts fat people by sending us on an endless pursuit of a smaller body instead of living our best life in the body we have.

People are allowed to do and believe what they want with their bodies – including risking their lives to be thin and blaming whatever they want for their circumstances, but those choices don’t happen in a vacuum. There is no way to promote or participate in weight loss without perpetuating fatphobia, because the idea that a smaller body is a better body is at the root of weight stigma. That is a simple fact.

People are still allowed to attempt weight loss regardless of the lack of efficacy and risks involved, and power and privilege can play an important role here – thin privilege is real and, especially for those who are part of multiple marginalized communities, this may be a battle that they don’t want to fight. (Because of the intersection of fatphobia and transphobia in healthcare for example, trans people may be forced to attempt weight loss in order to be granted access to necessary healthcare procedures.) Those with more privilege are not in a place to judge those decisions.

Intentional weight loss is harmful to fat people in that it perpetuates fatphobia, there is no denying that. How much harm a person does depends a lot on how they choose to behave if they manage (however briefly) to move out of the oppressed group. Do they revel uncritically in their newfound thin privilege? Do they adopt the language of diet culture? Do they change the story of who they were when they were co-opting Size Acceptance language, now aligning themselves with the demands of diet culture that they renounce their formerly fat body – moving from “body-positive” to “body negative” in a single bound?

Do they gleefully post before and after pictures (making it clear that they always believed that a thinner body was a better body)? Do they brag about doing things like shopping in “normal clothing stores,” abandoning the principles of size inclusion and the people who can’t shop there with them? Do they accept praise from those who were committed to shaming, stigmatizing, bullying, and oppressing them until their demands – that this person become less than they were – were met? (The people who will continue to mistreat others in the group that this person has, at least temporarily, moved out of.)

There are people who have chosen to do the backbreaking work of liberating themselves from diet culture – to not risk their lives and quality of life with dangerous surgeries and diets. The Size Acceptance community is a social justice community that has limited resources with which to fight the crushing oppression of global weight stigma. As such, we can and should have spaces absolutely free of weight loss talk, that do not offer support or resources to those attempting weight loss. 

So for people to insist that they should be allowed to use those spaces for comfort and safety – co-opting Size Acceptance language and using limited community resources -while they desperately try to move themselves out of the oppressed group (by supporting diet culture, which  is at the root of our oppression) is an issue – especially since the people in Size Acceptance community who deal with multiple marginalizations are often the ones who are the most harmed by fatphobia and weight loss talk in these spaces.

It’s also an issue for foks to publicly, uncritically, embrace their personal weight loss attempt and still claim to be Size Acceptance activists. If someone doesn’t want to be fat (in some cases, is willing to risk their life to be less fat,) it’s difficult for them to advocate effectively for fat-positivity.

To me as a queer woman, it feels a bit like someone coming into a queer-positive group and insisting that it is their right to discuss and get support for their desire to become ex-gay, to use the group’s work and resources and co-opt the group’s queer-positive language all the while claiming to be a queer-positive activist.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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Young Kids Food-Shame Their Dad In Front of 3 Million Subscribers

We need to teach our kids not to shame, stigmatize, stereotype or bully people, not teach them how to do it.Reader Iris let me know about this little piece of total crap on the internet. Max and Katy are two young kids with 3.82 million followers. They (and/or their parents?) decided to use this platfrom to fat-shame and food-shame their father. I’m not linking to the video but here’s the plot:

Dad is eating chocolate. Kids walk in and are absolutely stricken. They yell at their dad and take his chocolate away. He gets more chocolate that he has hidden away. They show up stricken again and yell that they are telling him one more time “not to eat sweets, eat something healthy.” They forcibly take his chocolate as he struggles to keep it. They go outside, throw the chocolate directly into the garbage bin and yell “it’s unhealthy.” The dad gets some candy that he had hidden. Kids show up, you gueesed it, stricken.

The child’s eye go wide with horror and he says “oh my god” then they pan to the dad who has stuffed his clothes and put on a mask to look fat. Max “Look how fat you got!” Katy “What should we do?” Max “Eat healthy because of this weight!” Kathy (holds a mirror to his face” “Look, do you even recognize yourself?” Dad: Looks horried, then fake cries. Close up shot of dad’s fake fat belly. They decide that “sport will help you” and push the clothing-stuffed fake fat dad to a big trampoline. He gets stuck trying to get in through the protective netting. He gets tired right away so the kids push him to an elliptical machine then a treadmill (another close up shot of his fake fat stomach) He does one more exercise and now he is magically thin.

He looks overjoyed and exclaims “Oh I lost weight!” and both kids cheer. The kids put him to bed and then check the house for his sweets. They find them hidden everywhere (including popcorn,) act disgusted everytime,  and throw them out yelling “liquidate!” They throw it all in the trash and exclaim “Done! From now only healthy food!”
The video has over 76,000 views.

So. Many. Problems.

First of all, this video should be called “Max and Katy learn fatphobia and develop disordered eating.” We know that this kind of moralistic thinking about food sets kids up for all kinds of issues. Modeling moralizing food (and hiding “bad” food) is just asking for food issues.

Their other videos seem to be more innocuous (if completely unnecessarily gendered) which makes this more upsetting – kids playing with toys, kids learning to wash their hands, kids food policing adults and and engaging in weight stigma.

There is a crap ton of food in this video, and all of it appears to have been thrown in the garbage by the children. Why are we teaching kids to waste food?

Also, what will kids with fat parents take from this – they it’s their job to police their parent’s food? That their parents eat too many sweets (a complete stereotype – everyone knows thing people who eat a ton of sweets and don’t get fat, there are also fat people who don’t eat sweets. More importantly – nobody’s food is anybody else’s business unless we ask them to make it our business.) That having a fat parent is bad and something to be ashamed of? Fuck that.

We need to teach our kids not to shame, stigmatize, stereotype or bully people, not teach them how to do it.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Sunday, 17 May 2020

Quarantine Comedy – Weekly Roundup

This week in my quick comedy videos I talked about how I say embarrassing things to celebrities,  lazy fat jokes, the hilarious history of rock music, and how apartment hunting in California is a whole different world than apartment hunting in California.

You can play them all below (they’ll play back-to-back)
If you want to pick and choose you can see the playlist here

If you don’t want to miss a laugh, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel

If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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Friday, 15 May 2020

THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – I CAN ADMIT WHEN I GET IT WRONG


THIS FAT OLD LADY’S FAT FRIDAY – I CAN ADMIT WHEN I GET IT WRONG



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Thursday, 14 May 2020

Bill Maher – Fatphobe, Eating Disorder Denier, and COVID-19 Misinformation Source

Bill Maher is using his platform to spread misinformation about fat people, COVID-19, and eating disorders.Bill Maher is a long-time weight bigot who is always too happy to use fat people as punching bags for ratings. Chrystal Bougon e-mailed me to let me know that on his May 8th show, he took it farther in a rant that Chrystal aptly said was “ridiculously reckless and chock full of misinformation and the last thing the world needs right now.”  The stuff in quotes is what he actually said. It may be triggering so you can skip that part and still get the gist of the post.

I know people hate to hear that message, and I hate to say it, but it’s the truth: the core of this problem in this country, one reason—obviously besides the Trumpian nonsense—is that we, as a country… you look at the numbers from other countries around the world, not nearly the amount of deaths because they don’t have the same obesity profile.”

Maher is so fully committed to being a weight bigot, and so devoid of a sense of responsibility for the drivel that he spouts, that he is comfortable using his platform to state his opinions as if they are facts in the service of perpetuating fatphobia (and, of course, ratings and profit) and misleading people about a global pandemic.

When we talk about health disparities in the US vs other countries, the first thing we have to talk about is that, unlike those countries, our healthcare system is not predicated on the idea that everyone should have access to healthcare. Rather, our system is based on the idea that healthcare should be controlled by the wealthy and ransomed for an amount of money that they decide makes them uber wealthier enough.

We have to talk about how that is exacerbated by the ever-growing wealth gap as the politicians who are bought by the wealthy give them what they paid for by funneling ever more money to the already wealthy, shifting it from the working class and poor, including the social safety net.  That causes health disparities that harm marginalized communities, including fat people.

Then of course there are all the ways that fatphobia directly affects fat people’s healthcare (including the fact that doctors can be so busy trying to make us smaller that they forget all about making us healthy, sometimes at the price of our lives.) \

But sure, let’s continue to create more stigma against the victims of this fatphobia. Good call Bill.

In discussing Adele’s weight loss he said:

“And by the way, the old Adele would not fare as well with COVID-19.”

This is a ridiculous statement. The notion that feeding your body less fuel than it needs so that it will consume itself and become smaller – aka dieting – will lead to improved COVID-19 reaction is seriously questionable. Especially considering that one study has found that “weight loss, even at a moderate rate, is associated with a decrease in the function of certain aspects of the immune system.”  Regardless, Bill Maher is obviously not in any position to be giving an educated opinion on this.

And of course, we’ve already talked about the serious issues with linking being fatter to COVID-19 risk.

He also read a tweet that someone else had written about the Adele situation that asked  “Did we again push another sane person in the spotlight into eating disorder?”

Then Bill Maher actually connected his brain to his mouth to say “The eating disorder is eating too much! This is insane that they think an eating disorder goes in the other direction.”

And all I could think to say was  – are you fucking kidding me with this bullshit you ignorant fuck? Neither “consuming more food than a television host thinks you should” or “having a body that a TV host associates with eating more food than they think you should” qualify as an eating disorder, I doubled checked the DSV-5 just to be sure,

However, there are a number of eating disorders that do exist that involve food restriction, they happen to people of all sizes, and they can be deadly. And they are rooted in exactly the kind of fatphobia that Bill promotes for profit.  (And that’s not even getting into the fact that binge eating disorder is heavily linked to food restriction.) If you are, or think you may be, dealing with an eating disorder, please know that resources are available, I encourage you to reach out.

When it comes to his love for weight stigma and fat-shaming, with someone like Bill Maher you never know – does he actually believe the bullshit he is selling? Does he just want ratings and he knows that cultural weight stigma means that he can harm fat people without repercussions without repercussions? Does he have issues with food/body-image that he is weaponizing against fat people?

Whatever is at the root, this needs to stop. This is ex-fucking-actly what the world does NOT need right now, or ever.

Did you find this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

Wellness for All Bodies Program:A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!


Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 Click here to register
($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization (and I can do it remotely!) You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .



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Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Isolation Tango

So, like most folks, I have been working from home and staying home in general since March 17th. I think most of the initial anxiety, paranoia and confusion I was dealing with has passed. I am finding a pattern in my weeks. My sleep has begun to suffer, though. I just wake up at odd times and can’t get back to sleep. My restless leg syndrome is annoying af and sometimes painful, too. So I stay away from the OTC sleep meds because they all use the same antihistamines which trigger the RLS. Rinse, repeat. I really struggled at first, not with staying home, but with the uncertainty of it all and I convinced myself that I would lose everything (job, home, health, all). So far I have remained ever-grateful and count my lucky stars every damn day for retaining my full-time employment. Many close to me have not been so fortunate. At first a lot of what I was struggling with had nothing to do at all with the pandemic and everything to do with past long stretches of unemployment and how badly that has affected my mental health previously. I had to really push myself to not fall into old/bad habits while also allowing myself some room to breathe. It’s a lot. Everything felt so scary and heavy, not that it doesn’t now, it’s just different. 

Every weekday I get up about 8:30 am and feed the puggo. Then I make my coffee and boot up the laptop for work. I have a small back patio/yard that I have a lil’ box garden and patio furniture in and I have been making small improvements to. I have ideas and plans and seedlings and soil, but I need containers and right now getting things shipped is tricky. My ex-husband gave some buckets for me to grow my tomatoes and peas in. Actually, he was the last human I saw in person. We both had masks on and it was only in his driveway, but still. Wow. I’ve done bucket tomato plants before, so I’m feeling optimistic about that. I really wanted to do a vertical garden of strawberries, but those containers or even the components are expensive. So I nixed that idea entirely. I haven’t bought my strawberry seeds yet and perhaps it’s too late now. I’ll have plenty of tomatoes!

A few weeks ago, I started to cook and bake. I haven’t honestly done much of that in years. I made my first banana bread in over a decade, it was absolutely riddled with walnuts! I made a lemon cake without icing and it was perfect and so comforting. I’m not big on frosting or icing in general, but a nicely made cake is delightful. I made the best lemon bars I’ve ever had in my life! I will have to make more soon. I made carnitas tacos and refried beans from very close to scratch (didn’t use dried beans). I made my first Dutch Baby! I was so proud! I have a tendency to always want to add or do “One more thing!” when I bake and cook and thus had an odd but still tasty fail with another lemon cake I added fresh strawberries to. They sank and the bottom was perpetually soggy. Meh. I think tonight I will try for a chocolate cake. I like simple. I also made some other amazing things that were fun and easy like white sangria and a killer iced tea last week. 

I struggle to use all of my produce each week unless I really plan out my meals, and let’s be real, that is not always doable. I can’t read. Well, I can read short bits of things, but after about three minutes my brain wants to give up. I had to stop reading literature for pleasure. I’m now reading a book on CPTSD and healing from childhood trauma. Well, a few pages at a time, anyway. I go out on my patio at least once a day to simply get sun on my face and to breathe in a good bit of fresh air. There’s a whole row of big lovely trees behind my building that line the border of the property. It’s not much but it gives a nice ambiance and a little bit fresher air than the parking lot would. I have days where I feel like I can just be outside in my Paradiso de Patio (I gotta make a sign, darn it!) and it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t matter. And then I have days where even being outside in my tiny yard feels unsafe and that the world will find a way to destroy me. Good times. Ha-ha!

I’ve become much more of a tea drinker than I have been since I had my cafe and 12 organic teas to choose from on the daily. Ha-ha! It’s so odd to me but I’m actually enjoying this cheap Celestial Seasonings Chamomile with Vanilla. I had an urge back in March to get some teas and I ended up with 5 types that I like but that chamomile is just hitting me right lately. I tell myself that it actually helps to keep me calm because my anxiety is like a roller coaster ride I never bought a ticket for. But hey, last night was fresh sheet and fresh dog and freshly shaved legs night so you know we slept great! Ha-ha! I also hit a point with my insomnia that I started to lean into my seemingly endless supply of espresso and over did it one day to where my heart was racing and I felt high. So…TEA! YAY!

I have found that I have about 3 really productive days each week, usually two together. Saturdays are a crap shoot, if I do the dance class I love most I usually get super emotional but in a good way, it’s a release and we all need that! Plus a bunch of local fat community attends the class but I’m usually the only one with their camera off and I feel weird about that. I know it’s a safe space. I have done the class and been on camera before. I think it’s due to my house, like I have sooooo much trauma and shame and fucked up baggage about the outside world seeing my inside world, regardless of the actual state it’s in at any given time. Also I’ve been feeling disconnected from myself in a few ways. I know this happens and long stretches of isolation just fuck us up in ways we can’t predict or control. I have taken a lot of dance classes since the shutdown began, but most I only do once. The CFO at the company I work for has a niece who just got certified to teach BollywoodX classes and I was fortunate to attend the first one. I even emailed her ahead of time to ask if it was okay to keep my camera off. I noticed that the only other person in that class that had theirs off was the CFO, so that’s awesome and hilarious, he’s cool. The class was super fun but the warm up was like five seconds before she ramped waaaay up! She had so much energy, she must be like 19 yrs old, I swear. But I kept up! Also she didn’t do any count offs. Like, 5-6-7-8…none of that, and I am not used to no counts. Good to get out of that comfort zone and I love learning new modes of movement.

I still go into the office once a week to process the mail so they can pay bills and such. I have to really mentally and physically prepare for this trip every damned week. I can’t say that it gets any easier. My heart will start racing before I even leave the house. I have a whole routine so I make sure things are the same so I can be sure they’re cleaned the same too. With the roads nearly empty, the few cars left drive either 30 in a 65 or 100 mph period. It’s terrifying! Luckily I don’t have too far to go and what would be a nearly hour long commute now takes me 15 minutes, tops! My struggle currently is still about getting used to wearing a mask. I’m claustrophobic af so the sensation of having my mouth and nose covered is awful. Also having specific past trauma regarding airway restriction isn’t fucking helping! Grrrr! I have an N95 left over from the wildfires awhile back and that is what I use. I bought a cloth one on etsy but it is both too big and too small on my face somehow. I ordered some more in different styles to see what works best but this is going to get expensive since you can’t return these things. I want to believe I can find a style that works that I can get used to and live with. I sit at the front desk when my office is open and I want to model the correct protocols, ya know?

I am an office manager and it is my responsibility to source all of the PPE for my company for when we return to office life. This responsibility has had me waking up in a panic sometimes. The amount of information about new protocols, disinfecting offices, and space planning is astounding. What’s more is that most of it is absolute bullshit and you find that the moment you scratch the surface or ask any questions. I would say that most if not all office managers are natural skeptics. Ha-ha! But who can you trust when no one truly knows or has dealt with this on this scale before?! It’s maddening. And what is an office manager without an actual office? This is on my mind constantly. I have order requests in with one of the largest buyers of such things out there, but it’s up to my boss and other executives to approve and direct and I am swimming in insecurities about my role as far as the long run. I know it’s not as bad as my mind often wants me to believe that it is. I know I can handle this. But that doesn’t always help when the anxiety beast it breathing down my neck. Music helps.

One thing that has helped me tremendously is giving myself permission to use my imagination at all times. Seriously, after the first week I was like why am I not making the most of every moment?! I started singing to my doggo again and dancing in my kitchen while cooking or waiting for things to boil. I will sing along, fully belting it out, with nearly any song that tickles me at any given time. I did my own weird-ass version of a ballet inspired non-striptease on my patio (I didn’t actually undress, just pretended). It was fun! I don’t know what it’s like to have to isolate with other people, so I have no advice for you there outside of good communication and boundaries. Isolating alone, however, is like having your own one-woman show…well if you want it to be, that is. It all evokes my early childhood of solitude and solo play before my siblings were born. Other kids had imaginary friends, I always had an imaginary audience. No matter what I did, in my head at least, I was doing it for an audience. I’ve tapped into that again and it’s magical! You won’t see me doing any viral dance moves or challenges on tik tok, but you might catch me acting out scenes set to my favorite songs. 

Also a lot like my childhood is the amount of time watching my television. I really do need to get my Wii and DVD player set up, I just never bothered. At least then I could watch some old faves not yet on streaming services and play some fucking Mario Kart! Oooooh! That would be good for the old soul. Well this one anyway. I have Hulu’d and Netflix’d and IMDB’d and all of the other streaming things that aren’t Apple or Disney. Yes, I know The Simpsons are on Disney now, but I have the best seasons on DVD and they play reruns every single day on at least two different channels. I even got HBO streaming through my amazon thing for a limited deal. I have watched it all it feels like. But then something comes out with another season, like Kim’s Convenience or Ozark or Dead To Me and I lose myself in it all over again. I still watch my usual shows, too. The Daily Show and Late Night with Stephen Colbert are my weeknight staples. I love The Conners (but whoa very emotionally heavy lately, still love it), the Goldbergs, Blackish, Mixedish, and alllllll the cartoons! Cartoons will get me through, that is the truth! I’ve gotten into some new cartoons like Victor & Valentino (So cute!) and the reboot of ThunderCats, but it’s been good ole Spongebob that’s been a bright spot most days. Who’d have thunk it!

As for company and contact with actual humans, well, it’s mostly been through text. Which I prefer, honestly. I have a couple of friends who give great memes! And I’m always snappy with a gif. My bffs did a video happy hour once that was fun, I wore a pink wig with cat ears. The company I work for has been doing them too but I super struggle because you’re just sitting there on camera, along with everyone else, and it feels so forced and gross to me. I’m an introvert and I refuse to feel bad about it. I’m okay with being misunderstood and getting called weird. “I like being weird! Weird’s all I’ve got. That and my sweet style!” Maurice Moss, The IT Crowd, “Are We Not Men” episode. 

I said last year that I would not be dating in 2020. Who knew it would be so easy?! Ha-ha! Truly though, while I did say that and meant it, I really wanted to focus on dating women this year and well that just ain’t happening. I suck at it enough as it is to not have to try to deal with the quarantine stuff on top of it. Plus no one wants to actually have a conversation and that is a deal breaker for me. I already have the best company there is anyway, my puggo! He’s been such a sweet snuggle bug. He is the reason I get out of bed in the morning and not stay up all night. He makes me go to bed at a reasonable hour, though that changes day to day. Sometimes that means 10:30 or 11 pm, sometimes by 9:15 he’s calling it a night and trying his best to insist that I do as well. It’s hilarious!   

You’d think with all this “extra” time on my hands that I’d be writing like a woman possessed, but I really haven’t had a single idea to write about. So I give y’all this silly update about me. To those who actually read and care about me and the few who even reach out, thank you so much. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know, it makes a difference, I promise. If there’s anything you’d like me to write about (should we do Tank Top Tuesday submission posts again? What else?) or post other things here, please do not hesitate to let me know in comments or email me directly: notblueatall@notblueatall.com or if you need an unbiased ear to talk or vent to, I’m here! I’ve been posting a bunch of things on this blog’s facebook page, not my own content but other interesting and often related content. Check it out, follow/like it, or not. I’ve thought about trying to do videos and things but I’m just not sure what people even care about right now as far as those go. So lemme know! Or just tell me what is keeping you going during this isolation tango we’re all doing. 

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I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

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