Friday, 31 July 2020

Yoga revisited

I never really stopped stretching, but now I’m starting to do a few yoga poses again.  I stand in a “warrior” pose and marvel at how my mat holds my feet still, and I remember being able to have my feet further apart without any of the balance wobbling I’m doing.

I remind myself I used to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and when I started again it was 3 minutes, so quit worrying about “used to do” and just do.

So. A few standing poses. I’m aware of my balance. A few floor poses. I’m aware of my back. A few twists.  I feel looser. Getting off the floor is harder but doable.

515tqzyjxxl_sl160_

MegaYoga by Megan Garcia

I often refer to the book MegaYoga by Megan Garcia when I’m unsure about how to position my feet and so forth.

This is written as I am rebuilding strength and stamina after a pulmonary embolism and other issues that made me persistently short of breath. 

 



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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Dennis the Menace Becomes Dennis the Fatphobe

Bethany Snyder of Big Fit Deal let me know about this bullshit Dennis the Menace Comic:

Dennis the Fatphobe
One panel cartoon with a fat person lying on a blanket at the beach, two boys and an adult are walking behind him, one of the boys is talking. Caption “Why do I hafta be quiet? All i said was ‘beached whale.” I coulda been talkin’ about anybody” Source: https://www.comicskingdom.com/dennis-the-menace/archive

There is so much bullshit here. It’s a single panel comic strip created for a family audience in mainstream media that is literally nothing but a cheap fat joke. Think of all the people in the chain of creation and approval of this who agreed that this was something that should be published. 

Imagine if you had one panel to put a message out into the world and you decided that your best option was to add to the stigmatization of fat people by creating a cartoon that rests entirely on the idea that it’s funny to shame a fat person for simply existing in the world (in the same way that the thinner people in the comic are doing.)

And skip me with the “can’t you take a joke?” bullshit. I know that fat-shaming is the problem and I am not.  That doesn’t make it ok to stigmatize me or people who look like me. I think it’s a bigger problem that we as a society are comfortable

When we suggest that some fat shaming is ok because some people think it’s funny, then we set ourselves up to constantly have to argue about where the line is between fat shaming that’s “hilarious” and fat shaming that is hurtful. The fact that something is not the most egregious type of fat-shaming doesn’t mean that it doesn’t support a culture where fat-shaming (including the most egregious kind) is ok. I think it’s far better to say that fat shaming is not ok in any guise and that people who want to be funny should have to do better than relying on cheap stereotypes, shaming, and bigotry

Fat people’s bodies are not punchlines, and we deserve to exist in the world – including at the beach – without shame, stigma, or bullying. That King Features would make that simple thing more difficult by perpetuating fatphobia under the guise of humor in a family cartoon is shameful.

Activism Opportunity:

You can let them know how you feel about the 7/23/20 Dennis the Menace Comic using their feedback form or e-mailing them directly:

http://kingfeatures.com/contact-us/marketing/

KingFeatures@dkcnews.com

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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Doctor’s Office

We’ll discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for getting evidence-based, weight-neutral (and sometimes even fat-positive!) care from doctors and other healthcare practioners, even in a fatphobic healthcare system. There will be lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

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!



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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Review: The Relentless Moon

The newest Lady Astronaut book from Mary Robinette Kowal is fun. It features a 50ish woman, Nicole Wargin, who finds and defeats bad guys in an alternate world where the space race started in the 1950s; by the early 60s, there’s a moon base and a mission to Mars.

Nicole is an ex-WASP who admits she was probably only accepted to astronaut training because her husband, Kenneth Wargin, was a senator. To the surprise of everyone else, she excelled. By The Relentless Moon Kenneth is governor; Nicole wants more time with him, but is happy to live in the moon base 3 weeks a month since her arthritic toes like less gravity and no heels. That said, Nicole is frustrated that she doesn’t get to pilot the “big rockets”, just the on-moon “puddle jumpers”.

This world is like ours in the early 1960s, with sexism, racial segregation, and protests.  Add in rapid global warming, food shortages, and an expensive space race, and Earth isn’t exactly a quiet place to be. Both the civilian government and the space organization – including Kenneth, Nicole and her coworkers – must deal with protests, riots, and sabotage.

The Relentless Moon is set on Earth and the moon in parallel with the Mars mission in the prior book, The Fated SkyThe Calculating Stars is the first book in the series.  Amazon has a page with all three books.

I loved this book, but I also have some content warnings.  If you are a completely “no spoilers” person, stop reading.

LadyAstronaut

First: Eating disorders. In particular the narrator forgets to eat, doesn’t want to eat, and deals with resulting dizziness, muscle weakness, and fainting.  She is supported in her recovery and her symptoms are treated.  I came out of this book with a new awareness that forgetting to eat is not a virtue.

Second: A polio outbreak occurs at the moon base. (Polio vaccine development was delayed in this history due to the event that kicks off The Calculating Stars.) It’s noted that polio has an incubation period of up to 10 days, most people who have it are asymptomatic, and it can affect patients who’ve recovered years later – does that sound familiar? A recap of how polio spreads and how they wouldn’t know who had it for up to 2 weeks had me trying to back up through the couch, if that makes sense.

Third: Intentional weight loss to join the space org is discussed.



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Friday, 17 July 2020

Foraging for Cottagecore

Cottagecore (also Farmcore or Countrycore) is an aesthetic inspired by a romanticised interpretation of western agricultural life. It is centred on ideas around a more simple life and harmony with nature. A quick look at some pinterest images with this tag and you’ll soon find yourself lost in hazy forests and country scenes, evoking Little House on the Prairie and forest fairy vibes. I grew up with Holly Hobby and watching Little House and often pretended to be Laura Ingles when playing as a child. I was already on my own edwardian vibe when I started to see and hear little things about cottagecore popping up in some of the groups I’m in on Facebook. And Gah! Half this stuff looks like the Gunne Sax dresses my mother and her sisters all had in the 70’s (that I used to play dress up with in her closet as a child). Of course she was my size then and thus couldn’t wear them, just as I can’t now, though I would LOVE to get my hands on some. 

Plus size cottage core fashion items are so difficult to find. There isn’t any single retailer offering these styles or items in plus sizes that I have been able to find. So, I’ve been tracking down pieces one by one. I’m a 26/28 in most things (54″ bust, 62″ hips, big B-belly, mostly pear-shaped). While I have had some luck in random places, such as the cream cotton and lace tiered steampunk skirt I got for $15 on HipsAndCurves, they were one-offs and not reliable enough to share. That is until today when a brand I used to shop popped into my head. You may or may not have heard of them, but when I was searching eBay for ivory peasant tops “dirndl” tops popped up in the search (thought not in my size of course) and that is when it hit me! Ulla Popken! I had bought one of their full dirndl dresses with the apron and everything years ago, but it was too big and at the time too expensive for me so I had to return it. I don’t think I’ve given that brand much thought since, though I know I kept something else from that order but memory escapes me at the moment.


So I go over to their site and sick of my endless searching I go to the clothing tab, then look at their list of “Collections” and immediately see, “Oktoberfest“! Yep, talk about nail on the head, the dirndl dresses were there in fun colors, but also some plain white dirndl tops! Not remembering their size range I click to see, sizes from 12 – 32 for the dirndl top I wanted. Some items go up to 42! That is rare, and while they do not offer everything in the upper size range, to even have them at these prices is pretty awesome, I think. They also have a boho collection and a fantastic amount of clothing in their “Sustainable” collection, even swimwear! Yeah! They have cute stuff at decent prices, too! I got a bit swept up in the moment, to be honest, and started really digging around. Now most of my searches have been around white and ivory items, but I can assure you that this is a brand that is not afraid of color.


I cannot comment on the construction or quality of their entire line, but I can say that what I have seen and received in my own life has been good quality, not luxury level, but great for working class folks, in my opinion. Like you know it won’t fall apart after two washes? Ha-ha! They even have an “Influencer” collection, it’s all worth taking a look. I was particularly taken with their lounge and sleep items, nightgowns in 2-packs, undies in 5 packs (in either cotton or microfiber), front closing comfort bras in 2-packs…this stuff is rare AND affordable! I highly recommend checking it out if any of these things are of interest to you. They are having a sale with a coupon code right now but I don’t know how long it will last but it’s at the top of the page, so if that is a motivator, get to it!


My issue now is choosing something to purchase! Ha-ha! I know, first-world problem, but I had intended to only buy second hand this year, so I want to be sure I’m buying for the right reasons as well. Sometime in April I got on this whole Edwardian thing after rereading some old favorites of that era and discovering a guide to Edwardian hair care online, I bought some silk satin ribbons for my hair and went at it with true dedication. It was just what I needed as I had lived with my hair in a constant bun for over a month by that point, only taking it out and brushing before washing. I get obsessive and go down rabbit holes and this one pulled me out of a scary anxiety-fueled funk. I was braiding my hair and brushing it twice a day and going to bed with it long and flowing (it’s down to my ass at this point). I would use the ribbons to braid through or simply to secure whatever random hair style I chose for the day, starting with more period accurate ones to just whatever I could manage.
This is also why I am starting my searches with ivory/cream/white colored garments.Those are WAY out of my comfort zone, but I figured if I’m going to be home anyway and these are truly just for me (I really don’t see wearing any of it to work, can you imagine?! Ha!), why the hell shouldn’t I have some fantasy outfit to fritter away my days in?! If it feels good, fucking do it! I had grown so hopeless in my hunting that yesterday I spent a decent chunk of time looking for lightweight linen by the yard in the hopes of one day sewing my own skirts and such. This Ulla Popken realization has saved me from that, at least temporarily (I’m very much a beginner, but also my sewing machine is in need of repair before it’s functioning again). I have this vision of gauzy ivory layers, with a generous apron, all soft and lovely. I have a small garden and am starting to really enjoy being amongst my little plot of greenery (don’t ask about my fern, I am obsessed and so proud!).


Honestly, I’ve been watching a lot of Miyazaki films, as well, which only makes me love these styles of dresses all the more. I feel like I AM Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle at times! Ha! Or Kiki, that week I wore a red silk bow on my head. I haven’t been able to watch the things that I used to love, like American Horror Story or The Walking Dead. I have full seasons of both on my DVR that I just can’t bring myself to watch yet. But along with the fanciful fashion fantasies, I’ve also been obsessed with baking competition shows, which is nothing new for me, but it’s all be renewed with that show “Crazy Delicious” (troubling name, but a fun watch…Fat woman host in a gorgeous costume, but her standup is problematic af so I won’t recommend at all). Which then finally led me to diving head first into the Great British Baking Show because OBVIOUSLY I knew I would be obsessed the moment I sat down to watch it, so I put it off for years. Yes, I know, it’s awesome and I enjoy it immensely. But now I’m in my kitchen in 90+ degree heat baking layer cakes with Nutella buttercream! Ha-ha!

Oh yes, I have fully domesticated myself during this CoVid19 shutdown. I bought two basic/cotton aprons and one had an odd tag on the front that made no sense so I tore it off and tried my hand at some embroidery for the first time in many years. I’m quite pleased with the result for a first try! I had started a crochet wrap for myself at the start of the shutdown but haven’t picked it up again since April. Oh well. I’ve done some doodling and lots of cooking and to be honest I’m quite sick of eating as a general and seemingly constant thing I have to think/worry/clean/do for. UGH! But that aside, I have enjoyed the challenge and creativity that baking has always held for me. At least once a week I threaten to marry myself a la Elizabeth the first. What?! I’m fucking awesome and if I’m doing all this I’m doing it for myself, thanks. Although the puggo gets some benefit since I usually give him bits of whatever fruit or veg I’m chopping up. Ha!


I’ve been mostly a homebody for many years anyway and while some things won’t change, I’m still contacting my local leadership to defund the police (yes, I’m an abolitionist but my local mayor is a fucking bootlicker who refuses to listen to the community) and emailing the prosecutors for Breona Taylor’s muder case and calling my representative in congress nearly every day, BLACK LIVES MATTER and I have not ceased my support, before or after George Floyd was murdered. This is a lifelong thing for me and one I don’t always feel the need to shout or get in folks’ faces about it because of that. The things I can do and change for myself in the day to day to help my mental health have had to become slightly more at the forefront of my day to day life. It all just feels like day to day, one blending into the next, none feel real and yet it’s all too real and surreal and this is life right now and I’m mostly okay with it. My mental health did take a very steep dive a few weeks ago that forced me to step back from some things that I would have loved to participate in or organize, I know I would not have been able to “show up” for those things in a way that felt right. I’m fine now, but taking it day by day because shit happens and I barely slept 3-4 hours a night for a week solid and that takes its toll. I’m still me, just slightly more kind to myself, I think/hope. I’m a chamomile drinker now! Who’d a thunk it! Ha-ha!


What have you been keeping yourself occupied with? Any new obsessions? Leads on fun finds or projects? A recipe I must try? Lay it all on me, friends! Or, maybe you’re just feeling a bit lonely? That’s okay, too. Email me or leave a comment below and I’ll happily provide an unbiased ear/shoulder/venting space. I do hope you’re well and staying safe and at home as much as possible. I started to wear a face shield instead of my face mask on my daily dog walks. I still carry a mask just in case, but since I’m outside and there’s very few people around my neighborhood usually, it’s a great way to have a protective layer without having a sweaty face. Ha! It has helped a lot. Have you figured out ways to stay safe and comfortable? I have only left the house once a week for work (post office and then visit to the empty office so very low exposure if any).

***

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

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://ift.tt/2zKvPnQ

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Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! (Or hit me up for an invite, still figuring it out.)

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much: https://ift.tt/1NpWevR

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com



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Thursday, 16 July 2020

Drew Barrymore Weaponizes Her Internalized Fatphobia

Drew Barrymore TwitterBefore we get to the post today, I have some exciting news. The Mighty, a fat-positive digital health community, has chosen 50 of their contributors to be designated as “Super Contributors” and I’m honored to be one of them!

Here’s my first piece as a Super Contributor:

Drew Barrymore is talented and accomplished by any standard — an actress since the age of 6, and a director and producer who owns her own production company. But as a woman who is not naturally a size zero in an industry that relentlessly holds women to a nearly impossible standard of beauty (rooted in extreme thinness, whiteness, ageism and ableism) her weight has been a topic of conversation for nearly as long as she has.

Throughout her career, Barrymore has had the experience that research tells us nearly everyone who attempts weight loss will have — losing weight for a while, then gaining it back again. Lather, rinse, repeat. This process, technically called “weight cycling” (often called yo-yo dieting) has seen her repeatedly gain and lose weight, with her messaging fluctuating with her weight as well — from co-opting the language of Size Acceptance activism at the higher points on her weight cycle, to embracing the language of diet culture during the lows. For example:

Read the full piece here! 

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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Doctor’s Office

We’ll discuss tips, tricks, and techniques for getting evidence-based, weight-neutral (and sometimes even fat-positive!) care from doctors and other healthcare practioners, even in a fatphobic healthcare system. There will be lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

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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Monday, 13 July 2020

The Problem With A Fat Person Saying That Fat Jokes Are Hilarious

being fat doesn't justify fatphobiaI was asked to comment on a conversation on social media where someone had posted a fat-shaming meme. By the time I got there, the comment section was an absolute cesspool of fatphobia. So I commented:

Imagine having a picture taken to commemorate a lovely day of existing in the world, only to have a bunch of randos on [social media] decide to use it as an excuse to be rude and make sure that every fat person who sees this knows that they view our bodies as punchlines. Fat people have the right to exist in the world – yes, even in pictures while standing beside horses – without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression. Shame on everyone who is using this picture as an excuse to engage in fat-shaming.

Almost immediately, I received this response:

I’m a fat guy, and I think it’s hilarious. Shame me all you want, but acknowledging yourself as you are and accepting it is telling the rest to eff off. If you are offended then you haven’t accepted yourself for who you are, or you worry too much about what other’s think.

Let’s take this in two parts:

“I’m a fat guy, and I think it’s hilarious.”

It is incredibly common for fat people to jump in and support fat-shaming. This can happen for a lot of reasons – their own internalized fatphobia, their desire to get some approval (and possibly better treatment) from thin people by participating in their own oppression, because their various privileges protect them from a lot of the harm of fatphobia etc. How offended someone is personally by fatphobia is their business, but the reaction they have doesn’t happen in a vacuum and people need to take responsibility for supporting harmful, stigmatizing ideas.

“Shame me all you want, but acknowledging yourself as you are and accepting it is telling the rest to eff off. If you are offended then you haven’t accepted yourself for who you are, or you worry too much about what other’s think.”

This is the part where people suggest that if you’re ok with yourself, regardless of how oppressed you are in the world, you will cheerfully accept additional oppression. This is particularly common if the oppression is in the form of a “joke.”

Except no, that’s not how self-acceptance works. I know that fat-shaming is the problem and not my body.  That doesn’t make it ok to stigmatize me or people who look like me. I think it’s a bigger problem that we as a society are comfortable telling groups of people they need to “toughen up” and become better at being stigmatized and made fun of without complaint so that other people can laugh at our expense without having to feel bad or have their bullying behavior pointed out.

Regardless of how one person’s level of indifference, internalized oppression and/or privilege allows them to tolerate stigma against a group that they are in, justifying and defending the behaviors that harm people (especially people with less privilege) in the group is not an appropriate response.

Being fat does not justify perpetuating 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!)

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, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

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, 1 July 2020

Disabled or not?

A person with a disability is defined as: A person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or A person with a record of such a physical or mental impairment; or A person who is regarded as having such an impairment. – NW ADA Center

“Disabled” is still a term I wrestle with. I have a disabled parking permit because I use a cane to walk and often can’t walk more than 200 feet. I use a mobility scooter at big box stores or events. But I’m not considered disabled by the US Social Security Administration, because I can do work that I did before (software testing, which physically means “park self in front of computer”) (just not at the pace and hours expected by Amazon of a senior person) (which really the US tech industry assumption that everyone has 60 to 80 hours a week to dedicate to work is a serious problem that I’m pretty sick of, and has me considering other, part-time options).

So yeah, I’m disabled, but I’m not.

I looked up the Social Security info because my primary care ARNP suggested it.  I still don’t think I would probably qualify – from what I’ve heard, it’s a pretty onerous process.

ACK

Cathy yelling “ACK!” Cartoon by Cathy Guisewite

In the mean time, I went from feeling a bit chuffed that I handled the walking at the primary care office fine while wearing a multilayer cloth mask, to … having an asthma attack walking down the hallway at another appointment in the hospital medical offices.

(I am a grownup, so I didn’t actually YELL “ACK!” out loud. Just, you know, THOUGHT IT really loud.)

I did take a minute away from other people to use my inhaler, which of course required removing my mask. But the inhaler helped my lungs relax.  I continued walking.  Slowly.

One step forward, one step back.  Walking is aerobic and improves my blood pressure; aerobic exercise is an asthma trigger. Strength training reduces/removes knee pain; strength training can be boring.

That’s kind of life, I know.

 



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