Thursday, 7 September 2023

Conferences, Concerts, and Gatherings…Oh My!

How does one assess their risk when the data is hidden or hampered at every turn? That’s what this is really about. Humans like to gather and socialize and much of our capitalist society has been built upon not only consumption but big collective consumption. Big sporting events and concerts in arenas make huge amounts of money on tickets, parking fees, concession stands, merchandise, lodging, and more! This summer there were some huge headliners touring the entire world during a global pandemic. While many other headliners have had to cancel and postpone shows due to illness. You will almost never hear that they cancelled due to a covid infection because of the insurance policies for these things. They can simply say “mystery illness” or similar things to remain vague. The artists performing in these shows are doing so at a huge risk to their own health and livelihoods, but it does seem that the profits outweigh all of that. Behind every solo performer is a massive team/company of people working in support of that artist, and they are all putting themselves at similar risks in the name of these tours/artists. Each individual that attends these concerts is paying a hefty sum to do so, as well as risking their health and livelihoods. Before you buy that ticket, can you afford to lose your health? For how long?
I am a self professed music nerd. I love the history, the art form, the connections between styles and influences, it all gets me very excited. I can talk a blue streak about it, and I have attended hundreds of concerts in my life so far. I won’t even get into ticket prices now, because I will forever be mad about that and Ticketmaster in general, but the price people are paying with their lives is what I’m focusing on here. You can save up to buy a concert ticket, but there’s no way to save up your health for later times. It’s not a points system, ya know? Because ohmigosh I wish I could! When The Cure announced their tour in the spring, and I discovered that they would be playing at a nearby outdoor amphitheater, I was excited and hopeful. The fact that Robert Smith, singer for The Cure, worked tirelessly to ensure his fans wouldn’t be ripped off by Ticketmaster, I was so impressed and pleased. I hadn’t heard such pushback since Pearl Jam in the 90’s. I signed up for their waitlist and presale things and then never heard a thing again. I never even knew what the tickets would have cost in the end. The Cure are definitely one of my all time favorite bands ever, and I have never seen them play live. You can imagine the heartbreak of not being able to go when they were so near and yet covid was nearer still.
I did all I could to assess my risk, plan how and what I would pack to feel safe. It’s outside right, so less risk! Except, it’s still an amphitheater with thousands packed in for the show. I went to my employer’s holiday party and danced the night away in an N95 mask, so I felt like I could do it. The more I thought about it, and checked my county’s wastewater reports for covid infections, the less I felt comfortable making the choice to go. I had even reached out to an acquaintance who is also a big fan and covid smart but even they were apprehensive about it. I have been to plenty of shows alone before, but not during a pandemic. The way people are behaving more aggressively in public settings in 2023 is also very off putting and being in a big crowd like that just felt like a nightmare. So I stayed home and played their music and had some wine and danced around my little apartment. I watched tons of clips of their shows online and cried at the NYC show clip of Robert singing Plainsong to his wife standing in the wings. So beautiful! When all is said and done, going to a concert is not something anyone actually must do. It is considered a leisure/pleasure activity, and while enriching, not necessary for survival. Just because we want and yearn and long for something, doesn’t make it necessary or safe. There is no way to gather that amount of humans, in this pandemic specifically, without hundreds getting covid. 
Now that covid related data is becoming less and less tracked/monitored/tested/reported, it is nearly impossible to truly know what the full risk of any given situation is. I think this is at least one part of why a lot of people just don’t seem to care anymore. Even those that do just sort of wear a mask and hope for the best. It all feels very impossible. How are any of us supposed to “go back to normal” in any sane way? We’re not! “Normal” wasn’t even working before the covid pandemic. Refusing to care about precautions especially when you don’t know the risks is self defeating and unethical. Those insisting we go back to pre-pandemic living are literally stuck in the past refusing to keep up with the times and adapt to our rapidly changing environment. Those masks that prevent viruses from entering our airways also filter toxins from wildfires and dust/pollen during allergy seasons. They also prevent what far too many believe to be mild or everyday infections like colds and flus (there was never a summer flu, stfu, it’s covid). We never should have accepted any of them as a normal part of life. We are discovering now that exposure to even generic old cold viruses before the pandemic may have made many of us more susceptible to not just worse covid acute infections, but long covid specifically. 
There is so much we were not told about covid. At first we just didn’t know everything, but we did know a lot because Covid19 is SARS2, we already had a SARS1 in the 00’s and many who survived those initial infections have been suffering ever since. Instead of working with that knowledge and framing public health policy and offering resources based on it, leadership in most countries (New Zealand had it right from the start!) chose the path of least political resistance and have since withdrawn nearly all support and resources. Nothing has changed with the pandemic or the virus except those policies and removed resources. People have been dying by the thousands every week just in the USA this entire time, but it is so much worse now and no one is talking about it. We have some treatments for the acute infection phase, but bureaucracy has fucked that up so hard! Someone I follow on twitter had Paxlovid prescribed to them for a course of ten days, but their insurance would only cover/approve of 5 days worth. They were not allowed to even pay out of pocket for the remaining amount prescribed, it was simply withheld. So when leaders tell you we have the tools and treatments, they only mean for themselves, not us.
Those boosters everyone is talking about coming out soon that has raised the hopes for some? Yeah, you won’t be able to get them unless you’re over 65, or severely immunocompromised*. And the MRNA vaccines that we were told would protect against newer variants, waned in its effectiveness after 3 months, to be useless really after 6 months. There is a new Novavax booster coming out that does cover the newer variants and has sterilizing qualities within the lungs, though not preventing infection or transmission, would hugely reduce the worst outcomes for all who can get it. Except no one in the USA will be able to get it because it isn’t produced by the two major pharma companies that have our gov in their pockets that gave us the shitty ones. Our leaders were never truly forthcoming about asymptomatic infections being the biggest spreaders and who specifically is vulnerable to the worst outcomes, it was always framed as “those other people will get super sick and die but you’re okay.” They said we should wear masks to protect ourselves but never pushed or explained 2 way masking or offered quality masks (KN95)/respirators (N95/P100) to those who cannot afford them. In fact we were told that any mask was fine and that we should leave the respirators for healthcare and essential workers. They dropped the big mandate but never actually said it was safe to stop wearing masks. It’s all politically driven and I am amazed at how many swallowed it whole without questioning it.
Now no one is wearing masks except those who know they are high risk or immunocompromised or live with someone who is. Everyone I know IRL eats in restaurants. Even insisting they sit away from others to “reduce the risk”. Which sounds good but that is now how airborne pathogens work! You have to think of it like cigarette smoke, if someone was smoking a cigarette across the restaurant from you, would you still be able to smell it? If you were alive in the 80’s you know the answer to this. I will save my newer thoughts on the insistence to eat in restaurants for another post, but you can almost always get your food to go. So why not go to a lovely park or take it home and watch your fave show, too? When you remove your mask you are not just taking the risk for your own health, either. Those essential workers everyone pretended to care about are being forced and harassed to not wear a mask, and you know no one gets much in the way of sick days/pay in the USA. Think about this for a moment, please. The lowest earners providing “essential” services with zero protections just so you can be served inside of a restaurant. 
“At least we have tests!” Yes, we do, but no one was fully informed on the timing and technique required to get a true result, and many new variants aren’t showing up positive until after 3-5 days of symptoms and no one is testing enough to pick up asymptomatic cases. Free testing sites are gone, getting tests through your insurance is not always reliable, and most cannot afford to buy multiple tests all of the time. I am happy to share that even if your home tests have expired, look them up because most have had the expiration dates extended. I keep up on these things for work, even though I am no longer required to, but I simply a.) give a shit, and b.) kind of can’t stop now. The more I learn the better I can protect myself and I have done very well in that regard, thank you. I do not understand how most folks don’t have that same curiosity and need for more information, but I’m okay with being a weirdo. At least my version of weirdness causes no harm to others. While going out in public maskless around others, yes even outdoors, is absolutely causing harm and even disabling and killing people. I do not want that blood on my hands, so to speak. Just because I don’t live with someone high risk doesn’t mean I don’t want to protect myself and others from the same infection that has robbed me of some of my mobility, most of my energy, caused organ damage, and prevents me from living a fuller life. Wearing a mask seems a small sacrifice of mild and temporary discomfort if it means protecting people from this horrible virus.
There is a new variant of covid that is presenting with only GI Issues and not fevers and respiratory symptoms. This means that many will ignore it and spread it thinking it is food poisoning or something else. Many employers are now not allowing folks to quarantine at home with even an acute infection, most schools, too. There is no stopping this virus with wishful thinking and strict “come to work no matter what” policies. Hospitals are no longer wearing masks, even oncology clinics that have been wearing masks for decades to protect the most at risk patients receiving treatments to live have dropped them. It is unconscionable! We must speak up and be insistent about these things, our lives are literally at stake! Healthcare workers have always worn masks with infectious or vulnerable patients. It is because of the politicization of them that they have stopped, some even lamenting they were worn to begin with. Next they’ll insist hand washing is asking too much. We have the science and data to back up and prove that the protection and mitigations work, but our leadership in every sector has failed us spectacularly. 
There was never going to be hybrid immunity or herd immunity. There was never going to be a true vax and relax way to approach this virus. Covid19 has won. Humanity has lost sight of itself in the face of capitalism. Yes, we are all too tired, overworked and underpaid because of it, too. It is because of this repetitive grind we’re all stuck in that we have been unable to assert our collective power to insist on better things for us all like healthcare and less oppressive employment laws. The USA never had a lockdown, we didn’t even have a true shutdown. Those griping about this and learning loss and how masks don’t work or cause anxiety are only repeating the nonsense the media has pushed on them. This has all been proven to be untrue, regardless of how loud they are about it. If what I wear on my face triggers their rage and righteous fury, that is a them problem and not a me problem. My masked face affects no one. Their rage and harassment is dangerous. Them being wrong and rude could be deadly. Me being right or wrong affects no one. 
There is a way to have gatherings and attend conferences and things safely. First, offering a virtual attendance option should be the norm at this point. It makes your event or gathering more accessible to all. Broader accessibility is never a bad thing! Charge for it, preferably at a sliding scale, so even more folks can join too! When planning your event, access the air flow/ventilation/hvac filters whenever possible. I may be just a simple office manager (ha!) but I know exactly when our hepa filters are replaced and where the vents are and flow to. I have gotten pretty good at identifying these things in other spaces too. Ask questions before reserving a venue! Require masks! This should be a no-brainer! Requiring vaccines is ridiculous when the efficacy of all of them has waned completely and not everyone can access them if they don’t have insurance now that the emergency fed funding has been ended. Again, nothing has changed with the virus’ deadliness and damage, only the funding has gone. Provide access to outdoor areas for people to eat and drink in. Let your speakers/performers know that it is okay to keep their mask on. Have someone to monitor that masks are worn and worn properly. If you see a nose uncovered, it’s like a dick is hanging out of your pants, fix that shit! Simply saying masks are required isn’t enough, but you don’t have to be a jerk about it either. If protections and mitigations are framed from a place of community care as they should be most folks won’t even question it. If you can, provide air purifiers/filters, build Corsi-Rosentjal Boxes for your event. They are a much more affordable option than commercial purifiers. 
The amount of people dead or disabled from others insistence on old world normalcy is unfathomable to most, but I will never forget. People who insisted on having weddings and parties and big vacations unmasked, they may never know specifically who they harmed, but they absolutely fucked up people’s lives permanently. If they were your loved ones? That is on you! We are all we got. We have to protect ourselves and each other. Our leaders aren’t leading! So we have to step up our game in order to survive. That is not hyperbole. With every infection your risk of having long covid increases. You do not want long covid! You really don’t want covid in your body at all if you can help it, but even if you do, you don’t want to share it. I know my mitigations and precautions work because when I had my only covid infection I also had an out of town guest staying with me for four days in my little apartment. I didn’t know I had it yet, but I made sure to wear an N95 and keep my car windows down while masked too. At home I had an air purifier and big box fan going the whole time. My guest never got it and the friend they visited directly after who is very vulnerable, also didn’t get it. The day after they left town is when my symptoms started. These things work! But we must be informed in order to make them work properly. 
Most people cannot believe that covid can disable or kill someone. It doesn’t mean it isn’t true. The damage this virus causes in every organ is not reversible on its own. This thing will be in us forever, and will very likely come back to bite us all in a few years time, like many others before it. It also makes otherwise dormant things pop up like shingles, auto immune diseases, diabetes, cancer cells can reactivate and explode. Oh and if you think you’re not high risk, you need to look at it from a couple of different ways. How will you get treatment or be treated in an overfilled hospital? Are you fat? Do you know how healthcare professionals treat fat people? Yeah, you’re high risk for dying not because of your body size but because of the ingrained biases and stigmas within healthcare! Have you had a covid infection before, even mild or asymptomatic? You’re now immunocompromised! The damage done to our immune systems after any covid infection (symptomatic or not, tested positive ever or not) means you are more susceptible to any and every infection under the sun! This is why there’s rampant fungal infections exploding everywhere. And if you don’t have it and you are seeking healthcare for something unrelated? You are much more likely to get a covid infection in a hospital or medical setting currently, and there’s little you can do about it until they mandate masks again.
So you see, when we are trying to make informed choices in our lives, especially about our own risks with covid infections, we need a lot more information to truly make those decisions. Letting it rip is only easy if you have no conscience and don’t have to look the people you’re killing in the eyes. The more informed we are the better armed we are when we assert our power and demand better resources for everyone. Everything is connected, y’all! It is so clear to me (and it all boils down to capitalist white supremacy). Please wear a mask around other humans. If you take nothing else from this post, make it that! You are worth protecting. We are all worth protecting! Our government is very much okay with a lot of us dying from their profit-driven policies. It doesn’t mean we can’t do all we are able to in order to live a longer and more fulfilling life. I would love to see more virtual options for everything. I would love to see movie and other theaters have masked only showings and public information about their hvac/air filtration online. It is so hard to find places with spaced out outdoor seating, and I live in California. There is so much more we can do to make spaces safer for everyone and the information is out there.
If you would like more information about anything in this post, please leave a comment or email me (see below). I am happy to provide a plethora of resources. I send cases of masks to friends who have run out. If you’re in need of masks, reach out, I will do all I can! 


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,

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog: 

Or get the same shared content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

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.)

via I'm Not Blue at All

Friday, 18 August 2023

Stay Covid Smart!

Where do you go when you don’t have anyone to talk to (for whatever reason) but want to get something off your chest? OH! This fucking blog o’ mine! Ha!

As I calm down a bit while eating this lusciously rich piece of chocolate cake…Ahem!

A big gathering at work in celebration of a number of marriages and baby announcements, about half the office is in the kitchen. Myself and a teammate, who also always wears a mask in the office, are sitting down together at a table chatting quietly, as introverts do. Then half our HR team sits across from us at the same table, none wearing masks.The topic of Covid is brought up, not by me but you’re right to make that assumption, and mention of it being all over the news again, cases are up. I say, “if it’s in the news then it is far worse than we know, they don’t like to talk about covid in the news these days.” Someone mentioned wastewater reports and I think for juuuust a moment they might care about mitigations and such. Nope! Just a talking point! Because the next moment the conversation moves onto hooray for a new booster coming and then they all mostly admit they aren’t up to date, have been traveling all over the dang world, and never mask in the office, and all have kids. I mention school starting during an already huge surge and before I could finish my sentence they’re talking about the upcoming booster again. 

Look, I actually love my job and most of the people I work with. I love my office and my team are some of the nicest and hardest working people I have ever met in my life. But one of our teammates is out right now because they went to Disneyland last week and now have covid. The entire team was testing for covid yesterday! Only 3 people out of 100 in my office consistently wear a mask. Me? I don’t fuck around, so I don’t have to find out. I caught covid one year ago at work, I took my mask off for 2-5 minutes to drink water and caught it from a teammate. I was fully vaccinated and very careful about my exposure and consistently masked. It only takes a few seconds of exposure though. I was fortunate to get Paxlovid pretty quickly and was well supported by my team, too. But I cannot shake the surreal feeling that everyone actually knows how terrible things are and are simply unable to process it all because it really is that bad. So I throw in a joke about, “Don’t worry about it though, the world is on fire right now, too! Ha-ha!” I swear I’m great at parties! Ha! 

We are reliving the 1900’s from the start and we’re doing fuck all about doing better for ourselves or the planet. We have a pandemic, nazis, insane billionaires controlling the media, heading into a likely global economic collapse, but we get a little change up with also being in the find out phase of our climate crisis. It is all fucking connected and it is all fucking repeating and I hate it. Individualism will be the death of our species. White supremacy has guaranteed this. Senators face cameras unblinkingly while spewing lies because they would rather us all suffer and die than admit they fucked up ever. Each bought and paid for by their fave corporation or billionaire bestie. Hundreds of millions are suffering around the globe from Long Covid while the entirety (it seems) of the medical world gaslights those suffering from its debilitating effects. The let it rip strategy will disable hundreds of millions more and we don’t have any systems in place currently to care for them/us. Healthcare globally is falling apart, more so now that most don’t bother to mask in hospitals at all, regardless of the situation. My grandmother would be swearing up a storm at the notion! 

They really tried to fool us with the vax and relax bullshit. They really laid it on thick about the effectiveness and purpose of the vaccines. It was all lies. And I’m not anti vax at all, I have all of my boosters, even though those have all lost their effectiveness completely by now. If you have had covid even once, even mild, even asymptomatic, YOU ARE NOW HIGH RISK FOR EVERYTHING! I wish people would get that message because the next five years are going to be horrifying! No one is testing and those that do are not testing at the right time or not using a method that will garner a more accurate result. The shear force of misinformation campaigns just wash out any remnants left of common sense in our society. Check for your county’s wastewater reports on covid, if they are still reporting (so many stopped recently). Maybe you believe you’ve never had covid so you’re fine and you must be doing something right if you haven’t gotten it this far, right? Well, 60% of cases are still asymptomatic, so unless you have been testing yourself weekly and consistently, you can’t truly know you haven’t had it. That is a tough data point for many to understand, but this virus is a tricky fucker! Also, if you are fat, you’re also high risk not simply because of your size but because of medical weight stigma and biases. We, as fat bodied people, will receive less care and less quality care if we have access to health care at all. I have no doubt in my mind that had my gallbladder crisis happened before the shutdown, I would not have received the care and testing that eventually found my issue. Telehealth/virtual medical appointments should be the norm! 

If you have any questions about covid or long covid or precautions/mitigations you can take, PLEASE ASK ME!!! I am happy to provide info, links, etc. I actually care a lot about people staying alive, though sometimes I question myself on what the point of caring for others is when it feels incredibly fucking one-sided. I suppose I am lucky in the sense that I was always different from “the crowd” and so it is absolutely no biggie for me at all to wear a mask even when I’m the only one wearing one. Standing out is what I do best! I’m a large bodied woman with red hair and often brightly colored outfits, I’m pretty tough to miss! Ha-ha! I do struggle to understand why folks are risking life and limb for comformity’s sake or to not upset others. Fuck that! I am an adult, so I get to decide what I do with and to my own face/body/etc. As things get even more bleak, and I’ve seen some horrific lies passed off as truths by so-called experts who are obviously cashing in on this bullshit campaign (things are about to get reeeeeeal bad. Like, everywhere!), I want to hope that folks will snap back to their previous “We’re in this together” mentality because we need that to survive! I am not interested in prettily painted Hallmark versions of anything. The world is literally on fire. Shut up! Just shut the fuck up and wear a mask, do the right thing! It is not hard! I hate it too but this is reality. 1 way masking is not effective in crowded areas, you can still get infected through your eyes or if your mask doesn’t have the best seal. It is very effective when everyone wears a mask. 

New information and developments in science are coming out everyday, so I do have hope. I am one of hundreds of millions still dealing with Long Covid symptoms over a year after my only so-called mild infection. Right now only 7% with LC ever fully recover at all. Some have been living with it since 2020 with no treatment available. With more people talking about it and pushing back on the gaslighting by the medical world, I know eventually there will be treatments. Who can access those treatments is another discussion entirely. With all the talk of the new boosters, most have forgotten that Biden ended the emergency status for the Fed, so many will be paying out of pocket if insurance won’t cover it or they don’t have insurance. I’ve so far seen prices starting at $110 for one booster. And as a result of the emergency status ending, the booster won’t be here until late September at the earliest, but until today I have consistently heard that it is November. Schools in my area started today! It is pure madness and greed driving everything now. Please reach out to those you haven’t heard from and offer support, the real kind, not just platitudes. No one knows how long any of us have left here. No one ever asks how I’m doing or feeling, not since the acute phase of my infection last year. Most people don’t even know what the symptoms are! There’s about 200 symptoms currently under the LC umbrella, but there’s like a core 8 that are consistently LC. Fatigue and brain fog are not what the average person thinks they are. The fatigue will suck your entire life away from you before you know it! This virus is SARS2, it is a level 3 airborne pathogen, but it is a vascular disease. The acute phase is not the end, it will be in us forever and causes damage in every organ.

There is no such thing as a summer flu. Avoid getting covid at all costs! No concert or large gathering is worth it, I promise you. Stay safe, stay smart! We are all we got!


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,

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog: 

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! I’m also on Space Hey, MySpace, LiveJournal and all the other places: NotBlueAtAll

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.)

via I'm Not Blue at All

Sunday, 13 August 2023

How Heat Affects The Body

I’ve heard many times that sweat helps humans stay cool in heat, and that we pump more blood to extremities to cool it before the blood returns to the body core.

But today, listening to The Daily podcast, I realized that our pulse INCREASES as part of the cooling process. If your heart or circulation isn’t up to that, it doesn’t work as well.

This is part of why older folks or those with preexisting conditions can’t adapt to heat as easily–anything that affects the heart or sweating interferes with these processes.

(The podcast also has information on how heat costs productivity in the US, especially in manufacturing and warehouses without cooling.)

Also: some medications, including for asthma/allergies or SSRIs, can make humans sweat less, which ALSO reduces your body’s ability to cool itself.

For me personally, my pulse has been elevated since the pulmonary embolism. Fold together with how aerobic exercise is difficult because my heart rate goes above aerobic range if I’m moving much. That my heart rate should increase MORE if the temperature is above 80F or so is just the sprinkles on this fun sundae.

Oh. I see. Well then. Adjustments may need to be made to my exercise routine.

via Living ~400lbs

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

You might be getting older…

When mopping the kitchen + dining combination room means you really want to lay down for a little while.

via Living ~400lbs

Friday, 28 July 2023

Madame Restell

If you haven’t seen the quotes I posted on tumblr, I’ve just finished reading Madame Restell: The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Old New York’s Most Fabulous, Fearless, and Infamous Abortionist by Jennifer Wright.

My overall impression is that the title could have been Madame Restell: Her Life and Times to make it clear that the narrative includes social history that affected Restell’s choices. For example, the woman who would become Madame Restell grew up the early 1800s in England where not only was premarried sex was common, brides were often pregnant at their weddings, and women were expected to like sex … and there was no modern contraceptives or even antibiotics to cope with an infection after childbirth. Working as a maid, she had to deal with employers assuming she would take care of sexual needs for them. Being widowed with a toddler and no family near? Usually you can support yourself by going out to work, but then you’re leaving the baby. It was a problem often solved by dosing the baby with a sleep tonic containing chloroform or heroin (both legal at the time).

There are reasons that Ann Trow, later Ann Lohman, moved into work with a higher profit ratio that being a maid or seamstress. In her case, she learned from a neighbor about making herbal contraceptives, and eventually, pills to cause miscarriage. She learned to surgically induce abortion using whalebone, aka baleen, and became an accomplished midwife, helping with births.

To be clear: The active ingredients of Madame Restell’s powders and potions were NOT what’s in our modern contraceptives or abortion pills! These were herbs that have been used in contraception and abortion since long BCE and do NOT have much distance between the dose needed for effective miscarriage and the dose needed for death. Not to mention that any kind of surgery before anesthesia and antibiotics was a terrible trial and risk.

One of the most notable things about Madame Restell is that her patients didn’t die. She had repeat business from fervent customers. She also pushed the health and wealth benefits to families and society by limiting the number of children in her advertisements. As the country swung – at least outwardly – more conservative after the Civil War, this raised even more ire that previously.

Jennifer Wright tells the story of Madame Restell’s life with verve and humor, in context of what was going on in New York and America at the time. Wright even found some evidence of what happened after Madame Restell’s reported death – if she actually died.

You may enjoy this podcast interview with the author, or just the links to other sources on Madame Restell. Or both.

via Living ~400lbs

Wednesday, 19 July 2023

Managing workouts

If I lived further south in the US than Seattle, I might not be working out at all today. (Yes, I’m a heat wimp.) But I’m actually in a north-of-Seattle suburb, so I’m wearing Teva sandals over my compression stockings.

Other things I’m using:

  • Treadmill
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Blood pressure cuff with a rolled t-shirt to help position it correctly
  • Portable AC

Not everyone needs these! I just find them helpful to me keeping my pulse in the aerobic range, which is one of my goals.

via Living ~400lbs

Monday, 17 July 2023

Compression stockings

New stockings arrived. Checking my nails are smooth before opening, since putting a nail through these is expensive.

Back of the Juzo Dynamic package

As I’ve written before, I wear compression stockings due to impaired blood flow below a knee causing painful swelling. “Avoiding pain” is a good incentive for me. :)

via Living ~400lbs

Wednesday, 12 July 2023

Signs of Progress

My pulse comes down faster after using the treadmill than it used to.

I’m able to focus on reading right after the treadmill, and to retain what I read.

My blood pressure has been “in range” for months.

It used to be nice to have my pulse oximeter show my pulse go below 100 while resting after the treadmill. Now it’s starting to go below 90.

Small things, but I’ll take it.

via Living ~400lbs

Thursday, 29 June 2023

Akkorde und Griffe: Dein Guide zur Musiktheorie

Wenn du Gitarre lernen möchtest, ist es wichtig, die Musiktheorie zu verstehen. Denn nur so kannst du die Akkorde und Griffe richtig anwenden und deine Gitarre spielen. In diesem Ratgeber findest du alles Wichtige über die Musiktheorie, von den grundlegenden Akkorden bis hin zu den modernen Griffen. Gitarre online lernen ganz einfach und entspannt! Akkorde findest du überall in der Musik – von Pop bis Heavy Metal, vom Jazz bis zur klassischen Musik. Viele Songs basieren nur auf einem einzigen Akkord, andere hingegen wechseln ständig die Akkorde. In diesem Artikel lernst du die Grundlagen der Akkorde und ihrer Formation kennen. Außerdem zeigen wir dir, wie du die Akkorde auf der Gitarre spielen kannst. Zunächst einmal solltest du wissen, dass es verschiedene Arten von Akkorden gibt. Die drei Hauptarten sind Major-Akkorde, Minor-Akkorde und Seventh-Akkorde. Jede dieser Akkordarten hat ihren eigenen Sound und ihre eigene Struktur. Zudem gibt es noch viele weitere Arten von Akkorden, aber für den Anfang reicht es, wenn du dich mit diesen drei Typen vertraut machst.

Major-Akkorde sind die einfachste Art von Akkord und bestehen immer aus den Tönen 1 – 3 – 5 einer Tonleiter in Dur (Do-Re-Mi). Ein Beispiel für einen Major-Akkord ist der C-Dur-Akkord:

C-Dur: C – E – G

Minor-Akkorde hingegen sind etwas dunkler klingend und bestehen aus den Tönen 1 – b3 – 5 einer Tonleiter in Moll (Do-Re b -Mi). Ein Beispiel für einen Minor-Akkord ist der A-Moll-Akkord:

A-Moll: A – C – E

Seventh-Akkorde sind schon etwas komplexer als Major- oder Minor-Akkorde und bestehen aus den Tönen 1 – 3 – 5 – b7 einer Tonleiter. Ein Beispiel für einen Seventh-Akkord ist der C7-Akkord:

C7: C – E – G – Bb

Was sind Akkorde und wie bildet man sie auf der Gitarre?

Akkorde sind ein wesentlicher Bestandteil der Gitarrenmusik und jeder, der Gitarre lernen möchte, sollte sie deshalb auch unbedingt kennenlernen. Akkorde bestehen aus mindestens drei Tönen, die zusammengespielt werden und einen bestimmten Harmonieeffekt erzeugen. Auf der Gitarre werden Akkorde meist mit mindestens drei Saiten gleichzeitig gespielt. Es gibt verschiedene Arten von Akkorden, die alle unterschiedlichen Klänge erzeugen. Die drei Hauptarten von Akkorden sind Dur-Akkorde, Moll-Akkorde und Septimen-Akkorde. Dur-Akkorde haben einen klanglich „höheren“ Effekt, Moll-Akkorde hingegen einen klanglich „tieferen“ und Septimen-Akkorde sind irgendwo in der Mitte angesiedelt. Um Akkorde auf der Gitarre zu bilden, müssen Sie zunächst die jeweiligen Griffe lernen. Dies ist relativ einfach, da es für jede Art von Akkord einen typischen Griff gibt. Sobald Sie die Griffe beherrschen, können Sie die Akkorde ganz leicht an jeder beliebigen Stelle auf der Gitarre spielen. Zusammenfassend lässt sich also sagen, dass Akkorde ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Gitarrenmusik sind und man sie unbedingt beherrschen sollte, wenn man Gitarre lernen möchte.

Akkorde sind Gruppen von notenparallelen oder notennachfolgenden Tönen, die einen bestimmten Klang ergeben. Auf der Gitarre werden Akkorde oft mit zwei oder mehr Saiten gebildet. Die meisten Akkorde werden in der Regel mit den drei Grundsaiten E, A und D gebildet, aber es gibt auch Akkorde mit anderen Saiten. Die meisten Akkorde werden mit der linken Hand gespielt, während die rechte Hand die Bewegung der Saiten hin und her macht. Durch diese Bewegung wird das Klangvolumen des Akkords verändert und so entsteht das Melodische des Akkords.

The post Akkorde und Griffe: Dein Guide zur Musiktheorie appeared first on Trockenblumen & Psychotherapie | Gitarre lernen.

via Fierce, Freethinking Fatties | Home of the Nouveau-Bese

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

Weight-Neutral Appoaches in Medicine

Pleased today with an episode of a local podcast discussing harms of fat stigma. It includes a recommendation for the Maintenance Phase podcast for more.

You can hear or read at

via Living ~400lbs

Thursday, 15 June 2023

Make Me Smart with guest Lindy West

I’m listening to a fave podcast, Make Me Smart, which did a “live in Seattle” recording. Tuesday’s episode includes them talking with Lindy West. They talk about work, about the WGA strike, and … Ozempic.


(Or search for Make Me Smart in your podcast app)

As Lindy notes, not everyone has $1000/mo for an injection to help lose weight that US insurance often only covers for diabetes. But even if you can pay $1000/mo and/or have diabetes*, will you loose enough to be “thin” or just “less fat”? People may treat you better smaller. Or, maddeningly, they may remind you to “keep it up!” in a cheery chirpy voice that makes you want to punch them. (Of course, can you afford bail and an assault charge?)

Meanwhile rich people may be Ozempic and similar drugs to be thinner because it’s fashionable. Their choice, but maybe they should contact the manufacturers about scaling up production so diabetics, who can get long-term negative health effects from not taking their meds, can be sure to get their prescriptions.

*I’m told by people with diabetes that Ozempic and similar drugs can really improve blood sugars in diabetes and that is a wonderful thing. Damage from high blood sugars is cumulative. Better blood sugar management is an investment in the future.

If you want to do something positive here:

Check out Lindy’s website with links to her books & newsletter

If you’re in the US, contact your Members of Congress about price caps on insulin and other necessary treatments for diabetes and other chronic conditions.

You can look up your members of Congress at

Keep breathing :)

via Living ~400lbs

Wednesday, 3 May 2023

In Broad Daylight

After every reported/published act of violence in the USA there is always a chorus of the shocked and appalled about it happening in broad daylight. As though the time of day such horrific acts occur is somehow unheard of or more abhorrent. Do they honestly believe bad things only happen at night? Rings a bit close to “what was she wearing?” to me. Everyday in the USA we see this shit scrawled across every major news/media outlet, our social media, and just everywhere. 

I cannot feign shock and horror any longer. I knew at the age of 6 that the monsters of the world will find you in broad daylight, no matter what kind of person you are. I witnessed the true horrors of police brutality at that young age in my own neighborhood. I saw with my own eyes how brutally Black women are spoken to and treated in our society. How the police treat the marginalized and the impoverished with a heavy sense of “how dare you make me waste my time on you, you aren’t worth the air you breathe” in their tone and eyes. This was in the 1980’s, so how is everyone still shocked?!

Do we really need to “be there” or “hear the other side” of these stories after literal centuries of this shit?! Why?! Why believe or prioritize some make believe reason or excuse that would somehow make it all make sense? The reason, the excuse, the cause is always white supremacy and capitalism. It is power and greed that requires the othering of those most vulnerable already. Yet so many seek to pin the blame on the victims, almost always. White people in particular will seek out any tiny seemingly negative detail about a person who was murdered by the police in the USA as though someone having any kind of life outside that moment somehow means they deserved it. 

In broad daylight is when life happens. We get up and work and just try to fucking live! I don’t know where the shock of something happening in broad daylight came about, but it is ridiculous to believe anyone is somehow safer because of the sun being out. Every single horror inflicted on me throughout my entire life has been in the daytime. Sure, stuff happened at night too, but it all started during the day (with my abuser). 

When we don’t know what to say, we all have the option of simply not saying anything. I wish more people would choose that option. Instead we spout platitudes and cliches with faux sincerity and it all means absolutely nothing. No one with any measure of power is going to do anything to change this country for the better. There is more incentive for them to maintain the status quo at every level. We are now at the point where people are getting shot simply for existing within the eyeline of some gun nut, and oh boy are there a ton of fucking gun nuts in this country.

Even where I live, in the so called liberal bay area (ha!), there are highway shootings often. Police here regularly brutalize our homeless population with that same exasperation I saw in my childhood. As though their inflated budgets aren’t part of the cause of the disparity we see everyday. People are desperate and hopeless, there is zero support or options for most. If you truly believe that a homeless person is less than or at all different from you, fuck all the way off! You are simply very wrong. We are all so much closer to being in their exact situation than one of opulence and fame. But so many of us would rather look away in disgust and repeat disgusting stereotypes and myths than to actually face and find solutions for these issues.

Violence is how this country was founded. White supremacy is what it was built on. Because those are our fundations, we would have to dismantle all of it from the top down in order to start anew. I see no way any type of reforms would do anything but virtue signaling at this point. Our government has shown us time and again since its inceptin that they don’t give a fuck about the people they govern. They are all in it for themselves and their donors. The violence will never end, there is no accountability to be had or sought. 

We must look out for ourselves and each other. Our government has failed us. With Covid19 especially, they have done more harm than I ever could have imagined possible. The deliberate misinformation and propaganda they have spread to enforce the idea that it is over or gone or just a cold or flu has killed hundreds of thousands, and disabled millions more. They claim it is for the economy but they will have a wake up call soon when the workforce is reduced to impossible levels due to endless refinfections, as our healthcare system is crumbling before our eyes, and more will be pushed into desperation and homelessness. 

It is all connected. It really fucking is! Once you see that it is impossible to unsee it. If you find yourself looking down your nose at anybody, it better be these rich white assholes holding all the wealth and not someone who has nothing. And if looking upon the destitute with repulsion and disgust is your reaction to seeing it, do better. Read up and look at the ways this is all connected. Your repulsion should be with those that force people into destitution, not those suffering as a result of the actions and wealth hoarding of those in power. None of us are better than the other. We are all humans. We all deserve to feel safe. No one should be attacked with violence for simply existing. 


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,

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex, with me and my BFF, Michaela! (We only recorded a few episodes but they were good!)

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): 

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! I’m also on Space Hey, MySpace, LiveJournal and all the other places: NotBlueAtAll

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.)

via I'm Not Blue at All

Saturday, 8 April 2023

Life in a rural village in India

Housewives starting businesses with micro loans.

Thriving, some of them.

But if your husband decides to take your money or hit you or your children, you are his property. It’s his choice.

Or is it?

The Bandit Queens, by Parini Shroff, takes on all this and more, while being laugh out loud funny. The humor is sometimes dark but earned, and the ending is sweet.

via Living ~400lbs

Monday, 3 April 2023

Thinking affects doing

This is a somewhat dismal quote, but hang on for the flip side.

Individuals who perceived themselves as less active than others were up to 71% more likely to die in the follow-up period than those who perceived themselves as more active. This finding held across 3 samples and after adjusting for actual levels of physical activity and other covariates. Conclusions: Individuals’ perceptions about their level of physical activity strongly predicted mortality, even after accounting for the effects of actual physical activity and other known determinants of mortality. This suggests that perceptions about health behaviors may play an important role in shaping health outcomes. – Zahrt, O. H., & Crum, A. J. (2017). Perceived physical activity and mortality: Evidence from three nationally representative U.S. samples. Health Psychology, 36(11), 1017–1025.

Thinking you’re less active than your peers can have negative affects. Turns out the opposite is also true. Hotel maids who were educated on how much *exercise* is involved in their daily work and that they were getting more exercise than recommended had their blood pressure drop and other changes despite making no conscious changes to their routine- just being aware that their job activities was beneficial.

More recently, researchers found you can see similar affects with step counters. (Gift link – no paywall.)

  • “You’re doing more than recommended” : health improvements.
  • “You’re not exercising enough” : no improvements.

(I will note, as usual, that pedometers do not always work uniformly on superfat people etc etc.)

What I will say is: Give yourself credit for what you are doing for yourself.

Getting enough sleep? Yay!

Following up on some nagging thing like a sore tooth or getting a physical? Yay!

Rubbing lotion into your dry skin and maybe giving yourself a bit of a foot massage? Yay!

Going for a walk? Yay!

It all counts.

If it helps, remember this meme:

Eagle walking forward. Caption: "me going on a stupid little daily walk for my stupid physical and mental health"

via Living ~400lbs

Saturday, 1 April 2023


I seem to have hit on a string of books where the characters drink alcohol every day. Usually multiple drinks at a sitting.

Then I read a Tumblr post that reiterates that 3 to 5 drinks at a time is considered a binge, and the liver needs time to process it, so even if you only have a drink a day your liver is getting affected. Plus researchers poking holes in the theory that “moderate drinking” is good for you.

Yes, before he passed, my dad had alcohol-related dementia.  So it can be a button for me. But there ia a lot of weirdness around alcohol in our culture. I don’t thinking any drinking means “OMG PROBLEM”. I do wonder at cocktails followed by wine followed by port.

Possibly some media depictions of drinking are merely aspirations of having the time and money for that sort of thing, similar to Dorothy Sayers giving her character Lord Peter Wimsey a new, spacious flat with a butler and a racing car while she herself was “hard up”. I don’t want to deprive authors of wish fulfillment. And yet…why is this the wish?

via Living ~400lbs

Signal Boost

Are you thinking about leaving your state or country? This essay has a good discussion of factors. The comments are even worth reading.

via Living ~400lbs

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Quote of the Day

“Wilson writes about how Black women — herself included — feel the pressure to make their bodies, their appearance, their actions conform to what whiteness demands in order to protect themselves, and how this daily negotiation of their existence extends to “performing” health. The bitter irony being that the Black women will still have bodies perceived through society’s lens as unhealthy and less acceptable. To add further insult, not feeling free to be themselves without repercussions, instead endeavoring to be “strong” and “resilient” at all costs, can cost them their physical and mental health. It also mirrors the long, sordid history of Black women not having autonomy over their own bodies.”

From a review (link) of “It’s Always Been Ours: Rewriting the Story of Black Women’s Bodies” by Jessica Wilson.

via Living ~400lbs

Friday, 17 February 2023

A few things

Voting matters. Even if you’ve been in prison, you should be able to get the right to vote restored.

If you, like me, are waiting on Philips to send you a non-recalled CPAP, check your spam/junk folder. Despite my sleep doctor’s office having sent them my prescription, Philips insists it needs … my prescription. OR, according to recent email, I could get a new CPAP set to “Auto”. I actually prefer the “Auto” setting if I can get it. “Auto” means it auto-senses how much pressure I need and adjusts pressure as needed – very handy if there’s new pollen in the air or I haven’t dusted recently.

(As it happens, I technically have a new CPAP already. My recalled CPAP was old enough that I qualified for a new one under my insurance anyway, so my doctor prescribed it via a medical supply house and I’m using it. However the Philips CPAP under recall is one I bought out of pocket, it has a manufacturer’s defect, and I see no reason not to get a replacement. Especially since when CPAPs die on me it tends to be unexpected.)

I’ve recently discovered author V.M. Burns and her Mystery Bookshop Mysteries. Samantha opens her bookshop in the first book, The Plot is Murder. We also meet her grandmother, Nana Jo, and some of Jo’s friends. The stories feature a mix of characters of different ages and sizes working to find out – for example – who really killed the dead jerk in the bookshop’s courtyard.

via Living ~400lbs

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Books I’ve been reading

Lost in the Moment and Found by award-winning author Seanan McGuire, the latest entry in her Wayward Children series. This book focuses on Antsy, who we first saw in Where The Drowned Girls Go. It is a challenging book that includes parental death and a manipulative stepparent, but also victorious as Antsy runs and learns to saves herself.

A Man Lay Dead, Enter a Murderer, The Nursing Home Murder, Death in Ecstasy are all Inspector Alleyn mysteries by New Zealand writer Ngaio Marsh. As an adult Ngaio Marsh divided her time between Britain and New Zealand and was considered one the “big four” British Golden Age mystery writers, along with Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Margery Allingham. These first four books read as a mix of police procedural from a newspaper reporter’s viewpoint. I’m currently reading Vintage Murder, which opens with Alleyn on a train on the North Island of New Zealand.

The Case of the Missing Marquess and The Case of the Left-Handed Lady. These are young adult mysteries by Nancy Springer that inspired the Enola Holmes movies on Netflix. The books are not the movies and that is fine. The scale is sometimes smaller (no bombs or martial arts studios) but Enola is solving cases on her own and finding her feet. Springer has done research and it shows.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. This book is both a contemporary whodunit and a period whodunit. We have an introductory chapter from Susan Ryeland, a book editor at a small publishing house, introducing their new best-seller-to-be from Allan Conway. We get the first 6 chapters of Allan’s manuscript, set in 1955 in a small English village. And then we get Susan’s reaction to the not having the final chapter of Allan’s book and to the news that Allan died over the weekend in what is presumed to be an accidental death. Thus begins the contemporary mystery as Susan tries to find the rest of the manuscript and begins to wonder if the accident was possibly murder. We do get the last chapter of Allan’s book. BritBox and PBS created a six-episode adaptation which is quite good (but structured differently.)

The Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler is a cozy mystery. Seattle teacher Hayden McCall wakes up in a new friend’s bed. Where is the friend? Why’d he leave his dog? Why are the police knocking on the door? Naturally, Hayden takes in the dog, starts searching, and eventually finds the answers to these (and other) questions. Fun, humor and diverse characters.

Dashing Through the Snowbirds was this year’s Donna Andrews Christmas mystery, as usual featuring Meg Langslow and her family, pets, and visitors – this year included Canadians on a business trip. This is the 32nd book in the series, and Donna has allowed characters to change and grow over time (sort of). Meg was introduced in the first book as single blacksmith who did the craft show circuit around Virginia. Since then she’s gotten married and bought a house. The teenager she used to ask to help with computer stuff leads a team at a local software company. Meg had twins that are now teenagers. That said, pets and grandparents continue to thrive. Absolutely jump in now if you want, but if you’d like to back up a bit, Murder With Peacocks is the first book.

(Full disclosure: I purchased Dashing Through the Snowbirds and Lost in the Moment and Found. The other books I accessed as ebooks via my county library system.)

via Living ~400lbs

Monday, 6 February 2023

Three Things

From an article on improving treatment of prisoners and staff in prisons to improve rehabilitation:

Unlike in the United States, almost all incarcerated people in Norway are ultimately released, Roer said, which got officers thinking more about how to rehabilitate those who will rejoin society.
“And we started to say, ‘What kind of neighbor do we want to have?’” Roer said. “And that’s the idea, we have to be safe when they’re inside and we have to create an environment [so] that the inmates can have some skills they can use outside.”

“Can Washington prisons change the culture of corrections?”

From a different corner, did you know that J.S. Bach also wrote choral music about coffee? (Well, and other secular topics.) But yes, he has a piece for 3 voices (father, daughter and a narrator) that is often called the “Coffee Contata”. Experienced listeners will know he heard performances in a coffee house when you hear the first line, “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht” – “be quiet, chatter not”. The father is unhappy his daughter is so unladylike as to drink coffee. “The closing trio tells us that her mother and grandmother are coffee drinkers, and young women can no more give up coffee than cats can give up mice.” Read more about it here.

I also liked this piece on how Oregon and Washington are regulating crypto miners by charging higher rates and monitoring discarded water purity and temp. (Disposing hot water that had been used to cool servers in a stream or lake can affect the health of everything else in the stream or lake.)

via Living ~400lbs

Friday, 27 January 2023

“Ask for Jane”

A good article on women who were illegal abortionists in 1968-1973.

Some of the stories she recalls are heartbreaking. They reflect a time when access even to birth control was limited; when a patchwork of abortion regulations meant that women with the economic means to travel could find care in states that allowed abortion, but low-income people, or those with other responsibilities, like caregiving, could not.

via Living ~400lbs

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Things That Derail My Everything

Doctor appointments, like the 3 I had in 2 weeks. (Mostly it’s because I emotionally freak out about it. I don’t like that but that’s what my body insists on right now.)

Medical tests, like the ultrasound I had during the same 2 weeks. (See above.)

Doing more physical things around the house, which for me includes more than 1 load of laundry or changing the sheets or carrying in a Costco run. (These currently take a lot of spoons.)

How about you?

via Living ~400lbs

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Adapting to climate change by raising your house

Like, on stilts. Marketplace – the NPR show that became a favorite commute listen and eventually a favorite podcast commute listen – discusses how a woman who spent $97.5k on her house ended up spending $100k (mostly from a FEMA grant) to raise it more than 8 feet.

Half a dozen workers, drenched in sweat from the July heat and covered in mud, have tunneled under the house and set up piles of wood blocks, or cribbing, along with 38 hydraulic jacks. The men crawled in and out, making small adjustments, while a supervisor eyed dozens of gauges. “He’s adjusting all the pressures on each hydraulic cylinder individually,” explained Jason Soto. “That way when we lift the house, it guarantees it lifts at a constant rate.”

“What does it take to lift a house? A lot of money, sweat and hydraulic jacks.”

Marketplace also has a podcast series on adapting to climate change called How We Survive. Season one is on making better batteries for electric vehicles and improve the electric grid; season two is on rising water levels, especially in Florida and the Gulf Coast.

via Living ~400lbs

Monday, 16 January 2023

Martin Luther King Jr Day

It’s a holiday in the US to remember (and hopefully learn from) the life of The Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.

via Living ~400lbs

Thursday, 12 January 2023

Doctors and dentists and blood, oh my!

Last week I noticed my jaw was hurting a bit. Always in the same place. Was something wrong? It went away over the weekend, but came back on Monday. It was bad enough on Monday that I called the dentist.

I soon had an appointment for Wed afternoon.

In the meantime, I took a Tylenol (which helped my jaw) and kept my GYN appointment.

Yeah, GYN. Mostly we’re monitoring some perimenopause-type things and treating uterine/fibroid bleeding with a hormone – progestin.

(Funny how “your hormones are a bit weird, let’s supplement” is old hat when you’re cis but Very Very Suspect if you’re trans but Oh Well…)

Anyway, visit went well, prescription renewed, request to schedule another ultrasound to see if the fibroids are growing, all good.

Tuesday night I realized “Hey, my jaw doesn’t hurt. It didn’t hurt at all today. Huh.”

Wednesday morning I was very conscious that (a) my jaw kept clenching and starting to grind my teeth and (b) I shouldn’t do that. I DO sleep with a night guard aka bite guard, and I DID remember to take it to the dentist with me. So we checked that it fits, it isn’t staring to crack, and so forth. Verdict was that the pain was probably due to stress and I should check during daytime that I’m not grinding my teeth.

Oh and I need two small filling that are completely unrelated to the pain I’d been having. Appointment in February. Joy.

Finally I have an appointment to do a brief blood check Thursday to confirm my blood thinner is at a good dosage for me.

In all:

  • I really really tend to stress about medical stuff and I need to plan how to destress besides drinking coffee.
  • I have time to do relaxing things.
  • I don’t have to worry about everything in the news.
  • It’s OK to spread these things out so I don’t have to do it all in one week.

Anyway, time to see if the imaging center has the info to schedule my ultrasound.

via Living ~400lbs

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Day in the Life: Shower, Chafing, & Jock Itch

These days I use the blow-dryer on crevices and wear tummy liners instead of baby powder. (Yay not getting baby powder everywhere.) I continue the use of antifungals as needed, usually in other crevices.

Ah, the morning shower.  Warm water to get the kinks out, bright overhead heat lamps to help wake me up, and the daily question: shampoo & condition or just rinse & condition?

To explain: I have naturally curly hair, which is also naturally fragile hair, which I’ve made more fragile by coloring it. Some recommend that you don’t use shampoo at all, set it with clips, airdry, use a diffuser, et cetera.  I could spend time and money straightening it, but frankly I don’t have the patience. My hair is a bit like my body in that it takes some specialized care, and I’m working with it instead of trying to negate it.  ;)

But back to my shower.  How does being very fat affect showering?  My belly doesn’t just stick out – it also droops.  So do… [hm, perhaps I should warn you that this is another frank post that may be a bit, oh, too much information for some folks…]

My breasts droop too.  I do have a handheld showerhead, which makes it easier to rinse under my belly & the girls. Using fixed showerheads when traveling does take a bit longer to get everything positioned and rinsed correctly.

After showering and toweling off, I lie down on the bed, lift up my belly “overhang”, and make sure the underneath is dry.  Then I sprinkle some talcum powder in the fold and brush it about to cover the skin.  I usually brush some powder under my breasts and where my legs meet my torso, too.  I try not to use too much – I still blush at memories of powder falling out on the bed with a new beau – but I definitely want enough that I can move freely without causing chafing.

Why do I do this?  For years I had horrible yeast infections & jock itch in the folds of my skin. Especially under my belly, but also under my breasts and in the crotch.  Not only were they icky and smelly, but at their worst they’d provide a constant level of pain whenever I moved, which resulted in me limiting my mobility.  I do keep Lotramin spray & powder on hand to deal with the occasional flare-up, but the talc is the best preventative I’ve found.

After ensuring that my underbelly will remain dry, I wash my hands and get out the moisturizer. I’ve had dry skin since I was a child – one of my earliest memories is feeling a parent’s warm hands rubbing moisturizer into my back.  Wiping moisturizer onto my arms, breasts, belly and legs not only prevents itching (ick!) but is an act of self-care.  (I also massage moisturizer into my feet before putting on socks.  My feet work hard & I like them!)

Then it’s time to start fiddling with my hair.  :)

Updates and more info:

In July 2009, Well-Rounded Mama posted a much more in-depth discussion of jock itch, skin yeast, and related infections and their treatments.

Intertrigo treatment and management.

WebMD on Intertrigo.

On the more serious end, Skin Integrity in Critically Ill Obese Patients discusses the care of skin, wounds, and so on when immobilized due to critical illness or surgery.

via Living ~400lbs

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Day in the Life: Aerobics

Since I wrote this there’s been a bunch of changes.

I got an adapter that let me feed video from VHS to my computer. I made digital video copies of the various segments from the VHS tape. This lets me customize things a bit, such as doing a segment multiple times to work out more. Also reduces wear on an already old tape.

After I had a blood clot block blood flow to my lungs (pulmonary embolism) my cardiovascular ability decreased greatly. My main aerobic exercise has been on our treadmill at home. Post-hospital, I started walking around the house. Then I’d walk on the treadmill for an episode of The Hidden Almanac podcast – about 3 minutes. It’s been a slow recovery but I am getting more energy and stamina.

Yes, it's from the 90s
Scan of actual box cover. It

I don’t do this every day.  But if I’m doing it, it’s before my shower. I use a copy of the Women At Large: 30-Minute Workout I picked up years ago.

I do make a few modifications.  Such as:

  • I often sit during the first few starting stretches. This is because I’m not exactly a morning person and usually am dragging my feet on starting.  Sitting while doing the opening arm and shoulder stretches lets me indulge my inner foot-dragging 4-yr-old while I wake up a bit more.
  • The instructor’s hamstring stretch doesn’t really stretch mine, so I usually do other stretches then.
  • The second song has the instructor shifting weight from one side to another with lots of arm movements.  I tend to step from one foot to another to get my heartbeat up faster; this also puts less torque on my knees.
  • One move involves leaning forward, which would sometimes irritate my back. Now that I do more abs/back exercises, I don’t have this problem.
  • The third thru fifth songs are all faster-paced.  I tend to do these just like the instructor.
  • The floor work tends to relax me and leave me ready to go back to sleep…so I skip it.
This takes about 25 minutes.  I’ve been doing this once or twice a week, usually on days when I don’t go for a walk (my other form of aerobic exercise). Depending on how I feel, I may just drink water before doing this, or I may have a piece of fruit or yogurt or a luna bar beforehand.

Why do I do this?

Oh, and just in case you were wondering: No, I do not expect exercise to make me skinny.
Happier, faster, stronger, more flexible: Yes.  Skinny: No.

via Living ~400lbs

Monday, 9 January 2023


I have always been fat. Not chubby or fluffy or husky or curvy—fat. As I write this, I weigh 342 pounds and wear a women’s size 26. My body mass index (BMI) describes my body as “super morbidly obese” or “extremely obese.” Although my body is not the fattest in existence, it is the fattest the BMI can fathom. Three years ago, I weighed just over 400 pounds and wore a size 30 or 32, depending on the cut of the clothing. At my high school graduation, I wore a red wrap top in the highest size I could find at the time—a women’s 24.

For me, the size of my body is a simple fact. I do not struggle with self-esteem or negative body image. I do not lay awake at night, longing for a thinner body or some life that lies a hundred pounds out of reach. For me, my body isn’t good or bad, it just is. But for the rest of the world, it seems, my body presents major problems.

Aubrey Gordon, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat

via Living ~400lbs

Saturday, 7 January 2023

Grocery Shopping While Fat

Grocery shopping is simply a part of life. No matter what is going on in the world or. your own life, you will eventually need supplies and food. Growing up I didn’t really have grocery shopping modeled for me in a normal way. My father worked at Gemco, which had a grocery department, and would do the majority of our shopping on his paydays before leaving work. When Gemco shut down entirely, my dad worked for a grocery store and then a grocery outlet. This is when I first got a fuller grasp of what grocery shopping actually was. My family was poor and it was the eighties so there were a lot of yellow generic boxes with black lettering. Brand names rarely made it into our cart or home. My parents didn’t take any sort of pride or enjoyment in cooking either, it was all simply necessity. 

Years later when I met my abuser, and after I had dropped out of school, he would force me to go grocery shopping with him and make him steak dinners and such, I was 14 years old (he was 21). He expected and demanded that I act a certain way in public with him. I hated every second. Because public restrooms are gendered, he would never let me use them, lest I try to escape his clutches. This created a lot of stress and tension. He forced me to write bad checks a few times as well, it was humiliating when the grocery store finally caught on. We didn’t have cookbooks in the house and the internet was years off from being in homes, so I mostly relied on McCormick seasoning packets for recipes and preparation instructions in general. 

When I escaped my abuser for good I would do quick grocery runs with my roommate but that didn’t last either. I soon relied almost entirely on lean cuisine’s frozen entrees, Cuervo Gold tequila (bought by friends until I was of age), Taco Bell’s #1 combo meal, occasional mall food, and the kindness of my grandma who would pack me a lunch for work any time she saw me, no matter what time of day or night. It was the late nineties by then and I was working at a music store in a mall and a music industry magazine on weekends promoting new artists. Food at that time was something I didn’t want to think about. I struggled with anorexia since I was 14 and while I didn’t know it then, it was a way for me to feel some semblance of control in my life that carried on into my late twenties. 

When I moved in with B in ’99, I really had to start from scratch and figure things out in the real world so to speak. We figured things out together which was wonderful. We started with lots of frozen things because it was easier to prepare. Looking back I’m really impressed with our early years together, we really were a team. When I would make quick grocery runs on my own I would be anxious but it wasn’t unbearable and I didn’t yet know as much about anxiety and C-PTSD and triggers and stuff. When we went to the store together we would focus on each other and chat and laugh the whole time. On my own I tried to get in and out as quickly as possible. Little things started to happen in those solo trips though, other shoppers would give me death stares and seemed to go out of their way to block my path. Figuring it was just coincidence or folks didn’t see me, I didn’t think much of it. Soon though it all escalated.

I really started to notice an escalation in hate and harassment when I was vegan for five years. This is when I, and my then husband, really learned how to cook. I got real into Alton Brown and Rachel Ray, despite who and what they are today, they really made cooking accessible to me then and I will never forget that. This is also when I first set foot in a Whole Foods. I came home very upset once after going to Whole Foods (WF from now on), a woman had hit my cart with hers and then later trapped me in an aisle with her cart and because of an ill placed pillar I couldn’t get away. She didn’t say anything to me, but it was plain as day that there was pure hate in her eyes. My then husband insisted it was some “psycho” (we used that word so much in the 90’s, how embarrassing) and an isolated incident, nothing to worry about. It was not isolated though. This was the early 00’s and the “Obesity Epidemic” was in the news everywhere, and there I was a size 26/28 just trying to live my life. 

Whole Foods became a saving grace for the ingredients I needed for my recipes, but the harassment got so much worse. People would put things in my cart, take things out of my cart, make remarks about things in my cart, even take my whole damn cart. People would make full eye contact with me and then hit me with their cart quite pointedly. And I do mean hit me and not my cart. They would knock things on the ground beside me and then give me the stink eye as though I had done it. They would say things to me in check out their mothers would be embarrassed to repeat! I’ve been hit with strollers and elbows too. Gawd do haters love to throw a fucking elbow, I swear! Not once did any have remorse or offer an apology. I’m sure most if not all assumed they were doing me a massive favor by harassing and assaulting me. At that point in my life I simply didn’t have the self esteem to fight back or speak up. Any time I would share what happened with others they would insist it was a one time thing and not to worry about it. 

After my divorce, I worked for a few startups and didn’t do much grocery shopping for myself, preferring takeout or restaurant meals with friends. Then I got maybe the worst job of my life at a startup that refused outside services and instead paid me to go to WF every week (sometimes more) and get two full carts of groceries for the small staff in that office. This is when things took a severe turn. To me it was plain as day that someone who had two full shopping carts with the store employees assisting me in fulfilling my list that it wasn’t for me alone, but that doesn’t matter when you’re a hardcore, WF shopping, fat hater. Once in checkout with my two carts this woman in her late 60’s walked over from 3 checkouts away to stand very close next to me and watch as I pulled each item out of the cart and place it on the belt. I mean she was standing maybe 12 inches from me with the sternest glare you’ve ever seen. This was almost $2k in groceries and this lady really and genuinely thought I was some monster who would belly the lot of it in a few hours time. The cashier was hella confused, but I knew her deal. We all do, right? You know why someone is behaving that way around you when you’re fat or otherwise marginalized in a way that doesn’t suit them. And that’s really all it is, it isn’t about me as a person, it’s about my existence and visibility and how dare I or anyone appear so revolting in the presence of WF shoppers?! The nerve! Ha-ha!

When I left that job I swore I would never shop at a WF again. I switched to Trader Joe’s for a time and loved it, but the harassment didn’t subside there, and their parking lots are always a nightmare. There is something about WF and TJ shoppers, and entitlement/elitism that makes me not fit with their vibes I guess. When I moved back to my hometown for a few years I would pass a WF store on my way home everyday. After a particularly exhausting day and train ride from the city, I decided to check out the hot bar at WF and it was glorious! I loved their pot roast, hadn’t had it since my grandma passed away and would never cook such a thing for myself. I ended up hitting up that hot bar at least twice a month for awhile. It was a sort of saving grace when things went south at a job I actually liked. I never got the same harassment at that particular location, but I was usually in and out before anyone could clock me anyway. 

After years of anxiety, panic attacks, harassment and more, in December 2018 I finally made the switch to delivery only grocery shopping. I had just moved into my first apartment on my own and had invited friends over for a holiday cocktail evening with lots of tasty treats and bites all made by me. I went bananas, too! I made a blackberry based vodka cocktail thing with lustre dust in nice glass bottles I gave as gifts that year. At that point I simply didn’t have the time to shop but still needed supplies. My little cocktail party was a hit and my homemade concoctions were enjoyed by all. I have a family owned grocery store about a block away from my apartment, but I rarely go in there unless I absolutely have to. Grocery delivery has been such a gift to myself. I would often get sensory overload in grocery stores even without the harassment and it could trigger a panic attack. I had a bf once joke about it because I said the checkout lanes at Target feel like they have heat lamps above them. I really just couldn’t put myself through all that again (or date anyone so rude, selfish, and callous either).

When the pandemic first hit I felt even better about my grocery delivery life. Even when shortages forced some random substitutions, my delivery placed did well in communicating and crediting and such. Then my gallbladder went bad on me and what I could eat shrank down to like 5 single items of food. Knowing I could rely on that grocery delivery gave me such peace of mind. Like, hello, nobody can bully or harass me if I don’t leave my fucking house! It felt like a win when nothing else in the world could. I realize that some may see this as letting the haters win, but I don’t. Even without direct harassment grocery stores were never an easy thing for me to handle. I am glad that I have other options now. I am also very glad that more people have access to delivery options. It really is a huge amount of bullshit and stress off my shoulders and that was all before I had long covid. Now I cannot imagine trying to do a full shop in person, I would likely pass out.

I did recently enter a grocery store for the first time. I had to buy some supplies for a work happy hour. I messaged one of our EA’s in the office to ask her if anything had changed, what should I expect and explained that I didn’t want to look like a weirdo. She misunderstood my message and brought it up in front of my whole team! I was mortified but only briefly as my team is awesome and once I explained they completely understood my concern. And I survived! I didn’t enjoy it at all, like not in any measurable amount what so ever. I had a few moments of near-panic but talked myself through and I didn’t need much stuff so it was a quick trip. I don’t plan on doing that again if I can help it, but glad to know I can manage it still if needed. I think spending so much time literally alone has become helpful in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. I know right away when I’m being triggered now when before I would never have enough time between recognizing a trigger and a panic attack coming on. I think anything affecting my peace is immediately apparent now whereas years ago I would mask and try to be normal or whatever before actually taking care of my need to feel safe. 

Having said aaaaallllll of this, the next time someone tries to fuck with me in a grocery store is getting an elbow thrown their way before the words get to leave their dry-ass lips! I’m done! Ha!


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,

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex, with me and my BFF, Michaela! (We only recorded a few episodes but they were good!)

Donate to this blog here: currently donations will be given directly to Black women in need through my network.

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): 

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! I’m also on Space Hey, MySpace, LiveJournal and all the other places: NotBlueAtAll

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.)

via I'm Not Blue at All