Whoa.

I can’t believe I haven’t written anything here in almost a year.

I have so many thoughts brewing.  I’ll be back, and soon.

ouch.

recently, i put myself out there and applied to a promotion at work after a bunch of people I like & respect encouraged me to do so; and i didn’t get it.  and i’m feeling really embarrassed and disappointed and angry about it.

 

how do you manage feelings like that without engaging in destructive behavior or communication?

owning my choices

i turned 35 this year, and i’ve been trying to be more of an adult by doing things like getting a physical, updating my glasses prescription, getting all my dental issues fixed, paying my student loans, opening a savings account, & upgrading my car insurance.

part of this growing up thing was to consider my physical health, and i tell you, i was not healthy.  my numbers were a mess, and i was in a lot of physical pain.

I have been very much impacted by the Health At Every Size movement, from involvement in the Fatshionista community on LiveJournal, and reading lots of blogs & books, and having lots of honest conversation with other fat folks.  And I came to realize that I was not healthy– I was not active, I was in a lot of pain, and I was approaching some dangerous ground with regard to diabetes.  So I made a decision to do some work on my health–I have joined a gym and changed my eating habits, and I’m happy to report that I’m feeling a lot better, and even though I’ve lost 55 lbs,  I’m still fat.  Even if I lose another 100 lbs, my BMI will fall in the overweight category.  (I know, BMI is bullshit.  Just saying.)

For me, there’s a lot of fear about judgment around this issue– will I be a BAD FAT ACTIVIST if I choose to lose any weight?  I think the answer to that question can be a hearty yes, and it can be a no.  I think it depends a lot about HOW you go about doing things, WHY you do things, and what you say to folks in conversation if you choose to be public about your decisions like I do.

I was at a diversity conference this week and attended a session called Sizeism: The Final Frontier of Inclusion.  (I want to say that I don’t believe that sizeism is the final frontier of inclusion–more on that later.*)  At one point in time, the fat presenter used the word fat, but gave the disclaimer that she HATES that word, and I couldn’t let the statement stand in the room full of people who were obviously interested in the topic, so I spoke up.

“I don’t hate that word– it’s just a descriptor, like describing me as white.  I don’t let it hold any judgment for me.”

I think that part of being an activist is recognizing that talking about things can be triggering for folks.  I don’t post weekly status updates on fb or tweet about my weight, and I don’t appreciate seeing those posts when other people do it.  I think that information is cool to share on an individual level with the people in my life who are invested and interested, but why throw it out there for those who it may impact negatively?  It’s easy to talk about numbers because they show us what has changed– it’s a lot harder for me to explain how I have increased energy, my knee pain continues to decrease, and I’m sleeping better.  I can’t give you a percentage of how those things are improved, but I could measure my waist and tell you what’s changed.  Don’t worry– I won’t.  It is just as important for me to note that I believe the changes in the way I feel to not only be related to weight loss, but also very much related to the vitamins I take, the food I eat, and the exercising that I do.  These things are all tied up together, very much impacted by the fact that I found a doctor who did not encourage me to have bariatric surgery, but rather found a good vitamin for me and encouraged me on the path I am on.  Feeling shame from doctors had kept me from even getting a physical in over a decade.

When people first started making comments about noticing that my body has changed, I felt uncomfortable.  If my health is private, how do I assert that to people without coming across as a total jerk?  I haven’t figured that out yet.   How do I continue to work for fat acceptance and inclusion as someone who has noticeably lost weight?  I was not a healthy person at the size I was in August 2012 when I decided to change my eating habits & start moving my body, so I felt that my credibility was suspect when promoting the ideas of HAES because I wasn’t living them myself.

*I say that i don’t believe sizeism is the final frontier of inclusion because I believe in the intersectionality of oppression.  I don’t think that we will ever CURE racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, sizeism, etc because power and control will continue to operate as oppressive forces in our culture, and while dimensions of difference may change and shift over time, there will always be difference and there will always be privilege, and there will always be oppression.  I don’t believe in a hierarchy of oppression, and I don’t think of different oppressions like a list to check off one by one as they are solved.

There are so many things to think and say about this giant body (pun intended) of thought, action, and activism but for now I’ll just share this article I read today:

http://jezebel.com/5992866/dont-call-people-fat-in-front-of-your-kids-unless-you-really-want-to-screw-them-up?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

marriage

So this post is really just two facebook status updates.

The first person I ever came out to was Kate Williams. We were in my car, driving from Roger Bacon to Perkins and listening to Liz Phair. And I admitted that I’d been singing “i want a girlfriend” instead of “i want a boyfriend” to the song Fuck and Run.

It was either late fall 1994 or spring 1995. And I didn’t come out to anyone else until I came out to

The first person I ever came out to was Kate Williams. We were in my car, driving from Roger Bacon to Perkins and listening to Liz Phair. And I admitted that I’d been singing “i want a girlfriend” instead of “i want a boyfriend” to the song Fuck and Run.

It was either late fall 1994 or spring 1995. And I didn’t come out to anyone else until I came out to Rob , Carter , and Mason at OU in the Fall of 1995. And then slowly I told some other folks, like Linda and Jason.

Since those first words about my sexuality so long ago, I have wrestled a great number of demons about it. I married a man, and I hope that he’s forgiven me–i don’t know because we don’t talk.

But what I do know is that never did I imagine that gay marriage was a possibility. Never did I imagine that I would have the CHOICE about getting married, and that’s what this is about now. Whether I think marriage is awesome or crap, what matters is that I’m a citizen and I deserve the full rights & privileges that other citizens have. I deserve to choose whether or not I want to marry my partner.

My mom posted something about being an ally (which I truly appreciate because it was a long road to this place where she’s cool w/ me being a homo) and then her cousin posted an ignorant comment.

So I posted this reply to her:

“I should have equal rights as a citizen of the United States of America. Anyone’s religious beliefs are not my concern because I believe in the separation of church & state. As a citizen, I deserve to be allowed to marry my female partner if I choose, and because I’m not allowed to, I’m denied about 1100 federal rights that my parents, you and your husband, and other married couples have access to. (Not to mention about 500 rights at the state level.)

Those rights are mostly financial, related to taxes, social security, death benefits, estate taxes, taxation of benefits, but also include things like Family & Medical Leave Act time, bereavement time, immigration, benefits for the spouses of federal employees, and health insurance coverage.

Everything I was taught in my Catholic education at Our Lady of the Rosary & Roger Bacon High School about Jesus focused on the concept that He is Love, and while I no longer participate in a church community anymore, I think that people who hide behind any argument about religion or the Bible are doing nothing but hiding.

If you hate gay people, think we’re gross or sad or whatever–that’s fine. Have the chutzpah to just say so– but don’t hide behind a religion whose main tenet is love.”

Happy New Year

I haven’t had much to say lately, but sooner or later I feel like I should check back in.  Things were a little chaotic for awhile personally & professionally, so I have more gray hairs than I did a month ago.  But things are good now.

Dreamboat and I got back together. We both learned a lot from being broken up for those months.  I’m optimistic about the future. I spent New Year’s Eve in Chicago with awesome friends.

My cats are doing well.  I’ve been knitting a lot, playing a lot of bar trivia, and as always, job searching.  I’ve been going to the gym still, and I’ve lost almost 40 lbs.  (Don’t worry, I’m still really fat.)

 

gratitude 22

I’m grateful for my critical thinking mind.  I’m grateful for the ability to see all the things that I see, to process complex thoughts about the world, about oppression, about subjugation, and still be able to get up every day, put on my pants and a bowtie and face the world.

Even when I wish I could take a break from thinking about big heavy things, I am grateful for the education that helped form me into the person I am.

gratitude 18, 19, 20, & 21

I keep getting behind on this, but I still am trying to be mindful of the things I’m grateful for.

18: i’m grateful for my cross-stitch.  several years ago, a therapist gave me the idea to help manage my OCD counting in a productive way, and since then I have made dozens and dozens of pieces that i have given as gifts or sold to folks, and I have connected with a great number of people around needlework.

19: grateful for my awesome colleagues. we keep each other sane.

20: grateful for the long line of creative people in my family before me.  i was thinking about my grandmothers, and the things they were good at, and my grandfathers and the things they were good at– and i’m working on getting a tattoo for each of them.  i wish i had unlimited tattoo money. :)

21: grateful for the resources i have that i can use to support others.  that might mean sharing my meal plan in the dining hall, or letting friends do their laundry in my apartment, or letting a friend crash at my house temporarily, or having the financial ability to give a little bit of money to community stuff every once in awhile.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 544 other followers