Monday, July 21, 2014

Swirly Thoughts

The other day I posted on twitter..oops, tweeted,

"I wonder if thin women think about being thin as much as I think about being fat?"

Pretty much every hour of every day I have thoughts about my body, size, what I am eating, what I weigh and how I look.

Is this a preoccupation that other women have? Since I am only in my own brain, I have no idea what is "normal" and what is not. 

Lately, I have taken to wondering, if these thoughts were removed or even cut in half, what else would my mind have the time and space to ruminate on?

What amazing thoughts could I have?  What mysteries of life could I contemplate?  Which tangles would unknot themselves and release just with the power my brain uses thinking about being fat?

Then I saw this:



What struck me was being "strung out on perfectionism and  people-pleasing". 

I am strung out on being fat and thoughts of my body/food/makeup/clothes/shoes.

Strung out. 

How do you stop the swirling thoughts and obsessive thinking?

No idea. 

But instead of being discouraged and trying to shut my brain off (which in my experience just ramps up the out of control thoughts), I have decided to change the tone of my thoughts.  For the most part, here is what it sounds like in my brain:

Hmm, I love her outfit, but I bet my belly would hang down in it, I bet the cellulite in my inner thighs would show through the material.  I have a super cute necklace to wear with that.  I should have put on some mascara.  Where could I wear that? What would people think if I wore that? You know, being fat and wearing a dress in public with make up and cute hair with a flower in it is really a radical act as a fat woman.  Radical in that, calling attention to your beauty, as a fat woman, opens you up for commentary from any person on the street.  I want to be radical...hey, I kind of am radical. Scared, but radical.

That is the commentary in my brain.  All day long.

Then I saw this:

IDGAF post from Jezebel.  The premise: I don't give a fuck what you think about ANYTHING I do.

My heart sang out when I read that.  My life motto is "I Do Exactly As I Please." So this article: Hallelujah!

If the thoughts won't stop, I can absolutely change the quality and tone of those thoughts. 

Then I saw this:

The Militant Baker's Body Positive Book Club for One

And don't you know, I went onto my libraries website and ordered EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ONE THEY HAD.

Yep.  I am planning a day or two of just reading, immersing myself in some seriously Body Positive shit.  Making some signs to put up in my house to aid in keeping my thoughts RADICAL and BAD ASS and LOVING THE HECK OUT OF MYSELF! 

A few weeks ago I had a cranio-sacral appointment and I was told that my mantra is "I love and accept myself exactly as I am, I am deserving of all things good that this world has to offer."  And then my practitioner told me to say it out loud...

I felt my throat close. I felt the sides of my esophagus puff and swell and trap the words just below my neck.   It actually hurt, physically, my throat was clamped tight, determined to not let those words out.

I was furious.  I teach a fucking class on loving your body and my own throat betrays me by refusing to open up so the words can come out.  I could not say them. I was a mute laying on the table. 

I felt horrible.  I felt like a trickster, a charlatan, a snake oil salesman hocking my wares of self love and acceptance.  Here I was, unable to say the words out loud when it was completely about me.  I knew I needed to write about it and work it through. And I realized, that right there, RIGHT THERE is the struggle. 

To acknowledge that there are times when my brain swirls, that I am pre-occupied with being fat, that there are times I cannot even bring myself to say that I am deserving of all good things, that I love myself just as I am, that sometimes I look in the mirror or at pictures and I HATE what I see.  That there are times I consider not doing something because of my size.

Those things/thoughts/feelings happen.  And THAT IS OK.  For real, it's ok.  Have those thoughts, see them, acknowledge them and let them go.  Or in other words...FUCK THAT SHIT. 

It happens, move on, be bad ass, do that shit anyways and know you are struggling and still ok through the struggle.  That, in struggle, is where the real work is done.

I tell my son on a regular basis "I know you are scared, but if you were never scared, you would never get to be brave."

The take away for me is this:  dive in to body positive material, find a few new mantras, give your brain some really delicious thoughts to ruminate on that lift me up and allow me to love myself just as I am, and then spread that shit around. 

Who is joining me?

Libraries ROCK,

Gabbi

 

 






Friday, May 16, 2014

I Think I am Doing Alright

A few Sundays ago, we had a "Cleaning Party" at my house.  For those of you who don't know, a "Cleaning Party" is not actually a party.  It is three part suck-ish chores, stalling kids and a bitchy Mama. 

No fun at all.

The only resemblance it has to an actual party is  that there is music, people yelling and more recently, costume wearing.

So, Sunday morning at Chore Divide Up time, I assign my 15 year old double bathroom duty, to which she grumbles, but agrees and heads upstairs to do bathroom No. 1. 

My 7 year old gets pantry duty and laundry room duty.  He also grumbles, and then excitedly says "WAIT!  I have an idea!"  He proceeds to run upstairs to his room and about 5 minutes later comes down the stairs wearing his full Spiderman costume from Halloween.  Fake bulgy muscles, face mask and all.

He announces "I AM SPIDERMAN!  And I am here to help an old lady with her work."  He heads right to the laundry room, I stop him midway and say "Hey Spidey, here is a bag for garbage."  He looks at me, well I couldn't actually see his eyes, but his head turned in my direction and he replies "Thank you, ma'am." and continues on his mission to help the elderly woman, who I am assuming is me and I am TOTALLY OK with this, as long as the chores get done. 

Spiderman needed a couple of reminders to keep on task and a little help with the broom and dust pan, but all in all, he did a great job. 

After the chores were done, I had to run to the local Ptacek's IGA to purchase lunch stuff for the week.  Spidey wanted to tag along.  When we pulled in the parking lot, Sam suddenly got shy and nervous about going into the store as Spiderman.  He curled up on the floor in the backseat, pulled his mask off with a worried look  "What if people laugh at me?" 

I said "Sweetie, I am going to tell you something important.  Most people, when they see someone doing something that makes them happy, they feel happy too.  But, it is up to you whether or not you want to come in."

Sam opted to stay in the car. 

I went into the store and while reviewing the pasta selection in aisle two, Spiderman came up to me from behind.  I felt so proud of him for being brave enough to be himself, well, his spidey self. 

As we went through the store, there was a family with 3 young kids, I would venture a guess of their ages to be 5, 4 and 3.  As soon as they came around the corner, the oldest one audibly gasped, grabbed his younger sister and yelled "IT'S SPIDERMAN!!"

Spiderman turned around to face them, and shyly waved.  As the younger sister saw Spiderman, she squealed with delight and then the smallest one also started to squeal happily. 

Spiderman began to walk/crawl down the aisle further delighting the children. 

In every new aisle, small faces would peek around the corner, squeal all over again and yell "SPIDERMAN!" 

Spiderman did not disappoint, ducking and dodging danger in every aisle.  He shot webs and rolled over hot lava in the aisle.  When the teenage cashier saw him and burst out laughing with pure joy to see Spiderman in full character, Spiderman jauntily waved to her. 

In the parking lot, Spiderman pulled off his mask.

Sam said "Mom, I think I made their day."  I said "Sweetie, I think you did, too."    He continued "You know, that one girl laughed at me, but, at least I brought her to laughter."  I said "Yes you did!"

Sam stopped short and waving his arms says "I KNOW!  I am going to write a poem about that...it will go something like this: 

Even though you laughed at me
at least I brought you to laughter."

I fucking love that kid.

Pretty Alright Mama,

Gabbi

P.S. I may start wearing a Wonder Woman costume while I do chores as well.  Who knows, maybe it will make it more fun.

P.P.S. The 15 year old made the shower SPARKLE.  She's pretty alright as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What's Up Buttercup? Gabbi's Guide to All Things Fun

I have had several requests to put together a post of fun/free/inexpensive things to do in our area (Western Wisconsin/Twin Cities). Because I am the bad ass of fun!

I have a feeling this might take me awhile to put together because lets face it: I do a lot of fun shit.

Coming Soon:

Flint Hills Childrens Festival May 31-June 1st Rice Park Downtown St. Paul

This festival is SUPER FUN! Rice Park is transformed into a Kidderific Wonderland.  The park is full of booths set up with different kid activities and crafts.  The booths are all well staffed and the volunteers are always super friendly. Free balloon animals free face painting, free crafts and activities.  Totally worth it!  The Band shell in the park has free music ongoing through the whole weekend.  Food trucks abound on the side of the park. The Ordway also has performances going on all day for a more than fair price, especially if you are concerned about making the investment only to have your child be a demon and have to leave......oh that must only happen to me.

Ok, so go and do that...more fun stuff to follow!

Funnest person ever,

Gabbi



Monday, April 28, 2014

Randoms

I wish I had known when I was younger that life gets better and better.

As I get older, I feel younger.

Beef sticks in the morning are awesome.

I love the game bananagrams.

When I was in high school, I never wore a coat.  Now, I love dressing appropriately for the weather. Being a comfortable temperature is wonderful.

Painted toenails make me happy.

I am still trying to figure out twitter.  My hashtags are never very good, but I am working on it.

My dog is a great cuddler.

I got a couple of new bras, and I LOVE them.

My kids are pretty fun.

I am working on giving my undivided attention to people.  It is tougher than it seems.

When I am feeling really good, I visualize a whole bunch of good feelings collecting in my chest and then I shoot them out into the world.  I always have lots for myself and everyone else.

I am planning a couple of gardens in my yard this year.  I have never been a gardener, but I am going to do it this year.

If I really like my outfit, there are times that I don't even look in the mirror to check it because I worry that I will judge myself and change clothes. 

I want to make everyone happy.  Not in a co-dependent way but in a lets check out how awesome this world is together.

I want a tattoo that says "I do exactly as I please."  in a super swirly font on my left bicep.

I think I named my kids really well.

I love to learn new things.

Bookstores are so dang awesome and overwhelming because there is so much knowledge in there and there is no way I could absorb it all.

Coffee is great.

Random Girl,

Gabbi



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Did you know...

It takes HELLA NERVE on my part to post in a public forum that I LOVE any part of my body.

The fear that grips me right before I hit post, publish or tweet is intense.

Know what?

I do that shit anyways.  You should too.

I love my body!

Bad Ass Body Lover,

Gabbi

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Role Models

Thoughts of my personal role models have been pinging around my brain in the last few days.  I decided to choose one and go with it.

My niece, Ari. My partner in crime.  My dear dear friend.  My confidante.  My best travel partner and so much more!


I recently came back from visiting her in the lovely and warm state of Arizona.  Oh what heaven...yes Wisconsin (my home state) received snow last night. 

Snow. 
In April. 
Snow.

All the pukes.

Back to my Ms. Ari.  After spending a week with her, I realized that even though I am her Aunti, she has taught me so much about being a woman and being good to myself and fashion, that I have to share a few of those lessons:


1. Smelling good is a right.  It is a right I should demand for myself.  Good smelling lotion and/or perfume, yummy soaps and shampoos, these are things I deserve.  It is ok to spend a little bit of money on myself in order to smell good.  When I smell good, I feel good.  When others smell good, I revel in their scents and appreciate it so dearly.  This is one small thing I can do for myself, every day and even on a budget.

2. Fashion can be simple, add a scarf.  A plethora of scarves are a must have in any wardrobe.  And be bold in how you use those scarves.  Wrap them around your waist, wear them in your hair, wrap them around your purse, tie your hands together and make everyone wait on you because you are in scarf handcuffs...oh wait, maybe that is private...Just be creative and forget what others will think.  As long as YOU think it is cool, then it is cool.

3.  If you want to pay money for your coffee every day, then you pay money for your coffee everyday.  DO IT!  And if you want to drink it with a straw, drink it with a straw. 

The BEST things my niece taught me about coffee:  I cannot drink a latte or a mocha because within ten minutes I cramp and have to hit the restroom.  SOOO, my niece blew my freaking mind one day when she ordered the following:

One large COFFEE (big, Venti...whatever, I just order the biggest cup you got back there)
Two pumps of white chocolate
Cream
And a little bit of ice (I added this so I can drink it immediately, I am not particularly patient when it comes to my coffee)

BLEW MY FREAKING MIND!  Delicious and no subsequent cramping/restroom dash.

The heavens opened and there was music and song and celebratory dancing.

FYI, I have learned to recreate this at home...I use my keurig, but any coffee maker will do.  A cup of coffee then I bought Ghiradelli White Chocolate POWDER and I swirl that in my coffee with half and half and ice...PERFECTION on the cheap!

4. Goodwill is a GREAT place to shop.  You can find really fun stuff there.  Nuff said.

5. A good long cotton skirt makes anything look awesome. I am a fabulous plus size woman and I look great in my long cotton skirts, my niece, amazing bod, looks great in her long cotton skirts.  People, the long cotton skirt looks good on EVERYBODY!

6.  It is a-ok to love myself just as I am, while still wanting to improve my health, my attitude, my relationships to people and anything else I want.  It is ok to accept my flaws, be comfy with them and no longer view them as flaws but my own special quirks.

7. It is ok to be selfish.  It is ok to state what I want.  It is ok to have an opinion.  It is ok to have an opinion and then keep it to myself because sometimes...well, you just can't even.  It is ok to have an opinion and state it plainly and clearly and without having to defend or justify.

I FREAKING LOVE THAT WOMAN!

Proud and Humbled,

Aunti Gabbi 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

You Did WHAT?!?!?!

So sorry for the delay of this post but I had a few things going on...

1. I was preparing for my trip to Arizona to see my niece and attend the FIRST EVER Body Love Conference!!  OMG that is my next blog post, but I need some time to digest!

2. I had to come to terms with my fear of embarrassment and showing my belly in this blog post.  Holy fear of judgment.

But, stop worrying, I am over it and you are about to see my belly...and laugh your arse off.  Fair warning.

SOOOO, since my prior post (AKA the It Wrap post) I have been thinking about the whole body wrap thing.  Body Wrap thing is when you wrap your body in plastic wrap to rid your body of toxins and lose some inches.

Really here is what happened:  I put on a pair of my jeans, and THIS happened:


Holy Muffin Top Batman!

Ok, and not just any old Muffin Top, but the kind where your jeans are so tight you stop being able to feel your legs and your organs start to shut down.  

Yep, I wore that shit anyways.  

But after enduring a painful evening, I thought "Hmmm, maybe a Wrap will do the trick."  I am all about the quick fix.  Seriously, I start a diet and honestly expect to wake up skinny the next day.  It should happen.  It doesn't, but it SHOULD.

So, I decided ok, I heard at a party and was barely listening to some details about home wraps.  Something about coffee grounds, plastic wrap and self humiliation.  We all know, if self humiliation is involved, I am ALL IN BITCHES!

My plan was to get some coffee grounds, smear them all over my belly and wrap myself in plastic wrap and then...wait.  I had no idea how long or if that was the right way, but I didn't want to google it and have the history be on my computer.

Since I only have a Keurig and in no way are the small amount of grounds from that thing going to cover my glorious belly, I decided to get some coffee grounds from the work coffee station.

I put a post it note on the coffee machine that stated the following:

Please save the coffee grounds.   
My mom wants to use them for her plants. 
Thanks!  
Gabbi 

Yea, I lied my ass off.  I even felt a little shameful for lying, especially when I realized if I write this blog, people from work are going to read this and know I am a LIAR PANTS! Hence, a small portion of my apprehension of writing this post realizing people will realize the ridiculousness of my brain.

But, I digress.

The people at work were more than happy to help my mom and her plants that I ended up with two filters FULL of detoxifying coffee grounds.  I brought my little baggie of ill-gotten grounds home and stared at them as they sat on the counter.  Realized I had no plastic wrap. DAMNIT!  I went to the store and grabbed the plastic wrap and just to cover myself to make sure no one thought I might be wrapping myself in plastic wrap later in the evening, I bought other random items and made sure to let the cashier know that I had "JUST made a hotdish and had no plastic wrap to cover the leftovers. YEESH, don't you HATE when that happens??"  I grabbed my bag and furtively ran to my car like a fugitive with contraband.  I safely made it to my car without anyone yelling "HEY!  I KNOW THAT PLASTIC WRAP IS FOR YOUR BELLY, YOU FREAK!"

I got home and gathered my supplies locked myself in the bathroom upstairs



Coffee grounds, CHECK!
Plastic Wrap, CHECK!
Towel, CHECK!
Beer for courage, CHECK!

Step 1: Lay towel on the floor
Step 2: Get nakey
Step 3: Double check no one can get in the bathroom
Step 4: Swig some beer


Step 5: Smear Coffee Grounds all over your belly (or whichever body part you choose)
Step 6: Wrap yourself in plastic wrap

Note: Wrapping yourself in plastic wrap is not as easy as it sounds.  On my first attempt, I tore a sheet off and tried to wrap it around me, but I quickly discovered plastic wrap sticks to itself. STICKS TO ITSELF! If you have a big long sheet of it, it sticks and crumples and your large sheet turns into a small balled up strip of plastic wrap. Even though I bought the 200 foot roll, it would not be enough if I kept on in this fashion. So, I pulled the roll out of the box, and wrapped it directly around my belly.

Now, even this is not as easy as it sounds.

Triple check no one can get in the bathroom, and then shimmy away, rolling it around your body.  (Then picture Kathy Bates a la Fried Green Tomatoes, giggle to yourself and drink some more beer courage.)

Step 7: Survey the damage

Note: DO NOT wrap up the towel until AFTER you have taken the wrap off OR you will end up with two dirty towels...OR you can take the wrap off in the shower like I did.  Which creates a whole other mess.  

And here is what it looks like when you are all wrapped up and ready to go.  



 FYI, those are not my boobs.  Elbows, you sickos ELBOWS!

I was really unclear as to how long I was supposed to keep the wrap on.  I was thinking 20 minutes, but since I am an over-achiever, I slept in that bitch.  

I attempted to measure my waist before I went to bed, but since my tailor's tape was somewhere downstairs, I used my bathrobe tie.  (Shut up, I was being innovative.) 

In the morning, I hopped in the shower and took off the wrap.  My tummy FELT smaller.  When I got out of the shower I re-measured with my bathrobe tie...... and it was the same.  

BUT, I put my jeans on and it looked more like this:


So, I call it a success!

Victory is mine,

Gabbi