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




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Busy-ness Does Not Equal Worthiness

I have to keep telling myself this over and over. 

Busy-ness does not equal worthiness...Busy-ness does not equal worthiness

This last week I have been in a bit of a holding pattern.  My first class (start a Revolution: Love Your Body) has been done and was a smashing success.  In another week and a half I am attending The Body Love Conference in Arizona and until then, I am just hanging out. 

No projects.

No research.

No preparing.

Lots of panic and anxiety.   ?!?!?!?!?!

Why?  Why? WHHHHYYYYY??? (in the whiniest voice possible)

FEAR.  That is why.   I set some goals for myself as a Body Positive Activist and formulated my business plan.   I have done some of them (the class) and am waiting for the conference (April 5th...squeal of excitement and terror) and after that I will begin writing the next class. 

I am in full blown panic mode with nothing to do but anticipate my trip and think about what I am going to wear in Arizona. 

I haven't even been able to read a book. (currently, I am reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo...LOVE!  But there are some big messages and it takes me time to digest and process.  Personal Legend???  WHOA!)  I have been wanting to self medicate with food and beer and men.  Never a good combination for me.  It brings me right back to seeking from the outside instead of from the inside. 

It also brings up old body recurring body issues for me.  My mind becomes a dangerous place that is not safe to be in and yet I find myself silently hanging out there.  Preferring my own thoughts and the movies in my head than actual interactions with people.  I shut down.  Longing for escapism from whatever reality I do not want to face, even though I KNOW my reality is WAY better than anything going on in my head. 

This morning I wanted a pep talk from everyone who has ever known me.  It was one of those times when you think about your funeral and what would people say...yea, you know what I am talking about...all the good things people would say...how much they loved you...things they wished they had said but didn't get a chance.

It was pretty messed up. 

Thankfully, the Universe delivers right on time.  A good friend who I don't talk to as much anymore, texted me and asked me one simple question: 

Name one thing you will do today to take care of yourself?

My response: See my therapist. Hug myself. Think good loving thoughts about myself. Go for a walk.  Ok, that was four, but I needed more than one. You have divine timing, my friend!

Then I really thought about my anxiety and panic and the foolishness I have indulged in to avoid it. I fear that I won't reach my goals.  Fear that I will "miss my chance".  Fear that I will let other people, especially myself, down.  Fear that if I am not constantly working, researching, marketing, DOING, that everything will fall apart. 

I have the desire to be told my self worth by others instead of in my own strong voice.

I WILL meet and exceed my goals.  I can do it without fear and hurriedness.  I can love myself and be all by myself and be safe.  I have a good enjoyable life.  I am a good and kind person.  I am on my own Personal Journey (read the Alchemist!).  I can take whatever pace feels good. 

Busy-ness does not determine my own self worth.  Busy-ness does not determine whether or not I will reach my goals.

I am ruled by divine timing. 

So, my challenge to you: Name one thing you will do today to take care of yourself.

Be open to wherever the answer takes you. 

Everything just works out,

Gabbi







Monday, March 10, 2014

Let's Just Roll With It

So, I got an email from the little man's teacher asking me too please send him shoes with Velcro instead of shoelaces.  Little man is spending altogether WAAAY to much time pretending he can tie and just making a ginormous knot.  I totally understand her dilemma, dilemna (?) part of me wants to pick a new word because I am not sure how to spell it and kind of to lazy to look it up.  Deal.

Saturday I packed up my chillies and went to Famous Footwear.  As Little Man's mom, I have learned that in order to not self combust, whisper-threaten beatings, or lose my shit, it is better to just ignore him in the store. 

Little man, upon entering any store is no longer Little Man.  He trans-morphs into SPY GUY!

Spy Guy: complete with peeking around corners, tuck and rolling through aisle openings, several "sniping" incidents and at least a few "you can't see me" moments.

I just ignore.  (Within reason, so don't go getting your undies in a bunch).

We walk into Famous Footwear, I head right to the back and Little Man breaks to the right twisting and turning to camouflage himself behind a shelf. 

Oh Lordy, here we go.

I see two sales men are on duty.  I continue my charge ahead with the clomp clomp drag of Little Man's snow boot footsteps in my ears.

I check the men's clearance, I check the women's clearance.  This is how I shop, checking the clearance FIRST and ALWAYS.  I was admiring a pair of fabulous patent leather nude colored shoes and considering the word "nude" as a color.  Whose nude is it?  My nude, but with a tan, which I do not have.  Not the nude of an African American person, Asian person, Indian person, Native American person or any other person with more or less pigment in their skin.  I thought maybe I should describe them as "flesh" but then the same thing happens...I settled on "Caucasian Nude". 

Caveat: It is not MY Caucasian nude, it is my 'wish I were that color Caucasian nude because my legs are Day Glo White'. 

Then a I felt a little niggle at the back of my mind..."Aw Crap, where is Little Man?"  I turn around, just in time to see Little Man, tuck and roll past an aisle, stand up, start to run...then is finger shot right in the chest by the sales clerk! Little Man dramatically, grabs his chest with both hands, pulls them away to look at the blood oozing between his fingers and flings himself backwards onto the ground and dies. 

I look at the clerk, who looks at me, and it is a stand off. 

I say very seriously "You shot my son." 

He says, equally as serious "He shot me first."

I say "Carry on."

Just rollin' with it,

Gabbi

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Start a Revolution: Love Your Body

A new class has been scheduled!

May 3rd, 2014, 9am-12pm
Prescott Senior High School Library
Prescott, WI
Fee: $20, per person


Class Description: Society dictates to many of us what we should think feel and believe about our bodies.  Join me for a lively discussion about beauty as a social construct. Learn to change negative thought patterns surrounding body image.  Discover the Body Positive Movement and create for yourself an affirming body positive community. A journal and supplies for an art project called a "Self Love Jar"  will be provided.



email me to register at: Gabbi's email (gabbi@inspiteofmycrazyself.com)

If you are interested in hosting a class in your city or town, send me an email!  I will travel!

Love Yourself,

Gabbi

Monday, March 3, 2014

The WAGE Gap: It's a Thing, I Promise.

According to Census.gov the wage gap between men and women is 23%. 

23%!!!

That means for every dollar a man makes a woman makes 23% less.

So, if a man makes $30,000.00 a woman would make $23,100.00!!

This is so outrageous to me, but the conversation that happened in my own bedroom shocked me ever more.

Here is what happened:

My boyfriend and I were talking about the wage gap yesterday.  Now, my boyfriend is a pretty cool guy, enlightened, smart and awfully adorable. 

BUT, he didn't believe me that there is a wage gap. 

He was all "Well, that would be dumb.  Why would a company do that?"

And I was all (WHAT THE FUCK??? in my head) Out Loud I was all:  "Seriously, you don't think there is a wage gap between men and women???  It is statistically proven BY. THE. CENSUS. Not just some fly by night ratings company, we are talking The Census."

He was all " Really?  I had no idea.  I am still not sure that is real."

And I was all (Holy shit, even smart enlightened men do not know that wage gap is a THING. in my head) Out Loud I was all  "The wage gap between men and women is A Thing. A real thing. Women on average, nationwide make 23% less than men do for the same job"   

He was all "well, maybe a man is better at that job?"

And then I was all: (OH MY GOD!What the fucking fuck?!?! in my head) Out loud I was all "Ok, so maybe in instances there is a particular man who is better at a job than a particular woman, but does that count for a NATIONWIDE 23% difference in men's pay vs. women's pay?"

And he was all "Well, I don't know, it could be."

And I was all (Well, that is called Male Privilege.  Not having to know about something because it does not affect you personally. in my head) Out loud I was all "It is a thing, dude.  It happens, for real, in real life."

Truthfully, at that point, I was about to go all feminist rant with my yelling voice and waving arms and spittle and stuff...so, I let it be.  I realize that the spittle and yelling turns off most people and since I really kind of love this people, I will reserve my spittle for another conversation.

But, now that we have had the conversation and the door has been opened a crack, maybe it will make a difference.  Maybe he will be more aware of it and it will be on his radar.  And when I am less yell-y and spittle-y we can talk about it again.

I encourage all of us to have these conversations.  Bring it up, it's a thing.  Make your loved ones aware that this is happening, every day, everywhere.

Here is a great article to start you off:

Top Ten facts About the Wage Gap

In my boyfriends defense, this came up because we were watching Nascar...ok, he was watching Nascar and I was trying to nap, and he came across some article on his new smart phone (YAY!) about Richard Petty (who apparently is a really good race car driver) saying he would beat Danica Patrick (I hope that is her name) in a race*. 

*Which, by the way, I constantly call a "game" just to annoy my boyfriend, who then has no control over responding and saying "IT'S A RACE!  Not a GAME!"  and then I say "Whatever" and giggle to myself.  And yes, I love him in spite of his loving Nascar.  I figure if he loves me it balances out the love he has for Nascar.

Anyways, said boyfriend thought it was ridiculous that they were making it a gender issue and he commented on the article very excitedly, and as he was typing he looks at me with big eyes and pure joy in his voice, "Maybe I will be quoted somewhere like, on a great comment thing or something!"
And then goes on to read me his comment: "Any REAL racer would never let ANYONE beat them."

His face fell when he realized that it only posted on his own personal Facebook page and not on the article itself. 

So, because I kind love this guy:

"Any REAL racer would never let ANYONE beat them." ~ Jason W.

Damn I am a good girlfriend (and deserve to make the same wage as a man),

Gabbi