Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sleep, it doesn't make me lazy, it helps me live.

~*~ Trigger warning for talk of depression ~*~

I deal with a chemical imbalance called depression, it is just a part of my life and like any other part of me I have adapted to it and am learning to cope when it makes life impossible. Four or five years ago depression had me so tightly in my grasp that I truly couldn't function; I don't know how to describe it except to say that I was in a truly dark place. I honestly could not see even a glimmer of hope and the only thing I was able to focus on was how perfect and logical killing myself would be. I would run through it in my mind, planning it and was totally convinced that that would be the nicest thing I could do for my family. I remember one January I saw our family picture hanging on our fridge and I took it and scanned it into my computer and ever so carefully removed me from the picture, and it just seemed so right to me. That was the depression talking; my depression fills me with a ton of lies repeating them over and over until you just start believing them.

When I finally got help and was put on an anti-depressant and slowly but surely things started to get better I was able to see through the darkness and could cope better with life. I am a great believer in using medication as a tool to deal with depression, and I am grateful for that pill. Thing is, as a full time student I have no health insurance, and the pills that worked for me were insanely expensive. A months’ worth cost nearly as much as a rent payment and that was way out of my reach. It got way to hard each month to try to come up with the money for the sanity pills and one month it just wasn't possible and so I had to go off of them.

I also deal with incredible insomnia; I have since I was young, but it got worse after a traumatic event I experienced caused awful nightmares every time I would fall asleep. I will lie down in bed and my brain will start running and it can take me hours to get to sleep. If I do actually manage to fall asleep I will be awake in 2-4 hours and there is no chance of me sleeping again. This of course compounds the depression I deal with as I will be way too tired to handle a thing. A few years ago I got very sick due to an abscessed tooth that had become so because I just didn't have the money to go get it fixed. Things got so bad that it was making me physically ill, to the point I couldn't even get out of bed. I had an emergency visit to the dentist who prescribed me a huge dose of antibiotics right away and told me if I had waited my longer there could have been very serious consequences as the infection was beginning to move through my body. Because of the infection my tooth couldn't come out immediately and so I had to deal with the pain a bit longer.

That was the first time I took Tylenol pm to get to sleep, and it worked wonderfully I dropped off to sleep quite quickly, no lying in bed for hours driving myself crazy…  just wonderful sleep. So even after the tooth was fixed I continued to use Tylenol pm but I would wake up after an hour or two and not be able to get back to bed. Anyway I managed to figure out a dose that would put me to sleep and keep me asleep for a decent amount of time. I cannot tell you how much of a difference that has made.
I have realized that sleep is vital to me and I need more of it than the 8 hours it is recommended we get. In fact I find that I need 10 hours of sleep a night to keep me stable and since I have been working on getting the right amount of sleep for my body my depression has diminished immensely and I can live my life instead of just existing. I still find it hard to get to sleep before 3 am, I think that is just how my internal clock is set and so I don't try to fight it. 3 am is also when my homework assignments are due and since I work much better in the evening/night I will work til that time and then take an hour or two to wind down before bed.

That is what gets me in trouble however, because I go to sleep so late at night (or early in the morning) it means I am sleeping through the morning and usually wake up after noon. I am often told by people that that isn't healthy or right and they equate it with laziness and so working to give my body as much sleep as it needs is often filled with shame.  I manage to get almost straight A’s in school and handle a graphic design job as I work towards my bachelor’s degree but yet the fact that I sleep most of the morning and am up late at night makes me the wrong one. I am the failure at life.  Yet it is that sleep, and listening to my body’s internal clock that has allowed me to manage my depression, I am able to cope with life AND take on a whole lot more than I ever was able to before and I am successful at it but because of that I am termed lazy yet that is what has let me live my life and it is why I am getting stronger.  I wish people could understand that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beginning of winter, and a silver lining

Today I woke up to a good 10+ inches of dense heavy snow all over the place. It truly was a winter wonderland and it looked so pretty. The snow was so heavy however that tons of branches and trees were brokenall over our area and we lost two big branches out of our beautiful maple tree. That was sad it is such a beautiful tree, but it will live and probably be just as beautiful next year, if not more so. Nature is good like that, and we are part of nature aren't we?

Anyway it has been a day of enjoying the snow from inside of nice warm house hee hee.  I did go out for a bit, I had to run to the store to get more tylenol pm and driving home it felt like I had been transported to a magical place. The clouds were dense and scattered all about, and they were so low they were surrounding the houses and my car as I drove along. It wasn't fog it was definite clouds and oh man did it make the drive home wonderful.

So now I am home and I have my window open a bit because I am getting ready to go to bed, my tylenol pm's are beginning to kick in, and I find I sleep better in the cold. The chair that I am chilling in and doing some surfing and writing this here post is right in front of that window and so I have a little fleece jacket over my sweater and every so often shivers run through my body from the breeze that is coming in. My hands are a little numb and yet I like it because I am anticipating crawling under my super snuggly blankets in bed and it will feel so cozy!

Last night my friend who flipped out at me on Sunday night sent me a text to let me know she is writing a long email to me to explain herself, and I told her she had made herself quite clear because she had. So she asked "so you are ok with everything?"  at first I just wanted to write back "yup" just cause my nature is to just try to smooth things over and not stand up for myself or say how I feel. I didn't though, I explained to her again that she hurt me, and also explained that by her telling me, that she basically just tells me what she thinks I want to hear it has me second guessing everything she says. but that she did make herself quite clear. I also explained that being a fake person was very harmful to me in the past and I didn't know if I could become that again in order to keep a friendship.  She hasn't responded. I feel quite proud of me for speaking and showing my true feelings and thoughts instead of just acting like things were fine like I used to do.

I have to say one very positive thing that happened through all this is that it has made me realized how cool and awesome some of my friends are. I had shared this story with one of my dearest friends, he is so cool about listening and giving real thoughtful advice in a situation, even if a few times he has had to give me a verbal smack upside the head when I was doing something stupid. Anyway numerous times during the conversation he would say things like had better not be fake with me, I want you to tell me the truth no matter what, and  if you see anything that worries you about my relationship (with his new adorable girlfriend) I want you to tell me. I of course promised that I would, and I know that he will do the same for me. Now that is a great feeling, to know I don't have to worry about expressing myself and knowing I can trust him to be honest as well.  This whole thing made me realize what a treasure real friends are, and I feel so grateful to have those strong honest friendships in my life. It also strengthened my resolve to quit wearing masks in order to be what others want me to be, and be my real genuine self. I think it is pretty fantastic how even negative events in your life can be good because they teach you lessons you would never have experienced otherwise.

Now I am off to crawl under the covers and have sweet dreams!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No faking!

Last night was one that will not be listed in my good memories. I had one of my closest and most trusted friends rip into me quite completely out of the blue and I have to admit that even now I am still wounded and stewing about it.

Now my friend is such a great person, she has a huge heart and is a total blessing, we became friends YEARS ago when I was in grade 6 then I moved away and we lost touch for a while until we connected again through Facebook a few years ago. I am grateful for that because she soon became someone that I could talk to about some of the most important things in my life and she would share with me the same. The years before we reconnected were some of the darkest and most awful ones in my life. I am now much more introverted, which is partially because of my depression, and partly because I learned the hard way not everyone can be trusted, and letting people close often results in being hurt. I am working on that because I know that we need people in our lives, it isn't healthy to push everyone away but it is a long process. Anyway she has become someone that I felt I could let be close and I really care about her which is why the fight hurt so much more.

So why did we fight? Well let me give you a little background on my friend, she is around my age in her early thirties, works as a personal care provider at a old folks home. She has the most adorable and charming house, and some really great friends. She struggles with ADD and some emotional issues from some abuse she was victim to by an extended family member, but her heart is incredible and huge. I really do love her as a sister/friend, and I see how she struggles with self esteem issues very much like I used too, in fact I see a lot of my old pre-FA self in her. Though she is far from fat in fact she often gets thought of as being anorexic and we totally relate because we each get awful treatment cause of the size of our bodies. The fight we had shone even more of a light onto just how low her self esteem is and that breaks my heart. See I used to be very desperate to get people to like me, and even more desperate to be in a romantic relationship in order to feel like I am wanted. That has gone away as I work on accepting myself but I see it in her so much.

My friend will declared very vocally that she is totally ok being single and has made the statement numerous times that she is taking a year off from guys so she can focus on what is really important and work through healing from the abuse she suffered. Then a few days later she is going on and on about some guy in her life, how perfect he is, to the point of it being obsessive. I have been there for her as she gets stuck on these guys, goes out of her way to make them a part of her life. She becomes what she thinks they want, she begins to get into whatever they are into and that will become her whole world. She started doing that not long after we had gotten back into contact about one of her friends. That is all she ever talked about she would text me for hours about him, what he said, everything and I thought it was awesome cause ok yay cool a crush. But after a few months of that, where the only thing I ever heard about was him it started to worry me because it wasn't healthy. She often invited him to do things and they really did form a good friendship and she got us connected on facebook. He is a cool guy and we would comment on each others posts a few times and everytime we would she would show up and post a comment right away or text me and interrogate me as though there was something more when there wasn't and so because I cherished her friendship I ended up removing him so she wouldn't keep getting upset.

She would continually deny that she liked him (although later admitted that she really did) and then told me that he had asked her if she liked him as more than a friend... and she said no, then after she finally admitted that she did like him I think he was too afraid to get rejected again and so has never pursued anything more. Anyway they ended up being good friends and still are to. Now since that boy, there have been several more, including an ex that came back into her life and things were so toxic with them that she ended up contemplating filing a restraining order on him. I was there for her through that hurt and pain and I saw what he did to her and was glad when she finally realized she needed to cut him out of her life. 

After that came another infatuation with a guy lets call him Dan, and I was actually really excited for her. From what she was telling me he was just awesome, and seemed really great. Then she started planning their future together, she called him "My Dan" all the time and planned what their first date would be. Then as time went on I realized that they were basically just casual friends, but she had made it to be so much more in her mind, every friendly gesture she read way more into and I could see she was going to be hurt because he didn't feel the way she thought he did so I kind of held back my enthusiasm and encouraged her to give him a little space. She didn't though and she ended up flipping out at him because she read way more into the offer of a ride to a seminar they were going to and he was caught off guard and got upset when she over-reacted.

Anyway, now a week or two after that happened she found out that her ex boyfriend was getting out of a drug and alcohol treatment program that he had been in for six months. Somehow, I am not sure who first wrote, but this past week they had exchanged an email and all of a sudden the obsession with "Dan" was completely gone and she kept texting me about her ex. Talking about how he has changed and oh she is just certain that this is the one she is supposed to be with, that she really feels God leading them to be together. After seeing how much he hurt her I had a hard time getting overly excited. Well he graduated yesterday from the rehab program and she was so excited, posting everywhere about how this was the best day and so on. Then she texted me with how amazing the day was and that her ex is definitely actively pursuing her and she is going to let him and can't wait for the future. As her friend I couldn't get excited and happy because I see this ending up in her being hurt agian  even more and I really truly worry because she has such a sweet heart and I don't want to see her get broken and bitter like I used to be. all I could respond with was "Oh sweetie please be careful" and she flipped out.

I got a text in response ripping into me saying that I always put the guys she is involved with down just because I have a boyfriend and I want to "have on up on her."  WOW I can not tell you how completely blindsided I was and how much of a punch in the stomach it felt like to read that. I have said before on here I am NOT a competitive person at all I just don't think like that and I will be the first to concede defeat to try to end a competition and so that was just so insane to hear. The last thing I think about my friend is that I have one up on her in anything.  So I wrote back, still quite shocked and said "ok I will shut up, you won't hear another word from me about it :)"  and she replied with I wasn't mad just saying.

So I texted back, "okay yeah that really hurt me a lot, I thought I was in a friendship not a competition. I have NEVER thought or wanted to have one up on you I am not like that but if you want the truth you have so much more "up on me" than I can list so you win ok you totally win. Me having a boyfriend isn't some kind of trophy. I was just trying to be a good friend but you have set your boundary and I will respect it so I wish you a ton of happiness him him and that is the last I will say about it."

She replied telling me she wants a friend who just cheers her on no matter what or how they are feeling, that's what a friend should do and all I could answer with was "K" then she texted again and basically said that is what she does to me and if the situation was reversed she knows that is what I would want and then she said she was going to bed so I replied again with "K."

Thing is that is SO NOT what I would want, I spent way to much of my life being fake to try to please other people and it almost killed me. I want REAL friends, friends who will tell me the truth even if they know it isn't what I want to hear and it might hurt me. I have had way too many people hurt me because of lies and being fake, I can't handle that, I don't want to always be wondering what is truth or a lie. I also refuse to be a fake person and work daily to be real and genuine. Like I said I spent the majority of my life being fake, wearing masks depending on who I was with, and always having to hide the real me to try please people. It nearly killed me, I was anxious all the time, I hated myself and I certainly wasn't being a good friend or showing real love to the people I was friends with. Thing is if I didn't care it wouldn't be hard just to be fake and encourage her into something that will hurt her, but I love her and I can not do that in good conscience. She is one of the very few that I let close to me, who I consider cherished friends, and the fact that that is what she wants hurts the most to me.

I also find that the trust that I had given her has been broken, I wonder what has been truth and what was her just being fake and telling me what she thought I wanted to hear.  I really want to repair this friendship and recover from this fight but it is so hard for me to trust in the first place and when someone breaks that trust I don't know how to repair it when the other person isn't willing to be truthful 100%, also if she wants a fake friend, I can't be that. In order to be that for her I would have to stop caring, kill the friendship love I have for her and not be me. If that is what she wants, then she doesn't want me... and if she can't be honest with me, I don't want that friendship. I have way too many people who HAVE to be in my life who are fake to keep more as friends.

My mom says the level of defensiveness she showed kind of proves that deep inside she knows I am right about these guys, but is so desperate for that status symbol of a relationship she is willing to deal with someone who will use her and hurt her. That breaks my heart, and it makes me sad that she views a relationship as some kind of accessory to make herself feel better when it involves another person with real feelings and people shouldn't be used to make you feel better or more complete. It also kills me that she is willing to throw away our friendship in the pursuit of getting a guy. The few people I have talked to about this that I trust to be real like my boyfriend and my dear friend Matticus have remarked that she doesn't seem like much of a friend. Part of me is thinking that too, and feels reluctant to even try salvage the friendship, but the other part sees how amazing she is and I really care about her and wants to do whatever I can to keep the friendship.

I just don't know and right now I am so hurt and angry I can't really make a decision. Do I walk away and chalk it up to a learning experience, or do I be the cheerleader friend she wants just to keep things okay?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A homework assignment.

I had an assignment due last night to make a webpage showing off some basic JavaScript and AJAX. This is nothing new, with my classes I have an assignment due every night, and I do a pretty good job of meeting those deadlines. Now while you can just do the basic bare-bones site just to show you know the technique there are significant points rewarded for design and creativity. Now being a Graphic Designer and working on getting my bachelors in Multimedia and Interactive Technology I embrace the challenge of coming up with new creative ideas for each assignment. I have to admit there are days where I simply struggle with a new idea and yesterday was one of those days. I was so tempted to just hand in my assignment completely plain and simple, and I almost did but then I took a pinterest break and was delighted to see some great FA inspired pins amongst all the other ones and it inspired me to do a little site on steps a person can take to loving what they see in the mirror.

I was really happy with the results, and was excited to hand it in and spread the FA message to my classmates and professor who have to look at it in order to critique it and do their jobs :-)  sneaky ? Yes! Fun? Definitely!  I find I often do projects or assignments with an FA message because it is something that has meant so much to me and I want to share it with others, maybe someone will see something that really opens their eyes.

Anyway I thought I would share this with you all, feel free to pass it along as I plan to keep the site up and maybe even add to it in the future. Hope it inspires you like it did me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

And so it begins,

Well, my mom has decided it was time for "her to do something about her weight, she just has to get healthy you know", and so she signed up for Weight Stalkers. Now my mom got her "Lifetime Membership Key" way back when I was about 7 and she had started taking me there. It looked just like that lovely key over there. Apparently you get the key when you reach your goal weight (and I think maintain it for a while if I remember right) she has since lost the key. She has also regained the weight although I think she is beautiful. She has always been a dieter, and I know a part of me resents that she forced me into it at such a young age, and a lot of what I went through in regards to food, was because of her dieting indoctrination.

She says she is doing it because her bloodwork came back a little high and so she really needs to get healthy, and can I just say my heart broke when I heard her on the phone with her doctor. Now of course I couldn't hear what the doctor was saying, but the way my mom was apologizing and assuring the doctor that yes she is doing something about her weight made me realize the doctor was pretty much scolding her, and making her feel like the blood work was all her fault. So she signed up with "the NEW Weight Stalkers" cause it is online and  I guess has all these new tools to compound your obsession with weight and food even things you can take with you so you can spend every single minute of your day obsessing... yay?

Of course with her fancy new tools and point counters and all that jazz come the diet food that is slowly replacing the normal edible stuff we keep around. That part is annoying because it doesn't taste good, certainly isn't satisfying, and it causes me a lot of heart burn and digestive problems. You know what though, whatever, if tha'ts what she wants to do that's her choice. It makes me sad knowing she still buys into this fantasy of being thin and kills me to know that it won't work now just like it didn't work all the other times she has done this, and then she considers herself a failure. IT makes me sad but it is her choice, and she is my mother I can't stop her.

What does drive me crazy is the little comments she makes now, talking about how she is going to get healthy and then she turns into that wonderful species I have classified as the "Concernicus Troll." The "Concernicus Troll" often masquerades as a loved one, or someone who really cares. They start hedging around the "bush of fat" talking about their own weight and their health and suddenly you become the focus. They get that scared and concerned tone in their voice and express how much they love and care and oh they are just sooooo worried about your health. Thing is in my case I was just at the doctors for a very basic physical, they checked my blood pressure and levels and stuff and it was all fine, in the normal range although of course I got the required spiel from the doctor about how my death was imminent and I really need to lose weight as a preventative measure. I was expecting that so while I was getting the lecture I was mentally organizing my closet.

Anyway my numbers were fine, my mom knows that because I made a point to tell her, and yet still now that she has hopped back on the Weight Stalkers train and I keep getting attacked by the "Concernicus Troll." I do my best to ignore it and brush it off, but the hard thing about that type of troll is that their weapon is laced in guilt and if you don't re-assure or acknowledge how wonderful it is that they care they get all upset and hurt and then you are left feeling even worse.

I feel tempted to tell her that if I am not concerned then she shouldn't be either, but I know that will come across all wrong. So I just kind of ignore it and change the topic, go to my room, or just stay silent. So how can you deal with that special kind of "Concernicus Troll" without ruining the relationship, or starting a fight? Has anyone had an experience like that and managed to handle it in a way that didn't cause problems?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thrown Away

The following is a story I wrote long ago but still hold dear to this day. 

He stood back, a silent observer, watching people pick out their packages a knowing smile washing over his face. His eyes kept wandering over to one particular package and His smile would brighten. Shuffling with excitement and glancing around hoping to see who would chose that one. Years past by and day after day The Man would watch the goings on always keeping an eye on that untouched package. From time to time his eyes would brighten then sadden as he watched the package being picked up, or bumped around, once or twice it was even picked up and taken away only to be returned later after someone had dropped it.

Finally one day it happened, someone picked it up, The Man beamed as he watched it being carried away, but then his face fell and he stepped forward quickly.

"Are you just going to throw that away" He asked worry very evident in his voice.

The worker he had spoken to turned with a start, unaware that anyone else was around, he shot a glance at the dumpster where the package had just been thrown. "What else can we do with it? It is worthless, unsellable"

"Sir why would you say that, why just throw it away, do you even know what it is?"

"Well no but look, no one wants it, look at it it is scratched and dented, and way to big a model for anyone to want these days, look at this package.... it is trash"

"I made that, I crafted it carefully, and I put it in that package to keep it safe. Yes it is damaged, and yes it is bigger then alot of the other packages in here, but it is most certainly not trash, why won't someone give it a chance?" The Man moved towards the dumpster looking in, a look of compassion on his face. "Won't you give it a chance?"

"Look there is no point, no one will want that piece of junk, look around buddy, there are so many more beautiful packages. Honestly who cares what is inside that stupid thing, it is the package that sells, that is what people get to show off to others, THAT is what matters... look you can have that junk if it is so important to you, but I am just saying how it is" Turning on his heel the worker started to walk away glancing back to see The Man tenderly lifting the package from the trash.

Slightly curious at what could be in that horrid package he watched from the corner of his eye as The Man gingerly set it on the floor and then started to open the package gently.

A gasp tore through the workers throat as he saw what was contained in that package, Radiant beams danced from the contents inside, his eyes blurred, and crossed as he tried to take in the amazing treasure that had been inside that box. "What have I done? What did I throw away? I just lost the most precious thing, How was I to know?

The worker sat there watching as The Man cradled the treasure in His Arms and heard Him speak gently to it. "Don't worry my child, there will be someone who can see you through my eyes, they will be the one who deserves a such a treasure, they will be the one I have created for you.

Getting to the bottom of my dislike/fear of exercising. -Part Two

Continued from this post

Even at a very young age, physical education was something that I dreaded to the point it would make me sick, and filled with anxiety. For example the track meet that a bunch of schools in our area had, my dad was a teacher at the time and so I rode with him in his car to the meet that was being held in another town. The closer it got the more panicky I felt to the point that I sat bawling in the car begging my dad not to make me go to it. To let me sit in the car for the day, I was terrified at the thought of having to do it.  As I got older I started noticing something that would happen whenever I was doing strenuous exercise, I would struggle to breathe and then I would start coughing, A LOT! I would cough to the point my eyes watered and I would gag, and what was worse that coughing would make me lose control of my bladder a bit and I would pee a little. Now I am sure you can imagine how great a thing that is for someone in elementary school? It wasn't like I would just pee my pants all at once, but a tiny trickle would leak out and since I wasn't allowed to stop I would just keep coughing, and well, those little trickles would add up. It was so humiliating and the thought of telling someone was even worse. I was way to old to be peeing my pants, and so I tried to keep it hidden. It wasn't until I was in grade 9 that I finally tried telling my parents, and then my gym teacher at the time. Hoping beyond hope that they would understand why I hated exercise so much. 

Now even though I weighed a whole lot less than I do now, I was still on the chubby side and had been on diets since I was 7. My complaints were written off as some fat kid just trying to get out of exercise so she can be lazy, and instead I was made to do more exercise and put on a stricter diet. It felt like I was being punished for telling the truth and so I stopped telling them and instead did everything I could to avoid or get out of gym classes and other strenuous activity. This lead to me having to lie, and fake illness or pain, just to avoid that feeling of breathlessness, the coughing, and consequences of said coughing. I hated having to do it but the alternative seemed worse to me, and so physical exercise became an anxiety filled experience for me. 

Fast forward a decade or so to a time just a  few years ago when my mom and I went to a Women of Faith conference. We had floor seats at the same end of the stadium that we had parked on, the "shortest" route to the car was going up the stairs to the second level and then down again and out to the parking lot because they had the exit on floor level blocked because there was something else going on in that area. The other way out would mean walking to the other end of the stadium and out the floor level exit there and then all the way back the length of stadium to get to our parking lot. I tried to encourage my mom to go that way because the thought of taking all of the stairs through a crowded arena to get up to the second level was something I wanted to avoid. My mom however was having none of that and headed up the steps, telling me I could go the other way if I wanted to but I could tell from the tone of her voice she was upset and disgusted and so I followed her. I kept up with her pretty good but by the time I got a little over halfway up the steps I could feel that familiar tightening in my chest. I was wheezing and by the time we got outside I had started coughing. I could not stop coughing as I drove us to the hotel and was still coughing when we had gotten into the hotel room. Of course with the coughing came the trickles and I was so ashamed, upset and frustrated. It was the same feeling I had back in school.

I haven't been able to get that out of my head as I read about people who love to exercise and move their bodies. To me it is a terrifying feeling and I can't fathom it being something joyful, and it confuses me why even when I was much much thinner I still struggled and felt that way because isn't being skinnier supposed to make it easy to move?  Anyway I was talking to a friend about this a while back, the first person I had told about the troubles I had with exercising and how I didn't understand how people could love that, they mentioned that what I was describing sounded a lot like the asthma attacks her brother gets. I kind of brushed her off by telling her that it couldn't be because it only happened when I was doing something strenuous and that it didn't look like the ones I see on TV. She mentioned about something called Exercise Induced Asthma, so when I could I researched it and was dumbfounded at how much of it sounded like what I have been dealing with my whole life.  Now I haven't been to see the doctor about it, me and doctors are not on the best of terms so I keep putting it off. I can't help thinking though, if I had been taken seriously all those years ago in elementary, if the doctors I had seen, and the adults in my life had taken it seriously and not just brushed it off as a lazy fat kid excuse, that maybe I could feel that enjoyment of physical activity. Maybe, possibly, exercise wouldn't be an anxiety filled experience. 

Now I need to figure out where to go from here I would love to see a doctor about it and maybe see if I can get it in control so that I can have a much better relationship with exercise and movement. I just gotta take it one step at a time for now.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting to the bottom of my dislike/fear of exercising. - Part One

I have been thinking a lot lately about exercise. I read some incredible blogs about fatties loving exercise first there is Shaunta  who inspires me so often as she blogs about setting realistic goals and find ways to move her body that she loves.  Then there is Ragen Chastain, she makes me long for a fat friendly dance studio around my area because I have always loved the idea of dancing and would love to learn how in a safe space.

Both of these women are inspiring and they are making me want to get my body moving more in ways that I love but in thinking about that my brain hits a dis-connect and I have been pondering why. The thought of exercise fills me with this sense of dread, fear, and failure and it is so deeply instilled that I am realizing it is something that has become ingrained in me at a young age. I was never really an "athletic" person but the more I think about it the more I realize somethings were very off.

Of course back when I was very young I was not as fat as I am today but even back then I remember always being the slowest one, the one struggling. I can vividly remember walking with the rest of my family through a parking lot or mall and crying cause I couldn't keep up to everyone, and being scolded or prodded to hurry up. Even at that young age I my stomach would churn and i would be filled with anxiety when thinking about having to walk a long distance or do something strenuous like walking up a very steep hill. I find that very puzzling because I could do it fine when left to do it on my own pace, but there was just something inside me that fought against it.

My first memories of sports and exercise was in kindergarten/first grade where the dread, failure and ultimately fear started. I remember having a gym teacher who was very competitive and into winning. His idea of motivation was to yell, scream, and ridicule any student who did something wrong.  My first memory is of being up at bat and due to the fact that I had severe astigmatism which means I have very little depth perception so keeping my eye on the ball was pretty much impossible. I kept striking out and therefore getting yelled at by my gym teacher and then insulted and ridiculed by the other kids. We were thrown into games without really being taught the rules of how to play them, and so if and when I made  mistake it was a repeat of the same thing. People would get so focused on winning that if you messed up or didn't do something right you were yelled at and made to feel like a failure. Often times I didn't really even know what I had done wrong because it was never explained to me. I would see other kids being made fun of or ridiculed and I hated it but I couldn't do anything cause the teacher was just as bad. I still hate competition, hate it with a passion. I hate what it does to people and I hate the feeling of being competed with. Competition is such a frustrating thing for me that I will willingly take myself out of it or in the words of my awesome nephew "choose to lose" so I can avoid it.

I realize that some people really do like competition and they respond well to insults and getting yelled at, but I am not one of those people. Even when I am playing Online Role Playing Games I prefer going through quests and conquering bosses rather than competing with other people.So that is one thing that has cultivated my lack of enjoying physical activity. Next post I will talk about the other main reason, and then maybe I can figure out how to find enjoyment through movement. See you in the next post!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Joy?

I found this little video a week or so ago and I love it. I have never really paid much attention to Sara Bareilles before but I really should have! The song is fun to listen to and the video is so fun to watch. I especially like it because there is a wide variety of people and body shapes in it and not a bit of shaming for one type or another. It makes me smile and want to dance a bit.

We all need a little fun so here you go a little happy for the day!

Monday, October 10, 2011

No, you feel pregnant,... not fat ...there is a difference!.

A few days ago I was reading a lifehacker blog post about 10 food myths that just won't die. It was a pretty cool post and many of the myths or lies they talked about were diet related that people speak as gospel. Well that post has now been deleted but there was a comment on there that always manages to get me angry.

It was a comment from a lady who was going on about how the post was so wrong regarding a few of the myths and how posts like that one are going to make people  so unhealthy. She ended the post with something along the lines of "when I was pregnant I gained twenty pounds and I know what it is like to be fat. I was so miserable, you can't be fat and happy and this post is doing no one any favors."

Y'all I can not tell you how many times I have heard otherwise skinny or normal weight people say that since they have been pregnant they know exactly what it is like to be fat. Ok, umm.....


Seriously it drives me absolutely nuts when I hear this, and I hear it often. People who have never experienced really being fat getting pregnant and then going on and on about how fat they feel. They talk about how hard it is to find clothes, tie their shoes, and so on. I hear them whining about it on Facebook and have had friends and family members go on and on about it to me, some even remarking how now they understand what I go through and oh my goodness how can you stand it?

So ok, let me just say this, you being pregnant does not induct you to the fat sorority. You have no clue how it feels being fat because you are pregnant and that is so not the same thing. Please let me tell you why;

First off, my fat is soft , squishy and somewhat mold-able because it is full of adipose tissue (fat), your pregnant belly is growing a human, it is hard and really resistant to changing it's shape. So when you find it hard to get out of a chair because your stomach does not move like my fat one does, there is a child in there. When I go to stand up, sure I may not do it as gracefully as others but my stomach squeezes and moves so that it is a whole different experience for me. You don't know what that is like, your experience is not mine, you are pregnant not fat.

Secondly, when you are pregnant you gain weight rapidly because once again there is a child growing inside you and it needs room and your body is holding onto more weight. My fat has taken years, decades, and many failed diets to grow on my body. I have been able to slowly adapt and function with it, it is a part of me. You go on and on about how you can't even walk upstairs without getting tired, how you can't walk like you did before, and about how out of energy you are all the time. You are not used to carrying around that weight and so of course it is going to feel drastically different, but here is a news flash... it is not always the same way for fat people. Your hormones are going wild and your body is busy growing life, that will drain energy pretty quickly. Once again, for fatties like me that is not the case, we are used to our bodies and we have adapted to how it moves and works. If we are low on energy it is not the same kind of feeling or reason. You are pregnant and your body is doing something amazing but you are not fat  so thinking that all fat people feel the same as you is just ignorant.

One of the biggest things though, is you are pregnant, and people love and adore pregnant women. They often held up as special and wonderful, people see a pregnant woman and they congratulate you. They get excited and happy and see you as beautiful. You do not get the vast quantities of hatred and stereotyping that a fat person does every day. People see a fat person and they are often disgusted, full of assumptions and fear. Your pregnant body is celebrated, the fashion industry feels it is important to give you cute trendy clothes. You do not hear the constant stream of veiled death threats simply because of the shape of your body do you? Have you ever heard 'you are pregnant, you are going to die,' or 'don't you know that you will get a ton of fatal diseases by being pregnant?' You don't see people posting comments on a picture of another pregnant person talking about how they just want to beat-up or kill anyone who is pregnant. I however do see those things, often, daily and more than you can and every will truly be able to fathom, to the point that the world can seem like a very hostile place.

So please, the next time you are tempted to commiserate with a fat person because you are, or were, pregnant at one time, well just don't. You being pregnant does not give you the right or place to talk about what it is like to be fat, cause girl you have no clue. You may be miserable in your changing body but that doesn't mean that all fat people are miserable too, so stop talking for us.

The same goes for all those people who put on fat suits and then say they know just what it is like to be fat. You are hot because you have a huge fat suit on, my fat body however does a good job of regulating my temperature and it feels nothing like being in a huge padded costume. Maybe I am the only fat person who gets completely annoyed by this but I dare say I am not. Are you bothered by this like I am? What would you say to a pregnant lady who is going on and on about how hard it is now that she is "fat?"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I could be angry, instead I just feel a lot of pity. ~ When Trolls 'Attack'

A little while ago I joined a group called Super Sizes, started by Sleepy Dumpling, on Facebook, it is for those of us who are tired of having such a limited selection of clothes to choose from.  a place where we can share the places we have found that do a good job and have a pretty good selection. It is nice to have people who understand the frustrations I face because they deal with them too, it is a great group.

Now today I found a message in the "other" section of my Facebook message box that had been sent to me on Aug 31st but being that I rarely get messages from people who aren't on my friends list I always forget to check it. Today as I was sewing a long black skirt with my mom, who had just gotten a phone call from my sister, I took that time to peruse Facebook a little. I was sending a message to a friend of mine and then checked out my other section and found the following message.

At first I was a little taken aback because I hadn't looked closely at the name or the picture and so I thought it was from a friend of mine. Once I saw that it was from a completely random stranger I will admit I was angry and hurt, cause shoot that kind of stuff is just uncalled for if you are a decent human being. I also got a little frustrated because I mentioned it to my parents and they were just silent, and that annoyed me cause you know what I stand up for the people I love when they are dealing with dimwits. 

I didn't respond right away however, because I had much better things to do (finishing my awesome skirt) and I wasn't going to let ignorance de-rail my fun. So I finished the skirt (it rocks) and went downstairs and finished my homework that I needed to hand in. While I was working on the coding for my programming class I found myself mulling over the message. 

At first I was still really mad and my brain ran through all the insults and stereo-typical assumptions I could throw at this person just from their picture and actions, and let me tell you I could have thought of a lot.  I realized though that that would truly make me no better, I try to work to get people to realize that stereotyping someone because of their looks or first impression is not cool and shouldn't be done, so me doing that even if I was hurt wouldn't be cool. You can't argue or fight a person into agreeing with you, but I find you CAN set a good example, and what that person does with it is their responsibility. 

So I stopped thinking about how I could hurt this person back like they had hurt me and started thinking about what would make a person do something so pathetic as to message random people to insult them. Now all I can possibly feel is pity, cause when you take out the hurt feelings, you have to be a pretty sad person with a sad life to find some fulfillment in that kind of stuff. It just says so much more about the person sending those messages than it ever does of the person they are putting down. So I went with this feeling of pity to try to respond to the message and found myself wanting to know what is so bad, so fulfilling, and so shallow about this persons life that they would do this. What I found was a display picture taken from a porn type site about "jailbait", showing a girl in a tiny bikini on a beach (I love this firefox add-on),  who has liked numerous other "plus-sized" groups on Facebook and I can imagine is doing the same to others. 

That is just so pathetic, here you have someone attacking and hurting other people who have never ever done anything to them except be themselves. Thinking that they have done it to someone else who might not be where I am in my journey to self acceptance, who could actually be truly hurt and affected by the message they read. Well that gets me upset cause they are damaging that person's heart and soul for their own enterainment and that just shows what a small insignificant person this "Christie Clements" must be. Now I know people like this christie find such safety in the anonymity of the internet and I am not willing to help her hide her inner ugliness by just staying quiet about it rather I plan on contacting the employer that she mentions on her Facebook wall to let them know one of their employees is harassing random people, and using a picture from a "jailbait" site as their display picture.  I will also post the public information that s/he has provided on Facebook here so that it can be located should an prospective employee along with this blog post so they can the real activities of the person they might be thinking of hiring. Maybe that will make her think twice before she hurts other people. Then I will forget about her and her sad existence and enjoy my wonderful friends and look towards much more worthwhile things