Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feeling Human

Lately I had an influx of work which led to a nice generous paycheck from my favorite client. Because this paycheck was so substantial it allowed me to do some things that I have been putting off for a very long time.

One of those things is to replace my old office chair that I used to use while doing my freelance work and studying or doing homework for my classes. Two birthdays ago I had asked for help to buy a good desk chair that was wide enough and sturdy enough for me and that was also comfortable enough because I spend a lot of time working or studying, I had had an old chair I got when my dad purchased his new one and it didn't fit me properly the arms hurt my thighs and being that it wasn't built for someone of my size it didn't take long for it to break. I had showed my parents the chair that I had found that would fit, and be sturdy enough for me. The chair was from an online plus size living company and I knew it was made for a fat person. My parents instead presented me with a cheap office chair that they had removed the arms from.  I was appreciative of the thought behind it but my heart also dropped because I knew it wouldn't be long before it would break and of course it would be all my fault. It did indeed end up breaking and for a few months I didn't tell anyone becauseI knew what the reaction would be.

So with the extra income I had I ordered the chair that I had pointed out two years ago. When it came in my dad helped me to put it together and then I got to sit in it for the first time. Oh my word I can not tell you the feeling I got when I sat in a chair that didn't hurt me. It was wide enough that the arms didn't crush my thighs in fact I even have a bit of room between my thighs and the arms of the chair, and it feels solid and sturdy. I almost started crying,  yes crying over a silly chair. All I could think is that it makes me feel human.

It is such a small thing really, to be able to sit in a chair you aren't afraid to break and that doesn't cause you pain when you sit in it. That small thing however made me feel normal, rather than being yet another painful reminder of how this world isn't made for someone of my size. That alone made the expense of it worthwhile.

Let me tell you it isn't enabling a fat person to provide them with things made for them. It doesn't make us think oh yippee now I can gain even more weight. Furthermore by depriving us of basic things, like chairs for crying out loud, that does not motivate or inspire us to make ourselves smaller. In fact by making things to small for a vast majority of the population, and then punishing, shaming, or penalizing them for not fitting into said things only leaves us feeling like worthless sub-humans and makes the problem work.

Having a desk chair that doesn't leave lasting impressions on my body and that I can trust to hold up actually makes me feel better about myself and allows me to be a productive human being. It removes a few of the thousands of messages telling me how ugly, awful, gross, disgusting, unhealthy, and worthless I am and gives me just a little relief from all of that. It helps me feel human and that is priceless!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Massage Online Professor Complaints

Okay well if it wasn't so pathetic and disturbing this could all be rather humorous. A few days ago I received 8 emails within a half an hour period of time, 7 of them notifications about comments posted on my last blog post on the awful experience that my friend and I have had with Massage Online Professor and Karen Zaharatos. The other email was from Karen Zaharatos threatening me with a lawsuit along with a very long and in my opinion completely ridiculous incoherent ranting (to sum it up in a nutshell... you have been warned, blah, blah, blah,  whistleblowers, blah, blah, blah, nonsense, lies, and baseless accusations) 

That was the first email I read and it had me giggling because it was all so completely ridiculous. Then I started to read all of the comments that she left on my blog post and each one of the 7 made me laugh a little bit more. The first one started out with basically the same babbling that was in Karen Zaharatos "warning" (AKA threatening) email to me. In the end it accused me of slander and get this.... extortion. HA HA! Oh that is priceless!!

The second one came, apparently, right after Karen Zaharatos found out that on my blog I moderate all comments and so of course her first comment wasn't showing up. Here is where it gets even more funny, in that second comment she chose to threaten me AGAIN. She told me that I had better publish her comments or she would.. get this... sue me for unfair business practices.  HA HA HA HA! 

The following comments were bizarre ramblings, and of course more baseless accusations. All this along with copying and pasting my personal info along with other peoples information who they had decided were my friends and yet who I don't even know lol. Priceless huh?

Then I was told that Karen Zaharatos / Massage Online Professor also posted my name, address, phone number, and other personal information on their Facebook Fan Page. As they did that they also declared that I had hacked them and basically called me a cyber terrorist. Y'all, sometimes all a person can do when faced with so little common sense is shake your head and laugh, and believe me that is what I have been doing. 

Anyway today I once again was notified that there was a comment on this blog and guess who it was....  Ha ha, yup Karen Zaharatos at it again with more threats and insanity. Telling me that I was being criminally investigated for slander as well as for threatening Massage Online Professor and it's owner Karen Zaharatos. Once again that had me laughing, so please let me explain why this is so hilarious. 

At the end of her first email to me Karen Zaharatos told me to tell the truth, and though I HAVE told the truth in all of this, I want to take the time to speak even more truth.

First off, this is MY blog, it is MY site, MY words, and speaks about MY experiences in life. Being that it is MINE, I get to choose which comments I do and do not post. Yes people have freedom of speech, and yes they can comment on my blog, but in the end because this is MY blog, I am the boss of who else gets to speak on it and I REFUSE to allow bullies a platform in which to spew even more putrid crap. I have seen Karen Zaharatos and Massage Online Professor use intimidation and threats to silence other people and I will not give them the ability to do it here. 

Karen Zaharatos and Massage Online Professor have accused me of being a hacker, scammer, spy, extortionist and blackmailer to name just a few things. Now, I would like to say, if people are going to hurl such strong accusations it would be great if they actually knew what the accusations meant. Extortion and blackmail mean that you are commiting "a criminal offense of unlawfully obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Please would someone tell me how that could possibly apply to me since I have asked, nor demanded anything from Massage Online Professor, shoot I haven't ever even talked or written to Karen Zaharatos and Massage Online Professor much less try to get something from them. Scamming refers to a fraudulent business practice or the use of deceit to profit from someone. Being that I am not a business that doesn't fit, and once again I am not profiting in anyway from any of this so umm  nope that doesn't work either. The funny thing is those could actually apply to Massage Online Professor and its actions that I have observed from in the past few weeks. As for spy... for crying out loud what kind of secret or confidential information could I possibly get from simply reading Massage Online Professors PUBLIC Facebook page. Guh, the dumb, it burns!!! Lastly lets talk about the other accusation that Karen Zaharatos and Massage Online Professor like to throw at pretty much everyone, that is of me being a hacker. I am guessing you don't mean someone who "who makes innovative customizations or combinations of retail electronic and computer equipment" but rather "someone who accesses a computer system by circumventing its security system." Either way though neither of them apply to this either, liking a PUBLIC facebook page is not hacking. So yes every single accusation is a complete lie and makes me think that MOP has no clue at all what any of them mean. 

Moving on, threatening me with a lawsuit for unfair business practices is just really ignorant because even the most unobservant reader would know right away that this is NOT a business. Seriously as I covered before this is MY personal bog on My personal site. Like I said before the one with the unfair business practices seems to be Massage Online Professor, as they have story after story on their own web page and fan page about how they have mistreated and messed with their customers. 

Also suing me for slander is another ridiculous threat for at least two reasons, firstly because it refers to things being SPOKEN not written or published, but mainly because I have not lied AT ALL. Everything has been the truth and my opinion. 

So here is the deal, threats and cyber bullying behavior won't work on me. I have done NOTHING wrong. All I have done is like a Facebook page and post the truth about my experience with this seemingly dishonest company on my own site, in the hopes that it will save more people from getting hurt by MOP.

Now I apologize to my regular readers for posting about this yet again as it has nothing to do with what I usually talk about on here. I don't really want to derail my normal topics for this company and so I have been tossing the idea around of starting up a Massage Online Professor Complaints blog or Facebook page where other victims of Massage Online Professor can share their stories and so that people can make a more informed decision about which school they want to go with. Speaking the truth is never wrong and more people need to hear it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Massage Online Professor - Buyer Beware

Three days ago I had the misfortune to learn about the school Massage Online Professor run by Karen Zaharatos. Lets note that up until this time I had never heard of the school, or Karen  Zaharatos , but since this I have learned way more than I ever wanted too. A dear friend of mine had signed up and paid for some of their courses. The online format worked well for her because she is a single mother who is also taking care of her parents who were injured in an accident. She has been trying to continue on with massage therapy for a long time but life and finances had kept her from fulfilling that dream. That is until she learned of Massage Online Professor which seemed like the perfect solution, she could do the classes at home log in to take the tests, and it was within her price range.

Now that would have been all well and good except that three days ago my friend went to log in and take the test. Now she had logged in once before but found that the test included more than just the one classes curriculum that she had finished studying and so as she explained she decided to wait to take the test til she had finished all the courses she had purchased. Being that she is a single mother with a whole lot of stuff on her plate including injuries from an accident she was in keeping her from being able to sit and study for long periods of time, this took her a few months. Now as I understand it she was told she had a year and so she wasn't that worried.

She then tried to log in three days ago and found that she couldn't, she had been locked out. So of course she sent them emails trying to rectify the situation and get things sorted out so that she could take the tests and finish things. Now Massage Online Professor gave her a story about how they have been dealing with "cyber-stalkers" and so had changed passwords, but when she tried she was told was needed to log-in it didn't work and so she had to keep corresponding with them. This apparently made them label her a cyber-stalker as well.  

This was the time I heard about it because needing to get her frustrations out she posted her frustrations on her Facebook wall. Now this is a friend who I have never ever heard say a mean word or do a cruel action to anyone. Even in her frustration she didn't bash or bad-talk the school just posted her frustrations, her desperation at the thought of being out a lot of money as well as having to redo the classes all over again at a new school. I could understand that feeling and being that I feel protective of my friends I went to look at Massage Online Professor's Facebook page hoping that maybe I could send her a letter vouching for her or maybe help out in some way and clicked "like" so I could see the wall. That was when I saw that they had posted her personal information, name, address, phone number, etc  on the wall along with an accusation that she was a stalker from "the NCBTMB." Now if this had been information that was readily available from her Facebook that is one thing but as my friend explained that information wasn't available to the public and was from her admissions information. That right there was a huge red flag because that is so unprofessional not to mention illegal. Any business that feels it is ok to post clients personal info like that should be investigated in my opinion. 

Let me emphasize that my friend did not attack these people, nor did she throw accusations at them, in fact she was trying to give them the benefit of the doubt and instead was being way nicer than I might have been if I had been her. She was expressing frustration over these supposed cyber stalkers for creating such a situation that would make this company not trust her now. Then when they started attacking her personally and posting her personal information, and saying on their page that she is a harasser and a stalker she just tried to defend herself and get to a resolution to the problem. 

Then things just got weird, they kept posting extremely weird messages on their Facebook wall which really made me question the company because half of them were incoherent and the other half sounded like paranoid babbling. I also saw that my friend had had two friends try to stand up for her in her defense and their information was posted as well including IP's that they had written emails from. They also took the time to say that while my friend was writing to try get the log-in situation fixed that their software shows that she was also taking (and passing) the test in question.... except that she was never able to even get to the test because of their paranoia. That is when I started to google more about the company because things were seeming very fishy. What I found is numerous places where an account under the name Massage Online Professional or variation of the owner Karen Zaharatos attacking others and bullying anyone who dares to speak up about things they have done declaring them part of some conspiracy against them. I also found a story that sounded eerily similar to what my friend was going through along with multiple blog posts on the Massage Online Professors own blog ranting on and on about this so called conspiracy. They also show numerous stories of how they have pulled this same sort of thing on other customers. Revoking access to their accounts, locking them out of what they have paid for, and then accusing them of being part of some nefarious scheme all because they made a mistake or didn't log in at the times MOP thought they should. Then they post about them on their website, sharing private business communications, and personal info and publicly brand them as some sort of cyber terrorists. 

The link above has two names at the top of their list which they declare 
We are finding an underground syndicate of professional harassers who seem to be attached to the NCBTMB and cyberharassing and cyberstalking Massage online Professor. We learned they are even making bogus complaints to other approval agencies purposely to harm Massage online Professor for being ethical and honest to fellow massage therapists and informing them of their massage laws.
We at Massage online Professor treat all our students with respect and kindness but after the tenth redundant email ignoring questions and simple instructions will have an effect on a business and their attitude. The following list below are people who refused to say if they have any association with the NCBTMB after asking each one at least six times.
These names are the two who tried to defend my friend and help her out and they have now been named as being professional harassers, and all they did was try writing to this business to help their friend. I can assure you they weren't asked if they were associated with the NCBTMB "at least six times." I was also named publicly on their Facebook page numerous times as being part of this underground syndicate and yet all I had done was like their page to see what was going on and help my friend somehow. Let me state that I did like their page 3 separate times, because I would be told about another thing that was said and when I would go on the page to see for myself I would notice that the like button was there again, I have had Facebook pages glitch on me like that before where the like wouldn't "stick" ad I would have to "re-like" it. I figured this was another one of those cases. I later found out that they had been deleting my like... however they didn't block me from the page ... maybe they don't know how? Yet that was all it took for them to publicly name me as part of this supposed cyber terrorism ring... they never contacted me other than to throw my name around on their Facebook page.  

This is defamation/libel and it is not at all cool. What Massage Online Professor is, is a cyber bully they have shown that through their actions. They claim to care about their students but they don't hesitate to treat innocent people like complete scum and they are profiting from this because they have instilled a no refund policy that hurts trusting customers like my friend. They throw around accusations with an air of insane paranoia, and you know what I am sorry if they HAVE actually dealt with some drama in regards to their statements about the NCBTMB (which until that day I had never even heard of before) but their paranoia now has made them become a toxic and very dangerous company especially when innocent students who are just trying to make something of their lives are getting caught in the crossfire.

Part of me wonders if there is even that much drama from the NCBTMB, could it all be the ramblings of a paranoid person? Or could it be that they have realized that with the non-refund policy they have in place that this actually profits them, to create such a web of accusations and conspiracy so that they can take a persons money without the person putting up to much of a fight?

I really can't say, I don't know either way, I just know that from what I have seen and experienced this company doesn't hesitate to toss accusations at and label innocent people with libelous statements in a public forum. They also show on their own blog how they mistreat and play games with their customers, but all I can speak of for sure is what I have seen and experienced. So I want to warn people away from doing business with the company 
Massage Online Professor because they haven't seemed to hesitate in taking peoples money and then block them access, and should anything go wrong they have stooped so low as to post private personal information about people publicly, lied, and defamation/libel isn't past them either. If you are thinking of getting involved with them I beg of you to do your research, and think about instead going through a different school with a more professional business manner that you can be guaranteed you won't be wasting your money, or your time and hard work. I really do want to save anyone else from going through this kind of thing. Which is why I write this post today. 

Edited to Add: Now two days later I was informed that they have now taken to filling their Facebook page with private personal communications that their students have written them. They are also posting the results of these students tests and other information that should, if they were any kind of reputable company, be kept confidential. It is scary to me to see what they are doing, even scarier when I know one of the innocent parties who were on the receiving end of their unprofessional behavior, and it saddens me to see them do this to more and more people. I don't know if they can be stopped because honestly they are still profiting from this because of their supposed no-refund policy and so they can screw anyone they want over. So it seems the only thing that can be done is to get the word out to potential students.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pinterest Activism of sorts

I had the joy of dealing with a little bit of fat hate drama regarding a picture that I pinned onto my body love board on Pinterest a long time ago. It has gotten a lot of pins and likes in the past and this past week came under a little bit of negative attention as well. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the activity on my pins as I really pin them for me so that I can enjoy them later. My board dedicated to fat acceptance however I do tend to pay more attention to because I feel the message is so important and I want those who see it to have a safe space to enjoy the pins.

So this is the drama that happened when one girl just got her panties all in a wad because of the DANGEROUS message  “promoting obesity” that this picture was forcing on people and apparently just by seeing the picture all people will of course just decide they need to be huge obese people. I hope I handled it right, part of me wanted to just ridicule the stupidity, part of me wanted to attack back because I am just so tired of the same old crap being thrown at fat people. But mostly I feel such pity for the thinking that produces this stuff and how they seem to feel completely vindicated in treating people like crap and saying awful things and I really didn’t want to stoop to that level.

Above is the offending picture from here and this is what it sparked
Stefani Eldon-Kane
"So smoke and be lazy? Sounds like a celebrity...."
That was posted about a week or so ago  then a few more people commented liking it and repining it  which obviously upset Stefani and so this was posted
Stefani Eldon-Kane
"I can't believe that people are actually repinning this... its such a bad example! Get your lazy, junkfood, smoking asses off the couch! This is why I get shit for being skinny... the right way.. exercising and eating good! That should be the example! What is this teaching our kids???? To be fat slobs? Whatever..."
Stefani then got a supporter to chime in and commiserate with her about how awfully hard it is to be them and the terrible treatment they get  “cue violins”
Stephanie Cook
"I agree with Stefani. I'm always getting crap for exercising and eating healthy because apperantly it's vain. Yeah, you shouldn't base your self esteem on it, but you shouldn't disregard it either."
This was met by an awesome response from another commenter
Christy Harwel
"She obviously isn't talking crap about skinny people. She is stating her priority. If you are offended by it, it's your problem. She is a strong confident amazing singer. I'm sure she cries into her pillow giving a crap about what you think lol!!!"

Stefani Eldon-Kane

"What does a strong amazing singer have to do with anything we were talking about? We were stating that she is promoting being a fat ass."
"Also, "talking crap"... you sound like my seven year old. Obesity is a serious issue in this country if you are not aware... not to mention the numerous problems with smoking and second hand smoke. She is a great singer, but to promote obesity and smoking is not a good example. Just saying."
Up until this point I hadn’t been paying any attention to the comments on that pin, those notifications are usually caught in my e-mails spam filter but for some reason this last one showed up in my inbox and so I went to check it out. I was kind of annoyed and a little hurt at the self-righteousness and bigotry in the comments but I thought ok I can take this as an opportunity to maybe open some eyes so I responded.
My response
“@Stefani Eldon-Kane and @Stephanie Cook
I feel the need to reply to your comments on my pin.
The first thing I want to say is that I am sorry that anyone has given you trouble or made you feel bad for the way you have chosen to live your life. They have no right to say rude or hurtful things to you in any way for what you eat and how you spend your time. Your body is yours and no one has the right to make comments about it other than those you specifically invite to do so. I totally understand how that can be a very hurtful and upsetting thing and no one deserves that. You both are humans deserving of respect and kindness and I am sorry that you haven't gotten that from some people.”

“Secondly please let me explain why I pinned this. I like Adele's music, and I have seen so many articles, news posts, blog posts, and interviews that she has done in which the focus is not on her talent and her voice but the size of her body. I can imagine that that gets very tiring for her and  I like how she focused her answer totally on herself and didn't say that anyone else should think or act like she does, nor did she tear anyone else down. It seems to me she was making an annoyed point that her focus is on her singing and making great music, because she is a singer not a model. Now I don't like smoking, I don't do it myself, but her body is her own and so what she does with it is her own choice.”

“Finally, I am a fat person (as are a lot of my friends who follow me on Pinterest) We are also humans.  I work hard as a full-time student earning a bachelor’s degree as well as a full time graphic designer. I love those in my life like crazy, and enjoy spending time with them. I work hard to help out those around me and try to do things to leave this world a better place. I am a human, and I deserve the same respect and kindness that any other human does.

That being said your comments were, and are, terribly hurtful to me. To be called "lazy", "fat slob", "fat ass", and assuming that I eat junkfood all day on the couch is not only untrue it is hurtful and it treats me as less than human. Not once have I said anything against you, your body size, and I really do respect that what you do with your body is completely your right.”

“I also encourage you to do some real research in regards to obesity and the issue of it, this is a great post to start with as it includes a lot of actual medical research studies not just regurgitated "facts" that "everybody knows"


Then I encourage you to read things by Dr. Linda Bacon.”
Which cause Stefani to respond again
Stefani Eldon-Kane
"I'm sorry that you thought I was talking directly about you.. but I was not... have you even read what she said??? I know not everyone wants to be skinny, but this is setting a bad example. Let's just all go smoke, eat tons of food and not work out! Sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately she picked this career and there is going to be some ridicule about what you do and say as a celebrity... just saying"

"Also, I'm about to graduate as a nutrtitionist! I know all about obesity and what causes it... smoking, not exercising and eating crappy food with not exercise! Am I getting close to making any sense?"

"And I'm sorry but I did not call you anything.."
At this point I realize her mind is completely closed and I really hate that everyone who liked and/or pinned this picture was having to read all the disgusting hatred and I just wanted to put an end to this so I responded with
My Response
You apparently fail to understand what I am saying at all so I am removing your comments from my pin. They are hurtful, hate filled, and honestly quite untruthful and that is not what I want to spread in this world. I would still encourage you to read http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/big-fat-faulty-assumptions/
and also check out the site junkfood science, as a nutritionist I think you might find it very interesting.
With that I removed her comments along with the responses to her comments (yes even the positive ones) as they would make no sense without them and I didn’t want that on my page. This seemed to upset poor Stefani and so while I was out with friends she posted the following
Stefani Eldon-Kane
"Lol ok don't post stuff on a social site if you don't like the comments. Maybe you should post on a personal site. You need a reality check."

"And I have plenty of bigger friends thank you very much and not one agree with your message. You can delete this and all the other ones who don't agree with you unhealthy spread of obesity. Have a nice day and I hope your not talking about a blot site...."

"And I said nothing hate filled... I see you deleted everyone who didn't agree with you as well.... hypocrite."    

"And the danceswithfat video is nothing but spinning. Compare this to dances with the stars...please!"
"I saw danceswithfat video and all I saw was a bunch of spinning.... ok..but compare this to so you think you can dance.... not even close! I tried but I couldn't get through it...."  

"I saw the danceswithfat video and all I saw a bunch of spinning moves...anyone can do that... bigger or skinny...she wouldn't last a minute on so you think you can dance...

When I got home I responded with
My Response
@Stefani Eldon-Kane
Being that she is a champion level dancer who has won multiple titles and competitions I would say you are wrong and once again are jumping to conclusions that are wrong but that is your choice. As for me being a hypocrite because I chose to keep my pins hate free so that people can enjoy them without feeling attacked by being called a fat slob, lazy, or a fat ass because when you say that as a blanket statement it effects and hurts a whole lot of people. Being that this is MY pin that is my prerogative and it is not at all hypocritical, if you want to bash people you have all the right in the world to re-pin this and say anything your little heart desires about fat people if it makes you feel better :-) That is your right and I welcome you to do that so that you can have your say against all those "fat asses" without people like me who think all people are deserving of kindness and respect regardless of their body size speaking up and ruining it for you.

Being that this is MY pin on MY board that is my prerogative and it is not at all hypocritical, I know it is a social site and so that is why I do what I need to, to keep my boards safe from hate and bigotry, and that is my prerogative :-) cool how that works isn't it?

This seemed to make her even more mad
Stefani Eldon-Kane
"You erased every comment that didn't agree with you... this is posted so everyone can see... you just don't like the fact that I commented on a lazy mentality. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and looked at the websites you provided... all blogs asking for donations every five sentences! That is like going and doing my thesis off of wikipedia! I tried to understand this mentality...but I guess I'm way to advanced to understand :) have a nice night :)"

"You are so manipulating the comments it is digusting... why not leave up what I said so people can really see what me and others say? Because you know that when you post something that is this disturbing, people are going to have something to say. This is the last time I will ever think of you again... take your own advise and be happy with yourself."

Being that I was heading out the door to go to the drive-in with my friend to see “The Avengers” and “Dark Shadows” and not feeling the need to waste any more time on her my response was “Bye :-)”

Lol! Gotta love the people you come across when you dare post something against the accepted norm, it just made me realize how glad I am not to live in that mindset and how truly happy I am that I am getting the strength to stand up for myself and what I believe in. It is just sad to see people continuing that kind of bigotry and especially sad that if she truly is about to graduate as a nutritionist (I wonder if it is from the same “school” as Meme Roth?) that she will then infect these beliefs on other people in a professional setting as well. Oh the damage her and her “advanced” thinking will do…

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear You... YES YOU!!!

Dear Anyone who finds it hard to love themselves AS THEY ARE,

You are positively BEAUTIFUL!

I love the freckles on your nose, they bring out the colors in your eyes. Your hair frames your face perfectly. Your laugh is contagious and you will always make me smile.

Those scars on your knees? They show me you have fallen. The sparkle in your eyes when you smile? They show me you picked yourself up. Your smile is drop dead gorgeous, wear it more often. Seriously, think about who CARES, that you have acne. WHO really cares if you're overweight or underweight, tall or short, tan or pale, an A cup or a HH cup?

All that matters it that someone thinks that you are beautiful just the way you are and that someone is me. I wish you could love yourself the way I love you, the way your family loves you, the way your friends love you. The ones who care about all that superficial crap really don't matter in the grand scheme of life, and the ones who DO matter see all the "flaws" with eyes of love and love them because it is part of what makes you so special to them.

My greatest wish for all of you
is that you can see yourself through the eyes
of those who love you,
all of you,
just the way you are!

~ Love ,

Monday, May 14, 2012

I am still a liar

~*~ Possible Trigger Warning ~*~

I wrote previously that I was starting a "nutrition" class and that I really wasn't looking forward to it. I was going over the syllabus and reading all that it would entail like keeping a food log, analyzing everything about it, writing papers about stuff I truly believe to be lies like the whole calories in/calories out, and acting like I have clients I am supposed to be advising about their diet. I still can't quite figure out what in the world that has to do with being a graphic designer, let me tell you if I start giving any of my clients diet advice I would actually WANT them to drop kick me in the neck. I hated the thought of it all but I thought ok I will put my brain in neutral and just blab what I know they want to hear and just make it through this, it will be ok.

It has not been ok, it is not ok! I have been doing my absolute best to fight through this course and I have been really working to get SOMETHING from it. As of yet nothing positive has come from it. First off we had to give all our stats like weight, height, yadda, yadda to our teacher. Then we had to do the stinking food log and as much as it sent me on a very bad path I tracked every stinkin thing I put into my mouth and I put it all together in a report also telling a bit about my eating disordered past and how hard this was. My professor reviewed it and lectured me starting with the whole I should be eating breakfast it is the most important meal of the day crap, even though I explained that I do not feel hungry for a few hours or more after I wake up and the thought of food makes me feel ill. It is only when waiting til I am hungry to eat that I avoid feeling really badly and ok yes that means for the first half of the day I don't eat  though I do drink water and such. So ok I got that lecture, and then he had to throw in that the point of the exercise was to track EVERYTHING I ate and that I couldn't have been doing that because there is no way that I could eat like that normally and maintain the weight I am right now.  Ummmmmm!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!  UMMMMMM?!?!?!?! I actually literally screamed in anger, this is the exact same crap that I have dealt with numerous times before, of course me the little fatty must definitely be lying. Cause fatties lie about what they eat right?

Ok since I started on my journey in fat acceptance,  I haven't HAD to lie about my food because I have been eating intuitively and given myself no judgments on it. I really didn't even know what to say in response, I was too annoyed to try to  explain and honestly I didn't owe an explanation I had told the absolute truth so whatever. So all I ended up writing back was I am sorry that you feel that way but you really will need to ask God about that because I kept an accurate food log and this is the exact way that I have been eating for the past few years and my weight has remained the exact same and I didn't know what to tell him.

Anyway so in between dodging all the veiled bigotry and outright stupidity in this with people constantly bringing up "the poor obese children something must be done!" I am back into disordered life again and it is slowly wearing on me. I now have to lie when I do my assignments just so that I don't totally fudge up my GPA. I get to deal with really stupid comments spoken like fact, and when I show medical study after medical study to prove otherwise they are still unwilling to listen. Like for instant I had to write up a diet plan for a "client" going through chemo-therapy and the response I got was to tell me that I should have used the weight and height to calculate the BMI so that I could know how many calories to keep the diet between and for people over whatever BMI they deem dangerous I should "handle" that issue.  I was just like excuse me?!? You really think someone who is going through chemotherapy where they are actually killing off your body cells in an attempt to eradicate the cancer, something that causes massive issues in the body not to mention making you sick the LAST thing you need to have your client focusing on is their weight much less having them try to lose weight. I responded with that point, that the focus is to get enough food into the client to keep their energy up enough and help their body heal not to worry about a certain vanity weight, and then I posted links to articles and posts talking about how bogus the BMI really is.  Ugh, the ignorance, it burns!!

Anyway so dealing with all that has gotten me back to a place where I start to obsess over what I should or shouldn't be eating, getting back into that whole awful shame spiral. For the first time in at least 3 years I have eaten past my satisfied comfortably full point at least 4 time... FOUR TIMES!! I hate it. Things that I have been able to cope with quite well with intuitive eating have started becoming a problem again like insomnia, thoughts of self hate, feelings of being undeserving of anything good and worst of all struggles with depression popping up again because of all this. I try to share that frustration with family or friends but they all still believe that calories in = calories out and give me the impression that they think this is good for me. So I keep quiet and I am struggling through because all of this on top of the stress of life stuff has been building up but I don't feel like I can say that part of why I am freaking out is because this stupid class is driving me crazy all over again. Cause then I just sound like the rebellious fatty.  I have a few more weeks before this is over, it will not end soon enough. This will not kill me I will not let it, and I know God will get me through but the frustration level is building.  I just needed to get it out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ok so this "easy A" class is gonna be the death of me

As some of you know I am a full time student at the Art Institute working to get my Bachelors degree in web design and interactive media. This is me for the first time, pursuing and fulfilling my dreams. You didn't read this wrong I did say for the first time, there have been other times in my life where I started trying to pursue a dream, but then life would get in the way, but that is for a different post.

So right now I am starting a new term in my courses. A few days ago I was sent this terms schedule and as I checked out my classes I saw that one of the classes I am in is.... Nutrition.....oh ...yippee. Saying that that doesn't fill my heart with excitement would be an understatement and I think many of you know why. Right away I thought, the title nutrition  probably hides a whole lot of diet and weight loss, calories in, calories out shtuff. Like seriously I am getting a bachelors degree for the work that I can do on the computer in my beloved graphic programs.... why the heck are you forcing me to take a junk class that has nothing to do with that? I hate my time being wasted, and it feels like I have been in school forever now the thought of wasting a term on that and prolonging my time in class tends to tick me off.

Well this weekend I got an introductory email from the professor, it said "We will learn a great deal information that will help you develop a positive nutritional plan for your future throughout the class. You will be able to use this information to benefit you as you continue your journey throughout your career and life." Uh huh....riiiiiight.

Speaking to my mom about it after she asked about my new schedule I shared how un-excited I was about it and how much of a waste of time it is made me just as annoyed. She acted as though she agreed with me, but then came the little statements that showed what she was really thinking. "Well it is always good to learn about good and bad foods, we all can use that", "Maybe you will learn some stuff that will help you get healthier", "you might find it inspires you to a different lifestyle",and "it is good to learn proper portion sizes." I tried telling her that I am healthy, I don't put morality onto foods, proper portion size is a relative thing, and my lifestyle right now keeps me healthy mentally, spiritually, and physically why should I change?  To which the response was "well then it will be an easy A for you."

Yeah I am thinking not so much. Our first discussion questions is "Identify the most significant factors of the traditional Mediterranean and Asian diets in decreasing health risks (such as breast and lung cancers, lowered incidence of Type 2 diabetes). What effect on the traditional diet have urbanization and the influence of Americanism had on the average person in these cultures?"  Ok yeah I could spout off what I know they are going to want to hear in this class, but I don't believe it to be true and right so saying it would be lying. If I speak the truth though, not only will I have to do 50 times the work to prove it to everyone else, and more importantly the professor, but I will still probably flunk because it won't be what the book says.

I truly am dreading this and don't know what to do. I really don't want my GPA dropping cause of stupid diet propaganda in academic clothing.

To make matters worse I just reviewed the first few days of the class assignments and found this lovely gem "For the next three weeks, you will be conducting a laboratory experiment to examine your diet. The food log assignment requires you to keep a detailed record of your eating patterns over a three-day period, analyze the information, and reflect on what you ate.  This laboratory experiment will culminate in the writing of a 3-5 page paper [a formal lab report] incorporating all of the information you collected and noted areas for improvement."

GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAH Many dirty words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is going to throw me right back into disordered thinking and hatred for myself. I HATED doing food logs every single time a new diet or nutritionist I would try or be sent to, would make me do it I am certainly NOT going to like it or get anything from it now. What the hell does this have to do with making me a better graphic designer, cause seriously all that crap kept me from this dream my whole life. I am so frustrated, I don't know how to handle this. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Let me put my Ranty Pants on

Alrighty folks, I need to vent and you get the venting.

Dear random guys on Facebook,

I did NOT ask you to love me, I didn't, not once, at all, EVER. Nope I accepted your friends request on Facebook, this does not in anyway invite you to hit on me or declare some kind of ownership over me. Here's the thing, I like playing games on Facebook, they are fun for me, they allow me to get away for a bit from work and homework and just do something completely stupid and meaningless.Some of these games in order to get anywhere with them and not go crazy you need other gamers, and so I have added a lot of people to my FB account that I can game with. Some of these people have actually become friends just because we connect on certain things. I enjoy reading about peoples lives and I like being able to share whats on my heart and mind in a way that is quick easy and works with my schedule and brain.

Yes I posted pictures of myself, mainly because I have a whole lot of family all over the world and I know it is fun for them to see whats new with me and to see pictures from time to time. You posting nice messages on these pictures is sweet, and I thank you for that, but I didn't ask for it. You posting on my posts and links is sweet, it is always nice to find other people who have the same thoughts or like the same things I do, that is cool. You then writing me a private message declaring your love for me when all I have done is be a kind albeit somewhat distant, acquaintance, is somewhat a shock to me but I want to be nice and I am always open to friends so I explain that I am open to a friendship on Facebook but that is all I can offer due to the fact that I am getting over the end of a very serious relationship and also the fact that you live in a whole different country with a completely different culture, etc. You speak of how you love my faith in God, and say you share that faith and ok that is cool always nice to meet a fellow believer, a brother in Christ.  Now you continue to declare your love and intentions, that you just know God means for us to be together, that you would make me the happiest wife ever, blah blah blah.

Ok bottom line, no you don't love me, YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW ME! Declaring love for a chick you only know by their status updates and posts on Facebook not only makes you look incredibly suspicious but honestly it makes said chick (ME) doubt you have even one clue what real love is and doubt even more that you are for real. I did not ask for you to love me, and when you threw that at me I tried to be as kind but honest as I could. Maybe you expect that I would just fall at your feet and swim over there to marry you tomorrow but I am sorry, you are out of luck. I have explained to you that I just got out of a relationship that shattered me, and I have explained that by just I mean JUST, as in I am still dealing with the grief, and you still push your love on me. I have explained that I have major trust issues that are quite valid and the idea of getting into another long distance relationship honestly makes me kind of nauseous and is not something I am interested in at all. Your response, That you will move here...... ummmm NO you won't, and that kind of freaked me out even more.

You write me every day, multiple times a day, ok thats your prerogative, but we are not in a relationship, and I don't write my real life friends everyday and I love them to pieces. So the fact that now I have started avoiding Facebook and definitely started avoiding my inbox because I just don't have the time or inclination to try to make you understand, is not cool.

Lets go over this again, I DID NOT ASK YOU TO LOVE ME, I don't need your love, I don't want your love and I certainly don't want to be in a relationship with a clingy smothering man! Me being nice and kind was obviously misinterpreted by you as me wanting to jump your bones and make vows to you. Putting me into a situation where I have to be a mean witch is not cool and again not anything I asked for. Thing is dudes, and yes I am talking to multiple ones here, don't push your "love" on women who never asked for it. If you do approach a woman and they say all they can offer is friendship then for crying out loud show that woman who you claim to "love" that that love actually means respecting her no, because here is the deal, if you can't even respect a woman when they say they are only interested in friendship how in the world is that woman supposed to think you would ever respect her in any other matter. The same kind of rules that apply to rape apply here, unless you get an enthusiastic yes, back off  and don't go further. If you get a lukewarm not right now or I need time then drop back and show you can be an actual friend and if you get a no then respect that freaking no and stay in friend/acquaintance zone or drop out of her life don't keep pushing and trying to "convince" her. Don't make her defend her answer, that just once again shows you have no respect for her or her thoughts and feelings.

It is not cool to do this, I am sorry but your "love" is not a priceless commodity that all women will thank you for delivering to them. I will not die if I don't get with you, I will not die from lack of sex, I do not need a man in my life to be happy, in fact I think I have shown that I can be completely happy and content on my own. I do not need a knight on a white horse to save me, and regardless of how many times you tell me that God has told you that I should be with you and we should be together unless God also sends that memo to me and gives me peace about it then sorry but I don't believe it so just stop. I am on facebook for fun and to keep in touch with family and friends all over the world, if I wanted matchmaking or dates I would sign up for eHarmony. Got it... I hope so


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bullying Damages Peoples Lives!

In my previous post I talked through some of my feelings regarding finding that the man I had been dedicated to for the past 5 years had been cheating on me. I shared how I was bullied as a young girl in school by people playing with my heart and feelings by pretending to be interested in me,  and then finding it hilarious when I believed what they were saying. In that post I was beating myself up for once again playing the fool like I had back in then, all those feelings of being the stupid fool had come flooding back and I kept telling myself how dumb I was to believe someone could love me. Those are the same lies that I was taunted with back then, and here a good 25 some years later those messages are still very deeply ingrained in my mind. They were my "truth" as I was growing up and that "truth" effected my whole life and it is what I struggle with now as I work to replace those lies with actual truth.

I have been pondering all this lately after I finally realized where the anger at myself was coming from, and I will admit I have been simmering with a little bit of anger. No longer am I angry at myself I am angry at those kids who found it so hilarious to play with someone elses heart and lives. I am angry that they felt it was ok to treat me and others who didn't "measure up" as third class citizens who deserved to be treated like crap. I am angry at all those people who will sit back and say bullying is harmful and that kids will be kids. I am really angry at the ones who say that "you have to be cruel to be kind" and that talk about tough love and try so desperately to hide the fact that they are just mean concern trolls. A comment on one of the blogs I read in the past few weeks (I can't remember where so if it was you give me a heads up) has really stuck in my head. They were commenting about tough love and said if that is the way you love then go love someone else. That was huge for me, I thought oh that is so right on, they go on and on about tough love and having to be mean in order to "save" someone, but does anyone ask the victim if they asked to be "loved?"  I dare to wager that the majority would gladly pass on that kind of love, and would be better off for doing so. I honestly don't care how good your intentions are, if the person you are pointing them at doesn't invite you to share them, then shut your mouth, cause you aren't an undercover superhero.

Another thing that has me angry is how the adults I tried talking to when I was being bullied would react or respond. Most of the time I was told "You just gotta ignore them, they are just trying to get a reaction out of you and if you don't react they will stop" then the other thing that would happen was I would be encouraged to go on a diet, lose weight, change myself. Here is the deal folks, when a person, especially a young kid is being victimized by a bully or bullies, it is so not cool to put the responsibility for stopping it onto the victims shoulders cause lemme tell ya, they have enough to shoulder. That is the #1 reason that I stopped speaking out about all the stuff I went through, because it always became my problem, I would have to change myself or my reactions, I was the one in the wrong, not the bully. It wasn't until my late twenties  just a few years ago when I was in a group counseling session at a clinic I had gone to in California for eating disorders that I actually shared some of the stuff I went through. To me it was just my childhood, it was my normal, all I knew but my counselor looked at me seriously and said "Teresa that was ABUSE, you talk about it as though it was your fault and that is was ok but that was ABUSE and it is not ok that that happened to you and I am so very sorry you had to go through that."  That was the very first time in my life that I ever heard someone 1)give it the name of abuse because that is what it was and 2) tell me that I didn't deserve it and 3) that they were so sorry that it had happened to me. The first time I had EVER heard any of that. It honestly shocked me and I started to disagree because I was still holding the feeling of responsibility for it, then I just went silent for the rest of the session. I didn't know how to process not just that what was my normal, was actually abuse, but I also struggled to process that it wasn't my fault and that someone said they were sorry... to me...for what I have gone through. That counselor still holds a very dear place in my heart, he opened my eyes in such a profound way and I can still hear his voice and see his face as he spoke those words.

SleepyDumpling wrote a post on Fat Heffalump the other day Bullies – You Don’t Get a Cookie for Feeling Bad that had me nodding my head in agreement the whole way through. I am so sick of bullies getting a pass for their abusive behavior, and the thought of people feeling bad for them because "oh they must have had such a hard life" yeah well life is tough for everyone and that doesn't give us license to abuse others because of it. We need to not only stop bullying, and teach our children that bullying is bad and wrong, we need to give real consequences to the bullies not the victims. We need to stick up for the victims of bullies abusive ways, and we need to teach our children to be NICE  and how to treat people with RESPECT even if you might not like them for some reason. The best way to do this is to model it in our own lives, treat the people we run across in life with respect. Yeah ok it might be nice to tell kids that "it gets better" but in the case of being a fat person that isn't always true and sometimes when you grow up the adults can be even worse than the kids were. It doesn't always get better and that cliche annoys me because it rings so much of the responses that I got from the adults that should have been protecting me in order to brush me aside. It might not get better, it might get worse, but I have found in the fat acceptance community that even if it doesn't get better you can find people who will stand beside you and tell you that what has happened to you is not ok and that they are so very sorry. They also help you replace the lies the bullies and abusers throw at you with the truth and that helps you to get stronger and stand firm when it doesn't get better.

So what do you think of "tough love" and people that think that abuse and shame is a good way to help people?  What do you think of the "It gets better"saying?  What can adults do when a kid comes to them and tells them they are being bullied, how would you react?