Gratitude Is The Best Medicine

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I wish my life were different — quieter, simpler, more peaceful. I often go on these jags where I become obsessed with moving to the countryside and living in a small house with just the basics. In my imagination it seems like the ideal life. But the reality is that it’s not realistic for me, or for most people, I suspect.

So what do you do when you just feel like shit is weighing you down?

Find gratitude. Find it in all areas of your life, and it will totally shift the way you think about your present situation. Find the time for gratitude everyday!

body  positive affirmations

When I start to feel overwhelmed or sorry for myself I have to stop and remember that I am blessed beyond measure.

  1. I have a wonderful husband who adores me.
  2. I own an a lovely house that many people would be happy to have.
  3. I have some money in the bank and there is always food on the table.
  4. I wake up every morning and I can stand up without too much pain.
  5. I can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste easily.
  6. I have friendships with people I truly love and admire.
  7. I have a supportive network of people who are around to support me when I’m feeling bad about my body.
  8. I live in a place where it’s sunny pretty much everyday of the year.
  9. I have a family that is kooky but totally awesome!
  10. I have a job that allows me to earn a pretty decent living.

Take a few minutes in the morning or at night before bed to make a list of 5 or 10 things you’re grateful for. Remember, there is always someone somewhere that wishes they had what you have.

Sending love and light!xo

The Right to Bare Arms

fat arms

My ample arms!

My arms are fleshy, plump, and have cellulite on them. They are fat. And they are also beautiful.

Before I evolved into the body-loving woman I am today, I NEVER wore tank tops, even on the hottest summer days. Showing off my arms was the totally off limits. I would wear a sweater or something with sleeves that covered me to at least mid-upper arm. And let me tell you, being hot as fuck is not comfortable.

But one day, about 3 years ago, I decided it was time to conduct a social experiment. My theory was that if I wore a sleeveless garment, that people would stare at me in disgust, which would derail my journey toward self-acceptance. So, in an effort to break free from societal judgement, I did the unthinkable. I wore a tanktop in public.

I wanted to have Gabby's confidence!

I wanted to have Gabby’s confidence!

At first I found myself having a panic attack, wishing I’d brought a sweater with me just in case I chickened out. But then something weird happened. I saw another fat woman in a sleeveless blouse strutting down the street, her meaty arms undulating in rhythm with her steps. I saw in her what I had not been able to see in myself. I witnessed a woman taking up space and wearing a weather-appropriate garment with gusto! And no one batted an eye. Except for me of course.

That was a pivotal moment for me. I decided that the only solution to loving my arms was to show them off more often. Though I knew I wasn’t going to feel sure of myself right away,  I could certainly fake it for the time being. And that’s what I did.

with sonya and kim

With Sonya Renee Taylor and Kimberly Nichole at the Body Love Conference 2014.

That experience made me realize that most people aren’t looking at me and they don’t give a rat’s ass what I’m wearing. After a summer of donning tanks and halter tops, I no longer had to fake my comfort. I was comfortable.

For me the lesson is that I’m my own worst critic. When I can abandon perfectionism, even just for an hour, my whole world opens up. I become free. Free to love my arms and to free wear whatever the fuck I want.

I hope you’ll tune in for my upcoming post on plus swimwear, where you’ll see not just my ample arms, but my thunder thighs too!

  xo

You Asked, I Answered: 3 Big Reasons I Write My Blog

This post is inspired by one of my followers, Becky B. Thanks for the inspiration!

I began blogging about four and a half years ago under the name Curvy, Sexy, Chic. At the time, I was eager and excited to get my ideas out into the world. I was pissed off that curvy girls were getting little to no attention, and I wanted to be part of the solution. One of my missteps was that I subscribed to the idea that curvy bodies were better than thin bodies. I had no idea that this was exactly the wrong way to go about creating real change, and this type of thinking was harmful for all women. I also wrote about plus fashion and loving yourself, but not with the same unapologetic, in-your-face approach I use today. Still, it was great to be writing. There are many reasons why I write Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick. These are just a few:

1I HAVE A GIFT. I haven’t always been able to say that with confidence, but now I believe it’s true. For the most part, when I write, I come alive! I am always eager to ignite something in you so that you begin to have dialogue with yourself and others about issues that I think are relevant and pressing. I can recall being inspired by professors in college who spoke my language and said things in such a way that I had to know more. I was completely engaged and totally on fire! To have a gift and not use it is to sell yourself, and the world, short. And so, I use my gift and am grateful for those who read my shit and either get it, or challenge me. I’m up for all of it!

i have a

2SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN. I am lucky enough to live in a society that allows free speech. I can pretty much say whatever the fuck I want to say, and not worry that my government is going imprison me. That said, I cannot keep silent. Not when there is injustice and pain and fuckery abounding. For so many years of my life, I was silent. I never said no, and the thought of saying anything that would ruffle feathers was out of the question. I think that years of people pleasing and self-doubt finally caught up with me and I exploded!

I realized it was time to speak my truth without fear of consequence. And as cliche as it sounds, the truth has set me free in so many ways. It has allowed me to appreciate my gifts and to trust my intuition. The gift of my voice has blessed me with all kinds of amazing experiences and people. I think back and wonder who I would be if I had remained safely tucked away in silence, and it’s not a pretty picture. Today, I can say with gusto that I am a funny, kind, intelligent, curious, creative, fat woman of color who loves herself and her life. YAYMEN!!

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3

WE NEED EACH OTHER. I am clear that my purpose is to spread love and light. I am clear that my honesty is appealing. I write about uncomfortable shit so that both you AND I can get more comfortable with it. My readers are very much my inspiration. The emails I get from you touch me so deeply and remind me of all the reasons I do this work. Seriously, THANK YOU! When I’m feeling crappy, you lift me up. And when you’re feeling crappy, I try to do the same. We’re basically in an intimate relationship, where we both take risks and hope for the best. And our relationship has been one of the most marvelous of my life. It is because you give, that I find the courage to give. People sometimes tell me that I’m helping to change the world. But I think it’s all of us doing it. We are both ready for the day when our bodies are no longer a question of public opinion and we can make peace with our wrinkles and cellulite. 

together we can make a difference

To answer Becky’s question, “when you started blogging, what were you wanting to accomplish, what are you thinking, and have you accomplished what you set out to do? Has your thought process changed regarding what you want to accomplish with your blog?” 

I think my journey is about being open to experiences and knowing that as I grow and learn, that my thought process will inevitably change. And I try to not judge that. At times I’ve felt I was leaving people behind because my opinions were changing. But I realize that it’s simply part of my own evolution as a writer, an activist, and a human being. Ultimately, what I hope to accomplish is the creation of a space where we can all experience unfettered self-acceptance.

xo

3 Surprising Ways to Fight Fat Shaming

Fighting fat shaming can be tough in a society that worships thinness and thinks fat is a four-letter word. But there are ways to make change if you’re willing to try these surprising tactics.

1

Start by accepting yourself. I think it’s impossible to fight against the current culture if you hate yourself. When you believe in the false stereotypes that fat people are lazy, ugly, stupid, and unworthy, how can you possibly have the strength to challenge the powers that be? You can’t. Plain and simple. Until you are at least on the road to self-acceptance, it may be difficult to demand respect. You’ve got to believe that you deserve more, and that your worth is inherent in your humanity. Once you start seeing yourself in a more positive light, then you can begin to question and fight against our society’s twisted ideas of what is acceptable.

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Wicked confidence!

2

Be conscious of advertisements and media that ridicule fat people. This is pretty fucking easy, given that our culture is obsessed with  before and after pictures to fool you into thinking that losing weight will be the answer to all of life’s problems. I hate to break it to you, but fat and thin people alike have problems and challenges that have absolutely nothing to do with the size of their jeans. I know because I’ve been thin and fat many times in my life, and I can assure you that I dealt with the same life circumstances in both bodies. So, when you see advertisements or TV shows that make fun of fat folks, get to work letting them know you are displeased. Write letters and tell anyone who will listen (that’s the power of social media, people) about the discrimination that’s happening right under their oblivious noses. The very act of dissent, regardless of the outcome, is empowering and will inevitably start a dialogue about why we allow this type of blatant oppression to thrive. It’s time to take a stand!

600px-fat-shaming-peta

Fat shaming at its worst. Shame on you PETA.

3

Literally wear your opinions. With a growing social movement toward fat-acceptance, the trend of wearing clothes that challenge people’s perceptions of fat people is ripe and ready for harvest. Whether you decide to wear a crop top to show off your ample belly, or a bodycon dress that hugs your every roll, fashion is an amazing political weapon against fat discrimination. The days of oversized clothes that were meant to make others more comfortable with our large bodies is OVER! Fatshion conveys a lot about how you feel without ever having to utter a word. Changing perceptions can be tough. But the more of us who  unapologetically wear tank tops in the summer that show off our generous arms, the less taboo we make it for other fat folks to do the same. And ultimately, we force the culture to see us, accept us, and respect us.

 

diet industry dropout

xo

Tiny Houses, Turning 40, & Clearing the Clutter

When I first started writing this post, it was going to be called, “5 Soul Changing Events of 2014.” I started writing it, and it was basically a boring recap of what I’ve already written about this year. And it felt like a major cop-out given that I haven’t written a post in over a month. So, I changed my mind, which happens often, as you know.

boring-screenwriters

I’d rather tell you all about 2015, and what’s to come.

There are a few things that will happen in 2015 for sure. For one, I’ll be turning 40! And I can’t tell you how excited I am about it. My 30’s have been so full of growth and change, I can hardly recognize myself. Getting older has been a wonderful experience for me. I trust my instincts more and care less and less about what others think of me. Talk about a weight (pun intended) off my shoulders.  I’m quite certain that 40 promises to take that self-confidence and carefree attitude to the next level. YAY ME!!

forever 39

As I’ve reminisced over the events of the last year, I realize just how much I miss my creative self. Don’t get me wrong, writing is a wonderfully creative outlet, and I plan to continue doing it well into the future. What I haven’t spent much time doing is cultivating my crafty/DIY side. I have so many projects on my Pinterest boards that are just waiting to come to life. And so, while I don’t really like resolutions per se (they’re way to fraught with pressure and expectation), one of my goals in 2015 is to give myself time to get my hands dirty and start making things again.

repurposed tray

My other obsession has been tiny houses, a movement that has increased in popularity in the last few years. The idea being that you downsize your living quarters to the bare minimum, owning only what you really need and love. Some folks move into places as small as 150 square feet! That’s not something my hubby and I are prepared to do, but we agree it’s time to purge and let go of the stuff that’s bogging us down. Between the two of us, we have more collections than an antique shop. It’s embarrassing to admit, but we have a 5 bedroom house (3 bedrooms are tiny) and every inch is filled to the brim. It’s a bit fucking much. I look forward to being clutter free in 2015!

Clutter-is-a-weight

And finally, I hope to rid myself of virtual clutter in 2015. I’m as addicted to social media as the next gal. And it has taken up so much of my brain space, leaving little room for my own thoughts and feelings to fully develop. I love the connectivity  aspect of social media, but I’m not that interested in watching the latest YouTube video of cats tucking in babies. Yeah, it’s cute. But really, I can’t. I’m done. One way I plan to cut the clutter is to unfollow a lot of Facebook “friends.” I want to know what my close friends and family are up to. I want to see pictures of their kids and their moments of joy. I want to scroll less and live more.

social media clutter

I feel really good about 2015. I anticipate lots of joy and adventure, allowing myself to really be free. My life is so good, and I never want to forget that.

Wishing you and yours the happiest of new year celebrations. May your 2015 be full of hope and possibility!

Fireworks_2

xo