Please Stand By

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Well my commitment to blogging every day has frankly flagged somewhat.  But my commitment to my project, of sharing The Fat Chick has grown exponentially.  So how to classify?  Should we call this a success or a failure?  Well if you've been reading by blog AT ALL for the last couple of months, I think you know which way I'm going to go on this.  I'm calling it a success.  Because as important as it is to stick with your microgoals--those teeny tiny steps that draw you inexorably towards the life you wish to achieve, it's equally important to be flexible and not lose sight of the big picture.

So on the big picture side, I've been posting diligently to my facebook pages and twitter feed.  And I just had a shoot for a promotional video for The Fat Chick Works Out!  So sometimes you have to put a few of the baby steps aside to take a few giant leaps.  I feel fairly certain that Neil Armstrong put aside sorting his laundry and filing his taxes while he was flying around in space.

So while the blog posting has been a bit sparse, stay tuned for some awesomely cool new stuff.  And don't you sweat the small stuff either.  Okay?

The Fat Chick

Mourning the Old Ways

Monday, March 15, 2010

Periodically, (okay--all the time) I run into folks who think I am crazy for my belief.  They cling to the idea that only thin people can be healthy and their life will be so much better once they lose that 20 lbs.  And they think (okay--tell me to my face) that I am wrong or in denial about my ability to be a healthy fat person.

And sometimes, it makes me a little upset (okay--wildly angry).

But when that happens, I try to take a deep breath and remember a few things:

1.  Some people are never going to agree with me, no matter what I do or say.  And that's okay.
2.  Some people may disagree with me, but still take something useful away from our conversation.  And that's great.
3.  Some people may agree with me someday, but they just aren't there yet.  And that's awesome.

At least in my experience, the journey towards Fat Acceptance and HAES is just that, a journey.  I didn't get there all in one go and I suspect that many other people find it that way.

In my experience, the attraction of the culture of thinness lies somewhat in it's simplicity.  Lose weight, feel great, be healthy and then you will find career success, love, adoration, wealth and truly fabulous clothes.  The beauty of this plan is that it allows you to believe that all of those things are coming as soon as you lose weight.  So naturally you don't have to do any of the other difficult things that are required to get you what you want in your life until you lose weight.  This leads to the whole syndrome of "weighting around" to start your life.

Sure, once you apply research and logic and good common sense to this formula, it's easy to see that it's hogwash.  But in giving up this fantasy, you're giving up a lot.  And the truth, at first blush seems a lot less sexy and much more subtle and nuanced.

Once I gave up the "weight loss fantasy" and started moving on with my life, things clearly got SO much better.  But it's important for me to remember, as I try to shepherd others along that there was a mourning process involved.  I had to mourn:

1) The idea that I would lose weight and find the man of my dreams and earn a billion dollars and win an Academy award all in the same year.

2)  The EXCESSIVE time and money I wasted involved in body-hating schemes and plans.

3)  The idea that I'm right about everything all the time, because I had to admit a lot of what I believed sincerely with my whole heart was wrong.

It's helpful to remember that the journey towards Fat Acceptance and HAES is intrinsically destabilizing and uncomfortable for people--both for those experiencing it and those watching it.  And I believe that we have to work extra hard to replace the benefits of our old fantasies with other benefits that are healthy and more sustainable.  Like playing with our kids, or going for a walk.

What loving, kind thing can you do for yourself today?  I took myself out for a healthy lunch.  (It was awesome.)  What's one simple thing you can today to help replace the fantasy of the perfect life that comes with the perfect body, with the reality of tiny, simple, daily joys?

I'd love to hear from you!  Tell me in the comments or participate in the discussion on Facebook.

The Fat Chick

Stay at Home Travel to Another World

Monday, March 8, 2010

Went to the Huntington Gardens today,  It was yet another of a long list of wonderful places right in our backyard we hadn't previously found time to explore.  It was so wonderful.  Probably the highlight of the gardens was the Chinese Garden area. 

At the entrance were a group of bonsai where Brian was trying out his "volcano god" imitation.  It was his own light-hearted admission of his stress-induced cranky state.  But as we passed the bonsai area we noted over the gates, several calligraphy plaques in Chinese characters.  The walking tour on my iPod translated these as, "you are now entering another world".  And we were.  It was amazing.  We stepped over the happy fish bridge and through the jade moon gate and we were in another world--just like that. 

And it wasn't just a new world for us either.  People around us stopped and breathed more deeply.  Folks talked in whispers rather than shouts.  And as we crossed through this canopied grove of bamboo, and listened to the rustling of the leaves that sounded just like summer rain, there was a hush.  It was like a giant, leafy, deep green cathedral.  It was magical.

Makes me think about how often another world is just a breath away.  That maybe we don't need to travel to the ends of the earth to find a new perspective.  Maybe a whole new way of looking at things is right in the backyard.

I also think, that as a place to exercise, the Huntington Gardens beats the gym cold.

So look outside and look around.  Maybe you'll find a new world and a whole new you.

The Fat Chick

The Power of Play

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I think a lot of times as adults we lose one of the most important tools in our get happy, be happy, stay happy arsenal.  That tool is the power to play.  To wonder about stuff.  To pretend.  To imagine.

That's why I'm so glad on day 2 of our fabulous stay at home vacation we went to the zoo and played like big, goofy, overgrown kids.  That's a picture of me at the Condor experience, playing "doctor" with a stuffed, trussed, pretend condor.  The coat was not designed for grown-ups (especially a big girl like me) but I managed to don it long enough for the hubby to get the snap.

All I can say is, if you're feeling sad or stressed or cranky go outside and PLAY!

The Fat Chick

Sailing: Bouncing Away on the Waves

Friday, March 5, 2010

My awesome husband surprised me with a sailing trip on our vacation!  This was a huge luxury and not the sort of thing that we normally do.  But we went to the city in LA where he proposed to me and he chartered a sailboat.  WHEEEEE!  I love sailing for many, many reasons.  It's quiet.  It's beautiful (and the weather was awesome).  It's so much fun.

But you KNOW I can't resist the desire to make SOME sort of allegory out if it, right?  I really can't help it.  It's like a disease with me, so here goes.  Sailing reminds us that life isn't flat.  The waves go up, and the waves go down, but as long as the boat is moving forward, that's all that matters.  In fitness and in life, you just gotta roll with it.

Keeping this short so I can get back to my awesome VACA.  Hope today is smooth sailing for you. 

The Fat Chick

Changing it Up

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yesterday, I was able to take a dance class that I once loved but don't often find the time to get to these days.  All my old friends were there and they welcomed me with open arms.  It was interesting.  Our awesome teacher Rachel began the workout asking us to think about how we feel about new things.  We were just to observe as we exercised how we felt about the new routine.

Mostly I felt like "Thank Goodness, something new".  I think I was getting a little stale in my exercising and needed a change.  Last night, I felt a little sore.  But today, I feel ready to take on the world.  Makes me think I need to make a little more effort to jazz things up a bit with my exercise.  I think if I try something new every now and again, I'll be renewed and ready for anything.

So my little chickadees.  What can you think of to charge up your exercise?  Why don't you try a little something radically different or new? Belly Dancing?  Surfing?  Curling?  Just pick something and go for it!   I think you may surprise yourself.

The Fat Chick