Friday, December 16, 2011
Last year, as I was frantically finishing final edits to my book: The Fat Chick Works Out! I had to accept that I had neither time nor money for a huge Christmas tree. Even if I was in a position to shell out over $100 for a nice tree (California pricing--sheesh!) I didn't have time to even go to the lot and pick it out, so much drag it home, prop it up and put hundreds of ornaments on it. I had to accept that it just wasn't going to happen. So I took out my tiny little pretend Christmas tree, slapped one string of lights on it, and put on about a dozen little teeny ornaments. And you know what, it wasn't so bad. It was disappointing, because I had expected the giant live Christmas tree. But it's cheery little presence kept me company in the wee, dark hours before dawn as I sat next to the fireplace and did final edits. And I learned.
This year, I never even thought about that huge Christmas tree. I knew I would be even busier this year than I was last year. I didn't win the lottery, so the big tree was probably too expensive anyway. So I set my expectations for my tiny tree, and this year it's making me happy with no disappointment and no regrets. My tiny tree is enough. I am satisfied.
I think so many times during the holidays, we make ourselves crazy with totally unreasonable expectations. We think we need to uphold every holiday tradition that anybody in our family has ever had. We think we should give everybody everything they ever wanted for Christmas, and even a few things they didn't ask for. And everybody is going to get along at all the family gatherings, and the kids will all be perfectly behaved and our holiday will look just like Mr. Rockwell's paintings. And naturally, we'll lose 30 pounds between Christmas and Thanksgiving so that we can fit into that slinky little black dress we've been dreaming of. Because we need to make this the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! Ho, ho, freaking, ho.
And of course, it never quite works out like that, does it? When you're standing in long lines the day after Christmas returning presents that the kids didn't like after all (and you couldn't afford anyway) you cringe at this year's NEW crop of holiday memories complete with grandma passing out after too much eggnog, nobody talking to Judy because of what she said about our Susan, and a mess that you couldn't shift with a sherman tank. And the little black dress? Honey all the Spanx in the world 'aint gonna get you there. Frankly, it's depressing.
But does it have to be? What if you accept that you can't please everybody. What if you accept that you can't change people? What if you accept that this crazy, messy, imperfect, noisy and less fiscally irresponsible Christmas will be YOUR Christmas and get over it? Can't meet old holiday traditions? Make new ones! Can't buy expensive presents? Give of your heart and your mind and your time. Got a crazy family? Enjoy them while you still have them. Gained 2 pounds since Thanksgiving? Get a great pair of comfy but gorgeous leggings and ROCK 'EM!
That's my Christmas gift to you my love. Go out and have a personalized, imperfect and perhaps more than slightly crazy holiday season.
The Fat Chick
Posted by The Fat Chick at 8:09 AM
Monday, December 12, 2011
In the health magazines, I've seen lots and lots of articles about how NOT to eat holiday treats or (gasp) gain holiday pounds. What I haven't seen is much of any information about the need for sleep. This despite the fact that there is ample evidence that going without sleep is really bad for your health. A recent study showed that shift workers are more likely to suffer from diabetes, and the thinking is that the sleep disturbances have a lot to do with it. (Poor Santa. Maybe he should deliver presents during the day.)
But diabetes is just one of many potential health effects of not getting enough sleep. Aside from increased accidents on the road and at work, sleep deprivation is linked to a host of other ailments including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Psychiatric problems, including depression and other mood disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Mental impairment
- Disruption of bed partner's sleep quality
- Poor quality of life
But seriously, going without sleep over the holidays is NOT a good thing. Aside from the potential health risks, it makes you cranky as heck, and all the more likely to bite Aunt Ethel's head clean off when she asks you (again) when you're getting married. Not. Good.
So how do you fit sleep in during the holidays? First off, you need to prioritize it. Here's an exercise I sometimes do. I set my alarm to go off when it's bedtime. This reminds me that it's time to wrap up WHATEVER I'm doing and go to sleep. Sometimes that means some things don't get done. After all, this blog post was supposed to go up LAST week. But is the world still turning? Let me check...
Getting sleep is also about managing your holiday obligations and your holiday expectations. We'll be talking about both of those things in the weeks ahead. But not right now, because it's time for me to get some shut eye.
So my little chicklettes, my plea for you is to find some time to lay down your fluffy little heads and head off to dreamland.
The Fat Chick
Monday, November 28, 2011
Although Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time of rest, and family and gratefulness. It seems to have become a lot more like a shark tank lately. From Target shoppers, stepping over the prone body of a man who had collapsed with a fatal heart condition, to a Walmart shopper using pepper spray to ensure she got the last copy of a video game on black friday to Aunt Thelma asking if you really needed that piece of pumpkin pie, the shark tank seems a pretty apt metaphor for what the holidays have become for many of us.
We're supposed to be thinking about love and happiness and goodwill to our fellow man, but how many of us are wishing we could be a super villain with our very own tank with sharks with freakin' laser beams on their heads? (See the video clip HERE.) And so on top of the shopping stress and the family stress, we have the depression that comes with guilt and unmet holiday expectations.
So, what's a girl to do? How do we navigate these treacherous waters? While I could probably write a book on this subject, you probably don't have time to read it. So I'm going to start a series of brief blog posts, each outlining a specific tip for helping you to survive the holidays, okay?
And here's the first tip:
1. RECOGNIZE THAT YOU'RE IN DANGEROUS WATERS:
For most of us, the holidays are no kiddie pool. You don't want go go wading in without some serious protective gear. I'm not talking about some inflatable water wings. Nope, I mean a harpoon, and a shark cage, and possibly nuclear incendiary devices. While it's good to be optimistic and think positive (maybe you could leave the nukes at home) it is a good idea to understand that the holidays are a difficult and stressful at times for almost everybody. So along with the holiday gift lists and grocery lists and packed holiday calendar, be sure to take a little time to plan to care for yourself. And to gird your loins my dear, for the days ahead.
The Fat Chick
P.S. Want to learn more about the shark tank in this picture? Check it out on my other blog: Stuff That Weighs More Than Me.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
|Let's truss up Santa! (Photo provided by Coley Chen under Creative Commons License.)|
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
But I'm looking forward to throwing the tent in the car with my sleeping bag and taking off for just one night. My awesome husband (the awesomest husband in the world) even promised to do the packing. So I'm taking a deep breath, giving my inner Virgo/Producer woman a holiday and releasing control over the camping prep. (Deep, breaths. Take DEEP breaths Jeanette.) I'll see y'all when I get back. And I'll let y'all know how it goes.
The Fat Chick
Friday, July 22, 2011
The Fat Chick
Posted by The Fat Chick at 5:52 PM
Saturday, April 30, 2011
I hosted the book signing today at my favorite coffee shop--Joe's Place. I sat right in MY chair. The very chair where I spend many hours, days and weeks with my trusty Mac laptop and an extra large, black, decaf coffee. Many of my students and dear friends came by to get an autographed copy. They were thrilled for me. And their excitement allowed it to soak in. I'm no longer considering the concept of thinking about maybe someday writing a book. I WROTE the blessed thing. I have a copy in my hand. I've crossed over to the long dreamed of moment where, sharpie in hand I've signed my name on the inside front cover and become an author. And the balmy moist breezes blew over the watering hole and I said, Ahhhhhh.
So hang in there my little chickadees. You're nearer the oasis then you think. See you at the watering hole.
The Fat Chick
Posted by The Fat Chick at 4:01 PM
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Well it's the second full week of January and by now I'll bet some of the shine has fallen off those New Year's resolutions. You know, the ones you fervently spout while sipping (or slurping) champagne on New Year's Eve. And also the ones you whisper as you nurse your hangover on the first morning of the year. Yeah those are the ones I'm talking about. And while you're still enjoying the shiny, new, I can be a size 4 by February resolution fantasy it can be a little hard to talk to you. Believe me, I know exactly what that's all about. But now that you've had a few weeks to think about it, and to allow reality to filter in allow me to offer you an alternative.
This year, a lot of folks in the fat acceptance and health at every size communities (including me) decided to create a "New Year's Revolution" instead of resolutions. This year, for every day in the month of January, we're focusing on a way to love, nurture and care for the bodies we already have rather than trying to change them into something else. It's super fun and super cool. You can find out more about it HERE.
I hope you check it out. The idea of loving and caring for yourself may be revolutionary, but at another level, it's just common sense. Viva la revolution!
The Fat Chick
Posted by The Fat Chick at 7:16 PM
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
When sharing my plight with my awesome friend Barbara, she offered this tasty tidbit of insight. "Well we all know that a great performance is usually preceded by a really crummy dress rehearsal. Naturally this means you will have an awesome year in 2011." And you know what, I think she's right. I don't need a fire extinguisher to put out all the fires. I need it because 2011 is going to be too darn hot! So circle up my little chickadees. I want to reassure you that 2011 will be less than perfect. We will need a fire extinguisher nearby to put out fires along the way. Stuff happens. But we will take it in stride. We will giggle at the absurdity of our tribulations. And we will win. And naturally, we'll also need a fire extinguisher nearby just to protect those near and dear from our overwhelming hotness! Happy New Year.
The Fat Chick
Posted by The Fat Chick at 7:56 AM