Freakin' laser beams on their freakin' heads.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I was trolling through photos, looking for inspiration for my post-Thanksgiving blog post when I came across this beauty.  "Yup, that's the one," I said.  You may ask why.  You may wonder why I'm looking at a photo with no turkeys or pilgrims or Norman Rockwell paintings as the perfect choice.  If you're wondering that, well you DO have a lot to be thankful for.  But I'm guessing that most of you are giggling right now because you know EXACTLY what I'm getting at.

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:
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.

Tubby Bunnies, Moral Panic and A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Let's truss up Santa!  (Photo provided by Coley Chen under Creative Commons License.)

Over the past few months, few things have driven home the overblown panic surrounding fat people than this recent article on the Hopper Home Bunny Blog declaring an "obesity emergency" among pet rabbits.  That’s right.  Although rabbits consume the lowest amount of “junk food” among household pets at 26%, they are BLOWING UP at an alarming rate.  26% of British Bunnies apparently equates to over 430,000 rotund rabbits!  These thousands of rabbits are "at risk of developing obesity related and certainly life-threatening disease if their diets don’t improve."  Lock up your children!  Stay indoors!  Somebody better develop Lapin Band surgery for these corpulent cottontails.

One week later, this statement came out demonstrating the moralistic food police in a total tizzy over trick or treating.  UPI hosted a statement that pointed out that kids gather between 3,500 and 7,000 calories during trick or treating.  Oh the horrors!  They even noted that (gasp) the U.S. President and First Lady handed out CANDY to trick or treaters at the White House.  Donna Arnett, head of the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health suggests that people give kids money instead of candy (because kids love money), and that parents hand out pedometers to their kids and give a prize (non-food of course) to the kids with the most steps.  Okaaaaay.

Well we’re smack dab in the middle of this holiday season, and I wonder, who else is going to be implicated in this obesity epidemic?  Will we truss up St. Nick next to the holiday turkey and serve him up as a bad role model?  I mean, that guy could stand to lose a few, right?  Are we going to put Baby New Year on a diet?  Maybe that kid could live longer than a year if he ate a little broccoli, right?  And the prescription for the Easter Bunny goes without saying (see above).

I’d like to suggest that we all take a holiday from weight obsession.  Can we take a few weeks to work on managing our stress and getting a little bit of good sleep?  Can we choose to enjoy holiday treats openly and while we’re hungry for them, rather than denying ourselves, and then closet eating all the Christmas cookies?  Can we engage in regular, rational and pleasurable physical activity, rather than doing nothing until New Years and then weekend warrioring ourselves right into an injury?  Can we all just take a deep breath and calm down?  That’s my plan and my holiday gift to you.  Sleep in heavenly peace my friends.

The Fat Chick.

The illusion of being safe.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

“Safe!”  Shouted as a runner gets to a base, shouted as you reach the goal in kick the can, this word is a happy one.  It means you made it to a place no one can harm you.  It reminds us of our childhoods with wide laps and warm beds and somebody always there to brush away the tears.  But how many of us really feel safe in our own skins?

Ever since the cries of “fatty, fatty, 2x4” and the comments about “letting yourself go,” and the fact that you have, “such a pretty face”, have you ever really felt safe?  Do you feel safe, knowing that a perfect stranger feels justified in yelling things at you from across the street?  Do you feel safe knowing that any time you go to a doctor or dentist or even optometry shop (not kidding here) some professional who is supposed to be helping you may launch into some body disparaging nonsense rather than giving you the help you’ve been asking for?  If you don’t, it’s no surprise.  It can be especially hard feeling safe in a fat body.

It’s enough to make you never want to go out of the house.  It’s enough to make one want to snuggle down, with your cats and doggies and put a blanket over your head.  It’s enough to make you not want to dare anything.

I know that I’ve done a lot of work about moving ahead in my life.  I no longer want to wait until I’m thin to do the things I want to in my life.  I imagined what I would do if I were thin, and started doing them anyways.  I started teaching exercise.  I became a writer and a producer.  I made a DVD and I wrote a book.  I’m proud to say I’ve done a lot.  But I still find myself in a stuck place.  I still find myself shyly dipping a toe in the water instead of holding my nose and doing a cannonball into the pool.  I still find myself wanting assurance that I’ll be safe.

But here’s the thing.  Safety is relative.  There is not one person anywhere who is completely safe.  Safety is mostly an illusion that we build for ourselves.  So I’ll keep trying.  I’ll keep building the strength I need to slay the dragons I meet along the glory road.  I’ll go out the door with my head held high and my wits about me.  I’ll not be a simpering princess sighing in a high tower waiting for somebody to rescue me.  I’LL rescue me.  Wish me luck!  Love, The Fat Chick