Sunday, May 13, 2012

I was feeling rather hateful towards my body tonight. It's an old familiar feeling, and it's incredibly cruel. I feel disgust and contempt and anger. It's this ugly body's fault that I am not happy, that I am not in a relationship, that I am shy and self-conscious. My poor body. I shouldn't be so abusive towards it.  Even after all of the work I have been putting in to not falling for those same old lies (that diets work, that thinness equals love and happiness, that fat is ugly, that I am worthless and unlovable because of my shapeless and ugly body), they still creep up on me. If I don't check them swiftly and often they'll take hold of me and choke me before I even realize what's happening. Sometimes the lies get so loud in my head that the only way to shut them up to start a new diet, obsess over everything I eat, force myself to exercise when I don't want to. Of course doing things you hate doing is unsustainable and I give up soon enough (usually feeling like a total failure). 

This is hard on me. I don't want to be like that. I want to call bullshit on the whole cycle, on all of the lies, and especially on how justified and righteous I feel when I bash myself for something that is so much not in my control. I'm pretty sure that perverse feeling of righteousness comes from when I was younger and I bought in to everyone's cruel remarks about my body. They would let up if I agreed with them. As long as they knew I despised myself as much as they did, my fatness was slightly more acceptable. Sometimes they would even be nice ("no, you're not that fat!"). Or maybe it's my Mormon habit of constant self examination, the constant comparison of myself with others to check my own standing before God, the constant struggle towards perfection (which I'm also learning to give up, or at least rethink, for the sake of my emotional health and sanity). In any case I firmly believe that no good comes from self-contempt, from guilt, or from comparison with other people. How can I be healthy physically if I hate my body? How can I be healthy spiritually if I get caught in guilt cycles? How can I be healthy emotionally if I compare myself with the fraction of what I know of other people's lives? 

Fortunately I caught it before I woke up tomorrow morning with a new diet in mind. I won't do it. I do not eat badly and I don't need to change any of my eating habits. I move my body every day, and I certainly could move it more, but I think that means I need to find things to get me out of the house and doing stuff. I want to live with a purpose and it's hard to be purposeful when I'm running as fast as I can on a machine going no where. My brain does not like that.

Also, this article helped a lot to remind me that diets are evil and that I don't have to hide my body. Also I bought some fantastic new clothes. I read an article the other day in Bitch Magazine about "fatshion" and how we fat ladies should not be hiding our bodies in shame. She talked about how using fashion to be visible is political, it's participating in fat activism. Visible bodies are powerful bodies; they are speaking bodies, and they demand to be seen and heard. That's why fashion in general is important for women, and why it is especially important for fat women to take seriously. (Seriously, there's this theory called "presence politics" that I plan on learning more about this summer). They want us to hate ourselves into dieting (they being the diet industry first and foremost, but also the people who buy into the cult of the body and the narrowly defined ideals of beauty that actually causes all but a small percentage of people to suffer for it). They want us to disappear, or to fulfill stereotypes and dress like lazy slobs so they can feel righteous and justified in their shaming. So instead of being committed to a diet, I'm going to be committed to finding and wearing loud clothes (which believe me can be very very difficult in a world where the only clothes I can fit into are either online or only found in one store at the mall. Clearly fatties are more profitable in the diet industry than in the fashion industry). So I bought four new patterned tops for my trip to New York next week (which is a big deal because I hardly ever wear patterned fabric). And I'm going to flaunt it.  I also bought a necklace, which is again a big deal because I never accessorize. 

So yeah, don't hate your body. It's beautiful. It's a freaking miracle. And I'll try to not hate mine. 

Friday, May 11, 2012


I feel like life has been pretty intense since school got out. Colors are bright in May. Food tastes better when it's humid and hot. Nothing gets done but I'm exhausted at the end of every day. I play video games now. I sing more often, and I sing louder than I ever have. I listen to simple songs over and over again. I play them on the ukulele until they annoy me. I plant flowers and the flowers distract me when I'm trying to study. How can I read when there are seven pots of plants next to me? Life exists in front of me and it is so vivid. So I can't help but stare and watch and nothing really happens, but all of it is happening. And it is all right there.

I planted these and they're still alive. 
T and I watch an episode of the Dick Van Dyke show (or two or three) every time we hang out. Now that is some solid comedy. I'm always surprised at how much I laugh and how much joy the show gives me. (And because it was aired in 1961 there are always some pretty problematic and sexist issues T and I can talk about). A great deal of my life right now revolves around television. I watched the latest episode of Parks and Recreation today and I sobbed because that show is about making sacrifices for the people you care about, helping them achieve their dreams, being there for them, building communities. It is such a positive show. It's always been a bright spot in my life when I spend a great deal of my days thinking about the possibilities of meaninglessness, the certainty of death. Thank goodness for tv, and for friends, and for steaks and cupcakes and karaoke. And the ukulele, and maybe even for Kentucky. (also, k is apparently the letter of the day).

Our favorite: steak, mashed potatoes, spinach salad, homemade boba tea, and Dick Van Dyke

Quinoa cupcakes with lavender frosting 
T and I.B. on the balcony. 

The most beautiful day

I.B. loves Fuchsia 

T and B (aka The Twins) are so cute

Tea party! 

And, as promised, here is the poem I wrote for my Renaissance/critical theory class (that sucked! did I mention that?) 

To his sweet still trembling tender youth I write
These feeble rhymes. To courage, to victory wrought
By a greater power, by Love, a force unsought
But known. His heart still racing from the fight,

From victory's drug his muscles twitch, alight
With life. And Love, her Holiness, has caught
My heart, ensnared with beauty every thought
Of him, his triumph, his sweet submissive might.

To my own still trembling heart I hold my prize:
A body lithe, a spirit blessed by Fate.
To him, his wisdom, beauty, grace, I sing, 

Upon his youthful slender frame my eyes
Like warm hands linger, trace, and consummate
His quest for glory. O my child, my king.  

Also, here's the adorable Brazilian song I've been listening to (and learning to sing and play on the uke)