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Category Archives: Rants

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What It’s Like To Be A Fat, Sick, Woman In The US – Part 1 Why I Am Speaking Out About My Disabilities

I have wavered back and forth about doing this post for the last month or so. If you have followed me here on the blog for any amount of time you know I have health issues, but you probably don’t know to what degree they truly affect me. And to be honest even most people who know me in person don’t know how affected I am by my health, and how much of a struggle it is at times just to live.

You may also have noticed that since around Christmas time I have significantly slowed down, both here on the blog and on social media. Unfortunately that has been not of choice, but out of necessity. I have had moments where I have done more, either because I had a break and started feeling better, or out of obligation I pushed myself past the point I should have and worked anyways.

Online Fitness, Yoga and Cooking Videos

Please understand, the things I just said and all the things I am about to share with you are not for pity. I am absolutely not sharing this for pity, nor do I want anyone’s sorrow or pity. But under the current governments administration it is very clear that I as a fat, disabled, woman am being treated as a person that has no value and in many ways am under attack.

Because of the nature of my blog I think that most of the people who visit here will already identify with being a woman, especially a fat women. And even if you are, for the most part healthy, you can probably still appreciate the extra frustration that comes with dealing with healthcare. All the extra time spent talking about your weight, even when it has nothing to do with what you are there for. Or the down talking you get for just being a woman. But there is a special sort of hell that you go through when you add having disabilities into the picture. Part of that is because when you have the types of disabilities I have, essentially your job becomes going to the doctor. And its ridiculous how long it can take to find a doctor who will simply take you serious enough to actually look at you like a person and try to find out what’s wrong rather than just going with “it’s because you are fat”.

Ultimately I suppose I have a few goals in writing this post. I hope maybe for those of you who are completely healthy to perhaps gain some understanding of the people in your life who are disabled. I would love for people to understand how the healthcare changes massively affect people with disabilities and how congress trying to get rid of the ADA(American’s With Disabilities Act) at the same time makes it feel like a war against the disabled. And more than anything else, I want other people who are going through similar things to know they aren’t alone.

So in the beginning I mentioned that I struggled with whether or not I wanted to write this post. Obviously I did decide to write the post, but I decided I wanted to make it as thorough as possible. Since I foresee this becoming very long and possibly overwhelming, I decided it was best to break this into multiple posts. In this first post I really just wanted to share why I wanted to talk about this topic and what I hoped to accomplish from it. In the next post I want to talk about my own diagnoses, what difficulties they actually cause for me, and under Trump’s healthcare bill how many would be preexisting conditions.

I do plan on having several parts to this, but I am not sure how many exactly. I think this will be done when I feel like its done. If you have any questions or topics you want me to address in the next part, please feel free to post them in the comments or go to my contact page and send me a message.

 

 


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My Thoughts On The ModCloth Buy Out

Modcloth taken over by Jet

Modcloth taken over by Jet

 

If you are a ModCloth lover or follow any number of plus size blogger, you probably already heard ModCloth has been bought out. The news was leaked just the day after their Groupons went up for sale. They were bought by Jet who is owned by Wal-Mart. This has in fact made many ModCloth lovers, including me quite upset.

The problem is the two companies sort of stand for completely different things, both from a business and ethical stand point. Plus given their total different approach to plus size clothing, this may leave the plus size consumer out in the cold. And based on just a couple of changes that has already taken place, one can only speculate that this takeover will see the decline of the things most have loved about ModCloth.

You might have seen that I posted about the Groupon that ModCloth had posted the day before the news leak of the buy out. I myself had bought one. After reading the news I went back and forth in mind about what I wanted to do. So I personally have made a decision. After I use my Groupon, I personally will not be shopping with ModCloth any more, and I will explain why.

I currently do not shop with Wal-Marts or Jet. I do not like their business practices or their treatment of their employees, and I do not want to support any business they own. Where I live there are many options to shop at places that treat their employees well and that are more ethical. I do on rare occasion have to buy from Wal-Mart if they are the only place that carries something and its an emergencies, but I try everywhere else first. I want to also say, when I was on a tight budget and living by myself, I did shop at Wal-Mart because I had no choice. I totally get not everyone has that choice because of finances or location, and I hold no judgment of anyone who does shop there. This is simply a personal decision.

For me, I feel like that even if everything stayed the same at ModCloth after this I would not want to shop there. Because even if they did continue paying those employees fair wages and keep ethical standards, shopping there is still ultimately supporting the parent company.

ModCloth for a long time has filled a niche in the plus size market. But don’t worry, there are other places to get those vintage and retro inspired clothes you desire if you feel like I do. I will be working on a list for you of alternative places to shop, and I hope to have it up soon.

In the mean time I would love to hear your thoughts on the take over. Tell me in comments below how do you feel about it? Will you continue shopping ModCloth? And please share any and all the vintage and retro clothing brands you know.

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Women’s History Month and Other Upcoming Events

Women's History Month

Women's History Month

 

As you all probably already know, March is Women’s History Month. At this moment, as we struggle to hold on to many of our freedoms and rights we have fought for through the years, I think it is more important than ever to talk about Women’s rights and the women who have fought for them thought history. We need to remember where we came from, and why we must fight to maintain the rights we have both earned and deserve.

So all through the month I will be sharing, both here on the blog and on social media, information, thought, and feelings about women I admire through history. I have already started on social media, and you can find those post easily by searching the hash tag #womenshistorymonth

I will be talking about women both living and deceased, so know one is exempt. I know a lot of other people are also sharing women they admire, so don’t be afraid to explore everyone’s post. And I fully encourage all of you to share as well, whether that be here on the blog in the comments section or on your social media accounts.

 

Just another reminder of some other things coming up soon.

Next month I will be participating again in #AllDressApril. If you don’t know what that is you can check out last years post. This year I am working on something really special for you all in conjunction with it. Look for the announcement on that near the end of the month. Since April will be filled with fashion, you probably won’t be seeing a lot of it this month.

Also next month I will be going to The International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio. It will be on April 28 – 30 this year. Let me know if you are going too. And don’t be afraid to say hi.

 

Tell me in the comments below if you have a personal female hero from history.

 

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Out With The Old, In With The New – What’s Coming In 2017

goodby-2016-welcome-2017-to-all-friends

goodby-2016-welcome-2017-to-all-friends

If you have been missing post from me the last couple of weeks, sorry for the sudden MIA. I decided to take some much needed time with friends and family as well as time to work on things around my home. I also found this a great time for some self reflection and healing.

It’s been a really crazy year in many ways, with many highs, and unfortunately many more lows. We can all sit around and wallow in the misery of 2016 or we can do something about it. The world needs healing, and that can only happen if we work together and make plans with positive intent.

I am not really much for New Years resolutions, I think they are statements of grandeur that no one is ever able to live up to and leave you feeling like a failure, so I won’t be making any of those. What I do like are attainable goals, and I thought I would spend some time in this post sharing some of my personal goals for the year as well as goals for the blog. I will also be sharing some various itinerary going on for the blog and my various social media outlets.

setting goals

First let me talk about my own personal goals because I think that may be what some of you can relate to more.

  1. I want to work harder to find a sleep schedule that works for me. (I have suffered from Chronic Insomnia since I was very young and as I have aged it really makes a difference in how my other health issues do)
  2. I want to work on creating a household budget.
  3. I would like to get at least two bills completely paid off this year. (bills the bane of everyone’s existence, they ruin all the fun.)
  4. I want to finish getting my house rearranged and organized by the end of the year. (I would prefer mid year, but I would be happy with end of year)

 

As far as the blog and my various social media, I am happy with the direction I have been going. And everyone’s comments and continued support seems to say that you all think so to. I can happily say I met all my goals except one this past year, so I am also happy with that. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have bigger and better goals for the year ahead, and if you are here reading this now I am so glad you are here wanting to grow with me.

Since I have done my best to stay transparent with all of you about what is going on with the blog the past few years I wanted to continue that. Here are the goals for the blog and my social media for this year.

  1. I would like to get at least two paid post this year. (I had my very first one last year, and managed to keep it within the scope of things I like and use. I am confident I can continue with that)
  2. I would like to see at least 100 visitors a day to the blog by the end of the year. (I currently have about 50 on average)
  3. I would like to see more comments and participation from you my readers. (I currently only get consistent commenting on giveaways, but I really love talking to you.)
  4. I would like to have 1200 Instagram followers at least. (Currently I have just a little over 500. I could easily have more now if I wanted to trade out like for like, but I want followers who actually want to follow me and like what I produce. Its quality over quantity that is important to me.)
  5. I would like to double my Twitter following by the end of the year. (I currently have around 180 followers. I’m just not as active on there as I am on other social media.)
  6. I would like to fit 1,000 followers on Facebook. (I think I am at like 830 at the moment)
  7. I would like to see my shares on Facebook increase. I don’t have a tangible number in place here.

I think that sums up my major goals for the blog and social media. If I do more than this, I will be ecstatic, but if I just hit these goals I will be happy.

 

Upcoming events of interest

Here are some things coming up soon that you don’t want to miss.

  1.  For the month of January I have challenged myself and a few others to staying on top of skin care. It’s a sheet mask challenge on Instagram. Every day of January I will be using a different sheet mask, no repeats. And I will be posting pictures along with info on what I used and where you can get it on Instagram. You can find mine in my feed or look for anyone that chose to do it by searching the hashtag #newyearnewskin All are welcome to participate that want to. Just remember to tag your pictures with the hashtag.
  2. As I have the last couple of years I will be attending the International Steampunk Symposium. The dates for this years event is April 28 -30. If you go please don’t be afraid to say hello, just don’t come over and put your hands on me without introducing yourself. Yes I have had that happen.
  3. All Dress April – I do plan on participating in that again, both on Instagram and here on the blog. If you don’t know what All Dress April is, you can search my previous blog posts and it will show you post from last year.

Those are the things I know for sure that are coming up outside of just the average blog post this year. I will try and update you of any new events as they arise.

 

Tell me in the comments below either something good that happened to you this year or a goal you have for making next year better.

Also please let me know if there are any specific challenges you would like me to participate in, products you want me to review, or topics you want me to cover in a blog post. While I can’t promise till I hear your ideas, I will consider all requests.
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2016 Gift Guide For The Girls and Guys On Your List

Christmas gift guide

Christmas gift guide

 

I know I have been doing a lot of reviews of products I thought would make good gifts, and those posts will probably continue on into December. But I wanted to actually put together a gift guide. This will include some things I have reviewed and a lot of things I have not. I will be including some things that make great stocking stuffers as well as gifts. And almost everything on this list will be budget friendly. I thought this was important because I see so many people make these fantastic gift guides, and even though my husband and I certainly aren’t poor I am left thinking who has the money to give these items as gifts. Nothing in my list should be over $50, and most of them are significantly less than that.

I really wanted to do this post because I love to give gifts. It is my primary love language, if you are familiar with The Five Love Languages. I think people sometimes misunderstand this love language and think its about materialism, but its really about symbolism. Its not about the money spent, its showing that you took the time to get to know someone enough to know what they like. Its showing someone you really know who they are, and you care enough to pay attention. And since gift giving, and receiving is so important to me, I wanted to take the time to share some items that might make good gifts. Some items are even items I have already bought for people on my list. If it is a child or someone I know for sure doesn’t check my blog I will share those items. So lets get started.

For The People Who Always Need To Be Plugged In

 Five Port USB Smart Charger By FREEWISE


Polanfo 12000mAh Power Bank for Smartphones and Tablets

For The Selfie Queens


Leadpo Selfie Light Ring, 3-Level Brightness LED Clip On for All Smart Phones


OCYCLONE Anti-Gravity Phone case [Self Sticky case] Nano-suction Technology Hands-Free Selfie Shockproof Cover

 

For The Jewelry Feinds


PearlPlus Vintage Skull Dinosaur Necklace Choker Jewelry


eManco Statement Tassel Pendant Necklaces Handmade Wood Bead Bohemian Jewelry

For The Kids


DreamWorks Trolls Poppy Talkin’ Troll Plush Doll


LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – 76060 Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum

 

For The Kids At Heart


Emio Mix-Monsters Headphones Black Kitten


Rocksmith 2014 [Online Game Code]

For All My Fellow Mermaids And Unicorns


BOOBEI 18inch Double Colors Reversible Sequins Mermaid Pillow Cases 18″by18″


Alkemie & Artistry Mermaid Sparkles Cameo on .925 Silver Necklace


Unicorn Poop Soap : a magical, sparkly, sweet-smelling treat for the unicorn-lover in your life


Celtic Goblet with White Unicorn Head

For The Readers In Your Life


Fire Tablet, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB

And don’t forget the Kindle Unlimited.

 

So in the comments below let me know who is on your list, and would you buy one of my suggestions for them? Just remember when you are out buying your gift, its not about how much you spend its how much thought goes into the gift that really matters. So don’t put pressure on yourselves to spend so much. Keep things simple and from the heart.

 

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Where Do You Get Your Self Confidence? – Six Tips To Become More Positive And Self Confident

Self confidence looks good on you.

self-confidence

Where do you get your self confidence? ……… That is hands down the number one question I get from blog readers, friends, aquaintences, etc…. The answer, well its neither simple, nor is there really one correct answer. And truth of the matter, I am still a work in progress. I may have more confidence than some, but I still have my days where I doubt myself or let those bad thoughts in.

I think there is some element of how my parents raised me that has helped with my confidence. That may sound odd to any of you who read my post about my journey to self acceptance. My father did say and do a lot of things in my pre-teen and teen years that left me with body image issues to say the least. But my mom did everything she could to counteract that. And outside of my dad’s fat phobia, both of my parents constantly told me that I was smart and capable, and that I could do anything I wanted. Really a contrast there for my father I know, but that is sometimes how it is living with someone who is mentally ill.

Just because you didn’t have the same sort of family life I did, that doesn’t mean you can’t get to place of confidence. I am happy to share with you some of the things that I think have helped me at various stages of my journey. Some of these may sound cliché, some of them may sound silly, and some may be difficult for you. But, they are what worked for me, and I think they can help you too.

This is not a step by step guide, so these are in no particular order.

1. Fake It Till You Make It

I am a great believer that you can fake it till you make it. Research has shown that making yourself perform simple physical task can bring forth emotions. The most commonly cited is the case talked about in Psychology Today, showing just the act of smiling itself can make you happier. So even if you aren’t feeling confident in the moment, sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, push out your chest, head up, and say here I am world bring it on.

And every time you do that it gets a little bit easier. You realize each time you were up for the challenge before. You have got this. Whether it be going into a challenging meeting or simply stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new with your wardrobe, you can do it.

2. Stop Caring About What Other People Think

Someone recently asked me what I would tell myself as a teenager if I could go back in time. The number one piece of advice I would give myself, and anyone else for that matter is don’t worry so much about what other people think.

The truth is people don’t really think about you that much, unless they are trolls on the internet and they don’t matter. I know that may sound harsh to some, but people are busy they have their own problems and worries. So short of you making a decision that directly affects maybe a family member, people don’t really get that worked up about the fact that a fat girl went sleeveless or her mid section is showing. I know the trolls on the internet might have you think so, but there have been post after post of plus size bloggers showing how nothing happened when they wore a bikini or when they wore a crop top. Oh they got some stares, but probably not more than you do on the average day as a fat person.

3. Learn To Take The Compliment

How many times have you had this happen? Your performing a task or out running an errand and someone says “You look so nice today”, “You are so talented”, “You have the most beautiful smile”, etc….And instead of saying “Thank You” and stopping there, you say “Oh, this isn’t my usual clothes” or “My sister’s smile is so much nicer than mine, you should see hers”. Do you do that? I can say I have been guilty of it in the past, and I struggle with it at times now still.

For me there is definitely two things going on that causes that internal struggle. First I  that think just being a woman, especially a plus size woman, we are taught early on we shouldn’t seek those compliments. I have to continually remind myself that just because someone offered me a compliment, that isn’t the same thing as attention seeking. And the second bit is a little more personally targeted. I am a bit of an introvert, I do have my moment where I can step out of that, but I also have a fear of not just public speaking, but really anything that puts major attention on me. I know that there are definitely others that have that same issue. For me, blogging and posting pictures of me can even be difficult at times, but I can step out of my discomfort when my desire to help others is greater than my fear.

So how do you learn to take those compliments when you have spent a lifetime avoiding them? All I can do is tell you what worked for me. I started trying to look at the compliments as gifts. For me gift giving is my major love language, and I find a lot of joy in giving them. I know a lot of people who feel the same. When someone refuses your gift, or even if they don’t refuse it but just try to because they feel bad about receiving it, they are in a way stealing some of your joy about giving it. And when someone loses joy in giving to you they are less likely to give to you again. In the long run you hurt both yourself and them. And so its the same with a compliment. Like I said, I still have moment where I struggle wanting to turn the compliment down. So I might pause for a moment, but then I say thank you and smile.

4. Don’t Base Your Self Worth Around Your Looks

I get it, we are constantly bombarded with images of what the ideal woman or man looks like and acts like. Hell, at this point in our society we are even constantly told what the perfect thing is to buy if you want to be cool or accepted. But that is clever marketing from companies that want to make sales. And most of the images we are sold on are not real. You have to fight to keep that out of your head.

So when you evaluate your self worth try to focus less on the physical appearance and more on your strengths, talents, and achievements in life. Maybe even make a list of some of your best qualities. When you’re feeling really down about yourself this may be a hard task to accomplish. If you feel stuck try asking a friend to help you out.

5. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

I think many of us living in plus size bodies, especially us ladies, often get trapped into thinking we are the only ones who have body image issues. But the truth is I have yet to meet a person, man or woman, of any size who doesn’t have some sort of insecurity about their body. There is no such thing as a perfect body, or the perfect face.

And we do a lot of comparing ourselves to the people we think are those perfect ideals. But the only perfect person you can be is you. Instead of spending your time trying to achieve something impossible, put your efforts into to becoming the best you that you can be. I promise, when you stop comparing yourself to other people your confidence will soar.

6. Remove The Negativity From Your Life

Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” Do I think this is accurate? I don’t know if the number is correct, but I think the concept he is trying to convey is sound. The people we spend time with really affect who we are and how we look at life. If we surround ourselves with people who have positive attitudes and are confident, then we start to immolate that. But the same is true for being surrounded by people who are negative points in our life.

I think this is probably the thing that is the hardest for people to change. Sometimes you have to illuminate those negative influences, or at least limit your time around them, if you really want to make a real change in your life. Each person has to make the judgment of what is appropriate and what is not. For me there are some clear lines of what is appropriate to be negative about and what not to be negative about. For example any major health issue, major accident, life altering events, etc… you get what I am going for, these are all reasonable things to express negative thoughts on. But if you make constant negative comments about other people, their appearance, every day events, etc.. this is where I have to start evaluating whether spending time with you is going to effect my state of mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you just dump people for good out of you life, unless that is what you want. I am a proponent of honesty is the best policy. If its someone you really care about, talk to the person and tell them you feel they are too negative. Maybe you can help make both of your lives better. Or if its someone less important in your life and you still don’t want to let them go, perhaps just schedule less time with them. Use that time to spend with someone who has a positive attitude.

 

I really hope these tips have helped some of you. I could probably give a few more, but I think some of the points would become a little over lapping and repetitive. If you have a tip to share please leave it in the comments below.

 

 

 

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Part 3 – Where I Am Going, Let’s Grow Together

Where I am going in the future

Over the last few weeks I have written about my my past and my present. Today I want to talk to you about where I see myself and the blog going in the future.

Where I am going in the future

It took me a little longer to think about what I wanted to write for this one, and I realize a lot of that is because I have never been one for planning. I have always had general ideas and goals, but never a solid plan.  And perhaps its a good thing for me to be writing this just so I can start developing a more solid plan for the future.

My goal for this blog is, and always has been, to help as many people as possible while doing something I love. But I want it to be something bigger than that. I really want to develop a sense of community here. I want you to become engaged and share your stories. Let’s help build each other up.

I thin k in the past I hadn’t been putting the focus on the blog the way I really should, and that is really because I had my attention spread too much into too many things. So as I move into this next year, I want to make sure I focus most of my attention on this blog. I want to make more of an effort to find ways to step outside my own comfort zone. It may be cliché but I do believe that saying, be the change you want to see. So if I am asking you my readers to step out of your comfort zones to make a difference in your world, I should do the same.

We create our on futures, or destinies, however you want to fraise it. So I want to create something where we all come together and create a positive world to live in. I ask for help from all of you by participating in conversations and by you also keeping a positive mind space.

This will be a continual work in progress. I will start working on a more structured plan. I also welcome input in the form of suggestions of what you would like to see on the blog and constructive criticism from each of you. However if you do not understand the difference between constructive criticism and criticism, it is best to save it.

I also would love to hear what your own goals are? Are you a planner or are you like me and go with more of a general idea?

 

 

 

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Plus Size Shopping Guide For Labor Day Weekend Sales 2016

labor-day-treadmill-sales-deals-1024x640

labor-day-treadmill-sales-deals-1024x640

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday weekend with their friends and family. And for those of you who have to continue to work today, know you are appreciated even if it doesn’t always feel like it.

I am off spending time with a member of my friends family who just had surgery, but I wanted to leave you guys with shopping guide for the holiday weekend. I love a sale! Who doesn’t, am I right? Any how below is the list of stores I know are having sales for the weekend. Some sales may not be announced ahead of time and some may not be exclusive to just Labor Day.

I will try and update with any new information I have if and when I get time this weekend, so check back if you can. Make sure you leave me a comment below and let me know if you got anything special. And let me and everyone else know if there is a killer sale we should all be running for.

 

Aidrianna Papelle

Summer Dress Sale! Up to 62% Off Dresses at Adrianna Papell! A line, fit and flare & more styles are now only $59.99. Limited time only. Shop now! – note dresses actually start at $39.99 in this sale.

 

Amazon

Labor Day Savings Up To 70 Percent Off on Women’s Plus Size Amazon
 

Ashley Stewart

Labor Day Weekend Sale: 30% off your full-price purchase

 

City Chic

Shop City Chic’s labour day sale for 30% off Formal Dresses! Valid August 30- September 12

Get an additional 30% off sale at City Chic! Valid August 30- September 29

Get 2 Basics for $20 at City Chic! Valid July 12th – September 26th

Get 25% off your first purchase at City Chic with code: 25OFF1ST!

 

Dressbarn

BOGO 50% Off On Tops at dressbarn Labor Day Sale

Take $20 off $100 and Free Shipping with code 20SEP100 at dressbarn

 

Lane Bryant

Labor Day Sale: 40% OFF Apparel, Sleepwear & Accessories with code: LABORDAY at Lane Bryant (9/1-9/6)

ONLINE ONLY: 40% OFF $250+ w/ FS use code: JU40AFFLB (ends 9/1) – excludes clearance, Cacique + all third-party brands

ONLINE ONLY: $25 OFF $75+ w/ FS use code: JU25AFFLB (ends 9/1) – excludes clearance, Cacique + all third-party brands

Cacique Everyday Deal: 5 for $35 Panties + BOGO 50% Off Bras!

Up to 75% End of Summer Clearance Sale at Lane Bryant

 

Lovesick

End of Summer Clearance Event online at Lovesick.com. Prices starting at $3.99! See site for details.

BOGO 50% Off Reg Price & BOGO Free Clearance at Lovesick.com. Cannot be combined. Some exclusions may apply.

Maurices

StoreWide BOGO 50% Off with code LOVE2BOGO, valid 8/31- 9/5

50% Off 1 Reg. Price Item + Free Shipping with code 1222, valid 8/30-9/10

 

ModCloth

Labor Day Sale – Up to 50% Off

 

Society Plus

Summer Closet Clearout – New clearance items starting at 40% off

 

Swimsuits For All

Get Up to 65% Off Sitewide and Free Shipping this Labor Day at swimsuitsforall.com. No Code Needed

 

 

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Part 2 – Where I Am At, The Challenge Of Staying Positive And Empowered

Hello World

Hello World

Last week in Part 1 – Where I Came From, The Journey to Self Acceptance I told you a lot about my past and how it led me to writing the blog. Today I wanted to talk about where I’m at now in life and how I stay motivated.

With many goals in life, you achieve the goal, you set your next goal, and you move on. But with things like positivity, self-confidence, and empowerment it doesn’t work that way. Just like anything that makes up who we are as a person, things fluctuate and change on a moment by moment basis. So to keep ourselves mentally healthy and strong, it is really a daily task.

I definitely have my days where I feel less than my best. I have my self doubts, old fears start creeping in, and negative messages get to me. Thankfully as the years have went by those moments have gotten fewer and fewer. I have found now that I am in my late thirties I am happier with who I am. I not only feel more confident in myself, but I just care less about what others think of me and my choices. And quite honestly, the prospects of my forties have me excited. I know a lot of people fear aging, but why? Your age will never hold you back from doing anything, only your mind will.

One of the main things that helps keep me motivated to do the blog is helping others. At this stage in my life there is no greater compliment that you could give me than telling me that I have inspired you or made your life better in some way. Don’t get me wrong, everyone likes to hear that someone finds them attractive from time to time, especially their spouse. But those kinds of compliments meant a lot more to me when I was younger.

Empowered women are beautiful beyond measure

I have had people tell me recently that they wish they could be brave like me. I honestly was kind of confused by this at first. Then as we chatted more I realized they were simply talking about the fact that I usually don’t wear sleeves in the summer. I will be honest here. It’s not bravery, its hot as balls in Kentucky in the summer and it’s certainly too hot to have to give a fuck what anyone else thinks about how my arms look. And if my arms or any other part of my fat self helps inspire anyone else to not give a flying fuck then I am elated. And I will be happy no matter what you think of me. If you think wow she looks fantastic, I really want to try out some of those same looks she wears, then that’s great. But I will be equally okay with you think wow what a fat cow, well if she can wear that then so can I. Either way the goal has been achieved to inspire someone to try something new.

While we are on the subject of blog content, I have been trying really hard despite personal issues and illnesses to get the blog on a schedule. I feel I am really happy with the direction I have it going in, and I hope that you as the readers are too. I certainly have felt like there has been a momentum growing from it since I implemented some of the changes at the beginning of the year. I want more than anything to build a safe community in which other women feel supported and where they feel like their opinions matters. I will always welcome any and all feedback from you. And I will do my best to always keep the trolls out. I have been lucky to not have been hit yet, but I know my day is coming.

I feel blessed that I have been able to work with such a great company on a continual basis like Beauteque. It’s really important to me that if I work with and promote any company here on the blog, outside of a general review, that it be a company that I thoroughly believe in.

Outside of the blog coming up next months will be mine and my husband’s third anniversary. It’s odd how it feels like it was both yesterday and forever ago at the same time. Like any couple we have some small bumps in the road, but we work on it daily. I love him as much now as I did the day I said I do. One good thing about our marriage is that we both truly believe that it’s not important whether you have conflict (because you will), but how you resolve those conflicts determine whether you can last. We are also really fortunate to have a fantastic supportive friends group that we consider family. You have seen a few of them here on the blog, and I am sure you will see them in the future too.

I think that pretty much covers where I am in life and what keeps me motivated. Do you blog? Let me know what you blog about and what helps keep you motivated.

 

 

 

 

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Part 1 – Where I Came From, The Journey of Self Acceptance

The Journey To Self Acceptance

The Journey To Self Acceptance

As I am moving into my third year of blogging I have found myself making plans for what direction I want to take the blog over the next year. I have also been reflecting a lot on past post and the growth I have achieved in just this past few months. But as I think back I realized I have never really shared my journey that brought me to blogging.

I thought I would make this a three-part post about 1. where I cam from. 2. where I am now, and 3. where I am going. I think, if nothing else, many of you will see yourself in parts of my story. And I hope my journey helps someone who is struggling find their way to self acceptance.

I think there is nowhere like the beginning to start, so lets start there. I grew up in eastern Kentucky on a farm in the middle of no where (which to be fair, to most people the middle of no where would describe most of eastern Kentucky). I was, and still am, an only child and grandchild(at least on my father’s side of the family). My whole family was always big to one degree or another. That is, everyone except my father. Your father being skinny wouldn’t normally be an issue, that is unless he has a fat phobia and lives with all large people.

For the first five years of my life my father treated me like a princess that could do no wrong. I was the apple of his eye, his pride and joy, you get the point. Around the time I was 6 things started to change and at the time I didn’t understand why. All I knew was my daddy didn’t seem to love me anymore and he was treating me different. What I understand now is that was the year I started to put pudge on. I say pudge because previously I was nowhere close to being fat. I had previously been so rail skinny that I now just looked healthy. But that’s all it took for my dad to start treating me differently.

That was when things like forbidding food, especially sweets, started happening. I was forced to exercise beyond what was normal. At that point I really was still in the heavy play mode and very physically active on my own, but once the forced exercise started it suck all the fun out of it and I no longer wanted to do it. But for the next couple of years I maintained the same sort of weight. I was at a healthy level for my height, yet I thought I was fat and was already worried about my weight. Let that sink in…at 6 to 8 years old despite being a healthy weight, I thought I was fat and was constantly worried about it.

I remember comparing myself to the other girls at school all the time. Yes, I was bigger than most, but not fat. In reality I was really just taller and had larger bone build than most of them and a very different build. It didn’t help that I was the only mixed girl comparing myself to a room full of white girls. But to my young mind I just knew that since my dad was making such a big deal out my weight, and I was bigger than the other girls, then I must be horribly fat.

By the time I hit age nine I started getting ill a lot. I often wouldn’t feel well and that meant I laid around more than I had. By the time I was ten I had put a little more weight on. Again not so much that me looking back would say, “oh look I was really fat”. Rather, I had the kind of weight that the average person would have looked at me and said I had baby fat.

But of course at this point is when things really got worse for me. This is around the time my father started saying things to me that stuck with me for a long time. I distinctly remember him for the first of many times telling me, “no man will ever want you if you are fat”. This also started a deluge of forced diets, bribes to lose weight, and even a few threats. And I just kept getting sicker, so I was also accused of just being lazy and often forced to go out and exercise no matter how bad I felt.

The sicker I got the more weight I seemed to gain. I don’t really remember what my heaviest was as a teenager, but I do remember that around 16 I had gotten into a 26W in pants. My family was poor, so I never go to go to the doctor the way that I really needed to. We had no health insurance. Today I know that most of what I was experiencing was because of several health issues I have, but there was no way to know then. And through out my mid teens I was really depressed. Oddly enough I didn’t even know that I was depressed until someone else I knew was talking about their own depression, and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I was depressed! Its funny, but somehow just knowing that it was depression made me feel better.

I actually felt so much better that I got out and did so much stuff for a while that I had a brief remission from the other health issues and I made some changes. I stood up for myself and demanded no more diets. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. And I got out and did things with my friends. And you know what, I lost some weight. I think at my skinniest, if I remember right, I was around 190 lbs and in a size 14W. I kind of teetered back and forth between a 14W and a 16W up till my early twenties.

But during that time in my late teens there were really some key things that happened to me that really helped my confidence a great deal. I remember a couple of days into my first job this man came in and kept making passes at me. He was very aggressive about it and very expressive about how much he liked how I looked. While I am not one to encourage getting your confidence from outside sources, this man helped me in a way no one else could at that time. You see, I had really bought into my fathers insistence that men don’t like fat girls. And while I had zero interest in this man that was probably just trying to hook up with me, what he did do was open my eyes to the fact that my dad lied.

My dad lied, and I was so buried in his lies that I had not seen the truth. If you have ever seen the movie the butterfly effect, those moment when he switched to a new timeline and he got an instant update on information, that is sort of what I felt like in the moment that I realized most of what I had been taught about myself was a lie. That didn’t instantly fix everything. I still had moments where I felt really shy and embarrasses, but I definitely was on the move to change.

It wasn’t long after that when MODE Magazine hit the scenes. If you know what MODE magazine was, then you know I am really dating myself here. And if you don’t know what MODE Magazine is, first off I am sorry and second it was the first magazine of its kind. It was an actual print magazine just like Glamour or Red Book, but everything was for Plus Size Women. I remember being in awe of all the amazing clothing, and wanting to be those girls. We need to bring back MODE Magazine for the girls of today. I know we have several online magazine for plus size women, but MODE was sold in the store on the rack just like VOGUE. Finally we were but for a moment equal.

One piece of advice I remember reading in MODE stuck with me, and I actually did it for a while. I have even suggested it to friends that were struggling with their self image. It essentially said, stand in front of the mirror for a few minutes each day and just look at yourself. And replace any of those negative thoughts you have with a positive words that you find empowering. Don’t just think those positive words, speak them. I believe the advice went on to say to work  your way up to looking at yourself naked when you do this. But either way, its good self love, because if you can’t say positive things to yourself how can you expect it of others.

replace negative thoughts with words of empowerment

It was in MODE Magazine that I saw Emme. Emme was and is the world’s first Plus Size Supermodel. She really has been one my biggest inspirations in life. It wasn’t long after I first saw her I heard about her book. I had to rush out to get it. If you haven’t read it, her first book was True Beauty Positive Attitudes and Practical Tips from the World’s Leading Plus-Size Model. She has since come out with a couple of other books. She has Life’s Little Emergencies: Everyday Rescue for Beauty, Fashion, Relationships, and Life and most recently Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident: 101 Stories about Loving Yourself and Your Body. Take some time to read about her journey, and maybe you will find her as inspirational as I did.

It was around 19 when the really big change happened. I had already gained some  confidence. I had worked on my clothing the best I could at the time, but my options were still pretty limited at the time between where I lived and my income level. I guess those changes were enough to get people’s attention though. Roughly around the same time I was approached by two different local stores and asked to model for them. It wasn’t anything big, but it was enough to help my confidence make that last push it needed to really become confident in who I was, and it also sparked an already budding interest in fashion.

While my stint into modeling was a brief couple of years, my passion for fashion was fueled for a lifetime. Through my twenties and early thirties I had a handful of opportunities to act as a sort of personal shopper to a few women, which was a really great experience. I think that was where I really started feeling a need to help other plus size ladies find great fitting clothing, and perhaps with it a bit of confidence. I have always found it amazing how finding that one piece of clothing that fits you just right can change your whole being. When you look good, you feel good and the world around you feels it too. And the first time I had someone turn around and thank me for helping them feel beautiful, I almost started crying. Which for me is hard, I hate crying. But, I understood what she meant. This lady was actually quite gorgeous, but it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside if you never feel it on the inside.

I know that last statement sounded a bit contradictory since I am sitting here saying its what you feel inside and not what you look like that matters, but its not. The things is, I suppose my helping people find clothes came with a bit of therapy as well. These were all people I knew at least somewhat well, so I knew what was really missing, and what risks they had been afraid to take.

During all that time in my twenties I managed to graduate from college, get married and divorced, move 9 times (I am exhausted thinking about it), get diagnosed with several major illnesses, and lose a whole friends circle(that’s a story for another day or maybe never). But as I moved through my thirties, while most people were terrified of getting older, I relished in it. I can honestly say I am so much happier in my thirties and I really look forward to seeing my forties bring. I was lucky enough to find the love of my life who I married three years ago. And as many of you know I wrote for a couple of plus size publications for a while, one being Pretty Pear Bride.

After writing for other publications for a while, it didn’t take long for me to realize I really wanted to do my own thing. My husband and I discussed it, and that’s when we decided the blog was the right move to make.

As I sat here and wrote all of this down for you, I couldn’t help but think about what advice or words of wisdom I might have given my younger self all those years ago. And I think the only thing I could say, whether it would have helped or not, is “its not about you”. Maybe some might think that is a odd thing to say, but as an adult I now know two very important things that my younger self did not. One, my father had a mental illness that was not treated and he was not fully in control of his actions. And two, not just in the case of my father, but most people that target other with mean or hateful words, its more about how they feel about their selves and not about you.

And since I know many of you will probably be wondering about my relationship with my father, things will always be challenging because of his mental illness. However, I do want to give him credit and say that at some point in my mid twenties my father apologized to me for a lot of the treatment I received from him as a child and teenager. Knowing my father the way I do, I know that was really hard for him. And while it in no way makes up for the mistakes he made, I still appreciate that he is trying to change. That is all any of us can do.

We all have a story to tell, and I would love to hear your stories, your struggles, your triumphs. Or if you just want to talk about the fun times that good too. Do you remember MODE Magazine? I can’t be the only one.

 

 

 

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