Thursday, August 29, 2013

Downsizing...

I've been noticing a lot of posts, other than my own, about plus size people losing weight and making better life choices.  I've been very vocal about my weight loss.  I'm very proud of myself.  In fact, I am happy to tell you that this month, I've lost a little over 4 pounds.  I know that some of you may be cheering for me and excited, just like I'm excited for another friend of mine who reported today she is down 4 jean sizes.  However, I also know there are just as many people hating the progress I've made.  

I don't understand that.  For those of us trying to lose weight, we know it's a battle.  It's a daily battle.  Then when we try to share it with other people and they act like they don't care, it sort of let's you know who is with you.  For instance, if you tell one of your smaller friends, they could be secretly in their mind thinking but you're the token big girl friend.  Then if you tell a fellow plus diva, they could be secretly thinking she think she cute just because she is losing weight.  It has nothing to do with either of those things.  

For me, it's about being healthy.  There are several health issues that run on both sides of my family (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) and I want to make sure I have the best body (not aesthetically, but physically) that can fight all of these issues and more  Do I like the smaller sizes and the compliments?  Of course!  What human doesn't like to be complimented.  However, those don't mean as much to me but when my doctor tells me things are looking better on the chart because I decided to make a change, that is the best compliment of them all.  

Why hate on their progress?  You do not know why the person who is sharing their journey with you is making the effort to lose weight.  They could be losing weight for health issues.  They could be losing weight because they are sick and they have no choice.  They could be losing weight to look better and feel better about themselves.  

The point is this - stop throwing shade at people who are trying to do something to better themselves.  This is the thing - the same person you are not supporting has probably supported you through a lot of things, including some things you would rather forget.  Let them have their moment because you don't know when they will get another moment to shine.  

So, the next time one of your friends tell you about their weight loss, celebrate with them.  Be proud of them.  Give them praise for their success.  Don't worry about them taking anything away from you.  One day you are going to want or deserve to be praised and I'm pretty sure if they are a true friend, they will support you just the same.  

Just a final thought - if you have people in your circle that are not supportive, maybe it's time to make a smaller circle or a new circle.  If you find yourself being one of those negative people, you might want to change your ways if you don't want to end up on the outside of the circle.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The challenge

I have a wonderful friend who keeps me accountable and forces me to take a look at myself.  So, as I continue on this weight loss journey, there is one thing she wanted me to gain a little more of.  Even though I have, I still haven't really reached my own personal goal.  I'm a people person. I work for a government agency and that allows me to meet new people all the time.  However, it is within the comfort of my job and it is something I have a little bit of control over.  What we need to work on now is confidence when I am outside my comfort zone.  



In order for her to help me out in this endeavor, she gave me a challenge - I have to find a social group to meet up with.  Ok, that is all well and cool, but that is the moment where I start to clam up and I shut down.  In fact, I know this fact about me so well that I even mentioned it to another friend today.  

Here is the only way I know to explain it.  Every since I was a child, I have been told in order for me to be successful in life or have plenty of friends, I needed to be a certain size.  I'm not sure if people realized the damage they did or if they even cared, but I have slowly realized that is not true.  Well, I know that some of it isn't true.  Even as an adult, I have often wondered if I am the token plus size friend.  I have experienced friends being cool if we were hanging out in a not so popular place, but when it comes to hitting other places where they might be seen with me, well let's just say that experience is a lot different.  

I had a very candid conversation with a coworker today and he asked me why I was single.  I told him I was tired of being used.  That type of relationship is not what brings me here tonight, but what I said makes a lot of sense.  When speaking about the token plus size friend, that in a sense, is being used.  They want to look like their clique includes all people when in reality, if you don't look like them, you don't fit.  In other words, you just used me to help you out.  

Alright, I guess you have enough back story to realize why this challenge might be difficult for me.  The fact of the matter is that I have seen so much negative that I, shamefully, must admit I have become a bit of a cynic.  I believe there is some ounce of good in all people, but I also believe we all posses something that can make us turn on each other in a minute.  Survival of the fittest is real.  That is why I feel so strange about this challenge.  My personality is big and some people cannot deal with that.  Am I going to have my bubble busted because someone in the group gets jealous?  If that were to happen, I would clam up.  But here's the kicker - I wouldn't blame it on my personality, I would blame it on the fact that, if they are smaller than me, they could not stand for a big girl to be getting attention.  You see that mentality?

That is something that needs to change.  So as I go through this challenge, I invite you to join in with me if you are having this issue.  Find a group in your area and venture out.  There is so much to do outside the comfort of your home to be always hiding.  I've learned that, but I now just need to put what I have learned into action. 

For those of you wondering why this post tonight?  That's simple.  This blog is real.  I'm not in a good place every single day.  If you tell me you are, I am going to tell you that you are hiding from something and you need to deal with it.  Life is not perfect everyday.  For that reason alone is why I am so real with you.  How can I call myself a writer if I am not honest with you?  Don't I write about my good days too?  Of course!  My life is a perfect balance of good, bad, evil, ugly, and everything you can think of to throw at me in between.  The challenge is to find people to make you feel good about all the many faces your one body, no matter the size, possesses.  

As for my challenge given to me by my friend - challenge accepted!  Yes, I accepted the challenge last night with my arms folded and wondering why she would do such a thing.  But I also know that this will only continue to help me in my growth as I learn to deal and maintain a new size.  If you are wondering how I am looking for groups, I am using www.meetup.com.  Check it out in order to find some groups in your area.  



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Love is (supposed to be) blind

Any of us that have been to a wedding or even opened the Bible is probably familiar with the Love Chapter.  The title of this post has a little something to do with that, even though it is not directly stated in the chapter.  



The story I read was actually a local news story about a blind couple whose dogs liked to play with each other.  They would meet on the dog dates and those eventually turned into dates for them.  They fell in love and are planning a wedding for sometime next year (their guide dogs will help them both get down the aisle). 

After reading that story, I couldn't help but think love is actually blind in this situation (don't laugh because I'm being very serious).  They can't see each other so they depend on their other 4 senses to do the work.  I could focus on all 5 senses, but the three that stick out in this situation (in my opinion) are the senses of hearing, touch, and sight.  How does sight play a role if they are blind?  Just let me get this entire thought out and if you follow along, I am sure you will figure this out.  

Let me start with the one that is probably going to be strange for you - touch.  I understand they can hold hands, but what about touching their hearts?  Something had to do that in order for them to fall in love.  Something had to touch their soul in order for them to begin to love each other.  Love isn't a thing that just happens.  Love takes time and the literal and figurative sense of touch has to happen in order for that to occur.  No, I'm not talking about sex either (I'll save that for a different post).  However, how great would it be for someone to look past your faults and your past and love you because of how you have touched their soul and their heart?

Then there comes the sense of hearing.  There were some days I felt like I talked to my ex that I was blue in the face.  I know that he was listening, but I'm not exactly sure if he was hearing what I was trying to tell him.  In fact, I'm pretty positive he wasn't really hearing me because we are no longer together.  Ladies, and some guys too, I know you get tired to talking to people and what you say seems to fall on deaf ears.  For instance, I keep telling a friend of mine that I actually care about to stop doing these disappearing acts because that doesn't work well for me.  He apologizes (so he was listening), but he keeps doing it over and over again (which means he didn't actually hear what I was saying).  People say listening to women is difficult, but I beg to differ.  Did it ever occur to you if you actually took the time to listen to the woman in your life and hear what they were really saying, you would actually learn a lot from them and not have to worry about them straying or straight up leaving?  The more you listen, the more you learn.  Just a thought....


Even though the couple who inspired this post cannot physically see each other, they are blessed with a gift only a few people with actually sight have - the ability to be able to see to the soul.  Physically, they are blind, but the fact they are not able to look at the physical flaws of the other person or see photos of a mysterious and interesting past makes their love deeper.  They have no basis to say because I see you used to do this, I cannot be with you.  People change.  However, the greatest thing is this - they cannot look at each other and judge each other based solely on appearance.  

That's the problem many of us have today - we are so quick to judge another person based on looks alone that we are missing out on something.  It doesn't have to be a relationship, but it could be an interesting story, a friendship, etc.  You might even be missing out on the person that can bring you out of your current situation, but you are missing out on it because you are too shallow to see what is right in front of you.  

I don't know about you, but I feel like that each day I am not in the comfort and protection of my home.  My home is safe and the only person in there that can make me feel bad about myself is me.  However, once I step out, I have to deal with snickers and facial expressions that say she's too big for me.  I've learned to stay to myself and let people come to me because me stepping to people has turned out extremely tragic.  I always end up getting my feelings hurt, but that has also given me a thicker (no pun intended) skin.  

Because people have a tendency to judge me based on my size alone, people miss out on interesting conversations (I have a weird mind) and people miss out on the chance for me to touch their lives (because I am a giver).  The fact of the matter, we are all made differently.  Some of us are big, some are little.  Some of us are short and some are tall.  No matter the outward difference, the fact of the matter is that we all have a purpose and we are supposed to connect on a deeper level than physical appearance.  Fall in love because the other person touched your soul and because you actually heard what they were saying.  Why?  Keep living long enough and your looks will change and their are some things that money and a good surgeon cannot fix.  


Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Things That Keep A Man Single - my reponse to The Things That Keep A Woman Single

So sometime this week, Evan Moore (a fellow blogger) posted a blog titled The Things That Keep A Woman Single.  I found this post with the help of a Facebook friend.  I read it and of course, there was a certain one that got to me because I am a plus diva.  However, I figured why focus on just that one item when I had the opportunity to do a proper response (in my own style).  In order to do this, I found the author on twitter (@evanFmoore) and let him know that I would be doing a response to his post.  With his blessing, this is what brings me to my post tonight.  Now, you know I like to put my own spin on things (that's the joy of being a writer - I can do my own thing), so here goes.  

Here is the link to Evan's post (http://www.chicagonow.com/fanning-flames-since-1978/2013/08/the-things-that-keeps-a-woman-single/).  I really hope you take the chance to read his post before you read the rest of this one, especially since this is technically a response to his post.  In order to help you out, I am going to keep this in line with his post as far as the numbers are concerned.  Since this is my first response to a post, so if you don't like it, that's ok - I'll improve and I'll eventually do another.  However, without further ado, here goes...

Alright gentlemen, listen up because this is all for you!!!

1. Your friends and family are poisoning your love life.  

Yes, they are.  You say the same thing about us, but the fact of the matter is that your family and friends are causing you just as much harm.  Dudes, please get out from under your mothers and grandmothers!  I understand you are trying to be a good son / grandson, but eventually you are going to have to grow up.  Stop running to them each and every time they call on you.  I understand females can see how a man is going to treat them if you observe how they treat the family females in their lives, but let me give you a heads up, I don't know many females that wish to be smothered.  Also, no female is ever going to be good enough for you, according to your mom / grandma.  As long as you have them in your ear, you are never going to find someone who is going to put up with their constant criticizing and your family making them feel less than a person (yep, talking from experience).  As for your friends, stop telling them how good your woman is (yep, just like you tell us to quit telling people how good y'all are).  Men can be trifling (you know this) and when given the opportunity, they are going to try your significant other.  You just better hope she is strong enough to resist the urge.  

2.  Get out of your momma's house.

Yep, I covered that a lot in item 1.  I think you got the point.  However, let me get a little bit stronger message - get your ish together and stop waiting on a female to take care of you.  If your mom is taking care of you, you might as well just stay there because this day and age, I don't know many females (with common sense) who is going to work on a daily basis and try to make a decent living while you sit at home and do absolutely nothing.  I understand you may need to stay at home because times are hard right now, but come on - after a while, your need to stay at home is no longer a need, it is your mom letting you be lazy because deep down inside she doesn't want to let you go and she feels like no other woman is going to take care of you the way she does.  Guess what?  She's probably right about that so if that's the life you want to live, you might has well just stay at your crib.  

3.  Get in shape

How about some of you get in shape!  And for the rest of you, stop being so shallow!  My weight has nothing to do with my life.  You want all these skinny chicks, but I know some skinny hood rats that will give you pure hell and I know some plus size divas that will be with you through thick and thin, instead of putting you through drama.  Behind my weight, you will find a civil engineer that graduated from college with a 3.0.  I have a great job working for a government agency (with awesome benefits - LOL).  I'm a writer for two agencies and I'm working on other goals that I want to accomplish.  Honestly, I can tell you that I don't necessarily have a type.  If you treat me right and act like you have some sense and you seem to be getting your life together, we can chill.  As for a relationship thing, we can see how things go.  But I know what it's like to be judged because of my size and I don't wish to put anyone through that type of pain.  If another person is hurt for that reason, I can assure you that it won't be because of me.  

4.  Tone down with the God stuff, really!

I understand that you want to be my knight and shining armor and that you want to provide, but I have found in my young life instead of y'all sticking through tough situations, y'all either shut down or straight up leave the relationship.  The one thing that has never left me has been God.  When I was in the hospital, my ex came to see me for a total of about 2 hours.  When I spent the following week on bed rest, he came to visit me one time and we lived less than a mile a part.  When I was sick and needed to go to the ER, another ex wouldn't answer his phone, even though I did the whole phone code thing we had set up.  When my car caught on fire (with me in it), instead of my ex asking me if I was OK, he laughed.  I could go on with a lot of scenarios, but I think you get the point.  However, let me make this really clear - until you prove to me that you will be there for me 24/7 (much like how you expect me to be there for you), Jesus it shall be!

5.  Shut up and get off the phone

Now, I have to admit, we are really weird like that and we like to post stuff and share things.  We are social creatures, but since I am an only child, I really don't need social interaction like that.  I'm perfectly fine with doing things on my own.  However, do us a favor (when we are with you) and turn the music down in the car so we can have a conversation with you.  The last time I hung out with someone that was interested in me (so I thought), his music was up so loud that I stopped talking to him because I could barely hear myself.  I pulled out my phone.  He got mad.  I told him if he would turn down his music, I would talk to him.  He said, "No one has ever complained about my music".  However, I realize I was a few years older than him and the maturity level was quite different.  

6.  Get out the club...NOW!

Same to you!  Unless you are a dj, club promoter, or someone else that needs to be in the club every weekend, I need for you to find something else to do with your time.  There is plenty to do.  Go to the aquarium, museum, zoo, church, volunteer, movies, anything but be in the club every weekend.  We all know nothing good comes out the club.  Also, I'm not trying to go bail you out of jail every weekend.  You don't even get a get out of jail pass with me.  I'm not dealing with that.  If I can hold my liquor and figure out a way to get home, I need for you to be man enough to do the same.  Just do the adult thing and grow out the club.  Unless you fall into one of the previously mentioned categories that keep you in the club, I need for you to do better.  

7.  Your facebook page is your worst enemy

Now, I know guys don't post much on facebook, but when you do, y'all be going in.  It's like y'all be trying to make up for lost time or something.  Calm that down or either find another means of expressing yourself.  Then y'all be mad about us being half naked in our photos.  Well damn, y'all do the same thing.  I cannot tell you how many times this week I have seen dudes in photos showing off their summer bodies and chest and back tattoos.  If you can show off all your hard work, don't be made when chicks do the same thing.  Now, you won't find me half naked because my body is not built for all that, but you get my point.  

8.  Carry yourself like someone who actually likes women.

If you are a straight man and you wearing skinny jeans, I'm going to question your sexuality.  Also, if someone steps to you and I have to defend you instead of the other way around, I'm going to have to distance myself from you.  I'm not saying you have to be soft, but please know your emotions - we like to see them every once and a while.  I know y'all like to put up that hard demeanor, but there has to come a point where you are going to need to have a soft side.  For instance, if I have been through a traumatic experience, I need for you to be real with me and help me understand what is going on with you.  Please actually act like you want me.  I'm not in this whole dating thing just to be dating.  I'm over that.  I'm looking for a boyfriend to become a fiance, that will turn into a wonderful husband and father.  If you are dating for anything other than that outline, do yourself a favor and not even step to me.  

9.  Know your role.

If you want us to know our role, do your role.  Be a father to these kids.  Be a man for these women who have given you your children (I don't care if that means more than one woman).  You were there at one time, so you need to be there for at least 18 years.  If you don't want us in other roles that we are not supposed to be in, stop leading us on and making us believe we are in those roles.  If you are just looking for friendship, be honest about it.  If you are looking for sex, let me know and I will tell you to go find someone else to deal with.  You want us to earn your trust, then act like we can trust you.  If you over there eyeing everything else that walks by you, then yep, we are going to have a problem with that and we are probably going to let you know, no mater what role we are in.  No woman wants to be made to feel like she is less than someone else, so please work on that.  

10.  Temper your expectations.

I don't think you need to temper expectations, but both sexes need to have realistic ones.  Personally, I think most of y'all are looking for something that just stepped of America's Next Top Model.  Well, let me tell you something, the average size of a woman is 14 to 16 and I honestly don't remember the last time Tyra had someone of that size on her show.  The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of plus divas that would be a good match for you, but you are too ashamed or embarrassed of what your friends and family might thing (see numbers 1 and 2) that you miss out on a good thing.  Go out and experience new things, travel to new places, and experience things you have never before - you might be surprised as who will meet.  Also keep this in mind, the person you need is not always the person you necessarily ever saw yourself with.  

Honorable Mention:  

You don't want us comparing you to our friends boyfriends / husbands, so please stop comparing us to every other female you see on the street.  We are not them and you don't know our struggle and why we are the way we are.  Did it ever occur to you that we have such a hard exterior because one of your male counterparts made us feel so bad that we don't want to deal with the rest of you?  You always complain about how we act so hard, but when you've been hurt a time or two, you learn how to put up that exterior.  

Yes, I know that each time you say hello, you are not flirting, but not everyone knows that.  I don't know how to make females understand that, but I need to figure out how to make males understand that.  I like to talk to people and I smile at them and then that is somehow seen as flirting - um, no.  I'm just being nice because I like meeting new people.  Don't stalk me after that because then, I won't even be your friend.  

Yes, I've read both of Steve Harvey's books, but I also have my own mind.  I hope you do too.  

Well, that is all I have and I hope I did this response to Evan's post justice.  Comments are welcome, but as always, be nice and respect the thoughts of others.  I will delete your comment if I feel it is coming from a mean place because that is not how people should be treated.  

Added 08/11: Please note that I am not talking directly to or about Evan.  I don't know him like that.  I'm getting to know him as a writer and for that alone, he is alright with me.  "You" is plural.  I know not all guys are like this, just like Evan knows not all females are like in his article.  However, I think we both know enough people that has given us excellent basis for both our posts.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I eat because...

Well, if you missed #HautiesTalk on Tuesday night August 6 with @manikmag, you missed out on something really awesome.  The topic of discussion was Emotional Eating.  While chatting with the wonderful people in the forum, I couldn't help but to think about myself.  Not having a selfish moment, but looking back on the choices I've made and coming to grips with my size being my own fault.  Then it made me think highly about if my emotional eating led to other things in my life - unhealthy eating, struggle with unhealthy choices to lose weight, etc.  

So, since I like for you to be perfectly honest with me, I feel like I need to be perfectly honest with you.  My story of emotional eating isn't glamorous and it definitely isn't great, but it's honest. 


The first time I remember emotional eating was in high school.  In fact, I can tell you the exact moment.  I had tried out for JV cheerleading for basketball, but I didn't make it.  My dad had taken me back to school to see the list and on our way back to the house, he stopped me by the grocery store, gave me money, and told me to go buy myself a pack of oreos (my weakness).  I don't remember how many of them I ate that night, but I know that it was more than should have been eaten.  Any other time I felt bad, needed a pick me up, or just felt like I needed to be comforted, I would turn to food.  Oreos, ice cream, anything that would allow me to overeat, I ate it.  Well, you guessed it, that spiraled out of control and I started making dangerous choices about my health.  I didn't recognize it then, but looking back on it now, I really started doing some major damage to my body.  Not because of the weight, but because I was out of control.  Due to the fact I was out of control, my weight continued to increase.  The adult I am now can look back and say, "Wow, that was not a good idea".  

Today, those binge eating moments have turned into treat days and those are very few and far between.  Now if I need or want to release some stress, I workout, read, crochet (yep, I do that too), go out for some retail therapy, or enjoy a wonderful selection on Netflix, and of course, I write!  Even my splurging is to a limit.  I try not to keep to many unhealthy things in my place.  I like to keep fruits, yoplait whips strawberry mist, and 100 calorie treats at my disposal.  I work with the conclusion if it is not near, I won't eat it.  Honestly, ice cream is a treat.  If I want ice cream, I have to leave my place to go and get some.  I keep popsicles, but they are only 45 calories and I don't feel as guilty about having them.  Yes, I even keep oreos in my possession, but I buy the reduced fat (6 cookies = 300 calories).  And since I like to have milk with them, I used vanilla soy milk. 


I know I talk about it all the time, but the LoseIt app has really helped me.  (Make sure to download the free app and follow them on twitter @loseit and on instagram @loseitapp).  It helps to see what is going in my body so that I can make better choices.  I don't even want to see a day where I am in the red and that helps me to keep from doing too much, unless I am having a free day.  To be honest with you, even my free days are light because my tummy just cannot hold that amount of food anymore and it takes less of a portion for me to get full.  

So, why do I eat?  I eat because I want to be healthy.  It's all about the lifestyle change.  It's about making better choices and finding other ways to cope with issues other than turning to food.  There are options out there, but make sure you choose the one that best fits your needs.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Beach Body

Well, I received an invite to go to the beach this weekend and of course, I could not turn it down!  In this gorgeous weather, my best friend since college and I walk down to the beach.  Of course us being females, we make a few observations.  We saw a few people in bathing suits that should have stayed on the rack and we saw some people that believed in wearing as little as possible to get into the ocean.  However, there is one thing we were very happy to see.  Since both of us are plus size divas, we were happy to see people of our size and bigger enjoying the beach in their bathing suits. 

You know I broke out the tankini and I am happy to say, so did my friend.  I am so happy to see people embracing their curves and enjoying life, no matter their size.  For so long, people used to stay covered at the beach until they got into the water (if they even took the chance to get into the water).  I wore my coverup to walk to the beach, but after I got situated and ready to lie in the sun, my coverup came off.  I had no problem laying on the beach in my bathing suit and enjoying the time with my friend and the rest of her family.  

Here's the fun part.  The waves were absolutely beautiful and awesome today.  We both had to be careful to not expose ourselves to the world.  I had an extra issue because I kept trying to keep my shorts from showing too much of my rear, but the water ended up winning that battle.  However, for the first time in a long time, I felt absolutely comfortable on the beach in my tankini and I just really didn't care about what other people thought.  Quite frankly, I think a lot of other people felt the same way.  



It was a beautiful day - the sun was high, the atmosphere was awesome, and the water was nothing short of spectacular.  I am who I am.  I weigh what I weigh.  That doesn't make me any less of a person.  By the way, tonight I even got brave and wore a strapless mini dress - yep, sure did.  I have awesome legs, and you know I was ready to show off this more even tan.  

Ladies, embrace your curves.  Each one of us are beautiful in our own way and no one will ever be able to take that away from us.  Take your power back over your body.  Show some skin (tastefully), be your unique, and never be scared to show your individual style.  There is nothing wrong with your body, so stop letting mainstream media tell you it is.