Category Archives: Rant

I’m Not Your Eye Candy

I’ve posted a few things relating to body image and body issues, but what I’m dealing with now is entirely new territory.

I had Lucas almost 7 weeks ago, between then and now I’ve lost a little over 20 pounds, I’d lost nearly 15 of that before I’d even left the hospital. Because of how sick I was I’d lost weight instead of gained it while I was pregnant. I ended up gaining 6 pounds, Lucas weighed almost 8. I’ve always had a body type described as curvy, the inch difference between my waist and hips is in the double digits. I also have a large bust (see bra rant further back in this blog for further details). I’ve never been comfortable with my body. I was always too big to be attractive (thanks to all the assholes who said that), but apparently now I’ve reached some sort of attractiveness level where random men in convenience stores, grocery stores, while I’m checking my mail, feel the need to say inappropriate shit to me. I’ve had people tell me I should enjoy it, but frankly I’ve never been a fan of being harassed.

As much as I’ve talked about and tried to understand what it feels like to be objectified and treated like an object I never really did understand it until the day I was taking my kids in the house and some creeper at the apartment next to mine decided to ‘hey girl’ me and then offer to give me a ride in my vehicle, among other things. I felt creeped out, and dirty in a way I didn’t like. I started to question what I was wearing (skinny jeans, a tank top and flip flops), had I done something to imply I wanted to be harassed in front of a large group of men? No, I hadn’t. I was taking my kid out of the car for fuck’s sake.

This kind of behavior has happened nearly every time I’ve been in public by myself. I don’t like it, at all. I want to go back to being invisible, rather than deal with this crap. I don’t understand what makes a man think it’s appropriate to harass a woman in public just because he thinks she’s attractive. It makes my skin crawl and makes me feel like I should be doing something to deter them, like not wearing my skinny jeans or not wearing a tank top. But then I get angry because I like my jeans damn it, and it’s hot outside, I’m not wearing a turtle neck and getting heat stroke.

My body is mine, I don’t exist to be an object for anyone else. I’m a person who doesn’t deserve to be harassed while I’m buying diapers for my kids. I shouldn’t have to feel like I can’t wear what’s comfortable for me because someone else can’t control themselves. When did this kind of stuff become the norm? And why is it accepted? Why don’t other men tell these douchebags to shut up? When the guy was harassing me outside of my apartment there were six other people standing there, none of them said stop, none of them told him he was out of line. They laughed, egged him on and added their own two cents to his commentary on my body and implied I owed them my attention because they found me attractive. I’m not ok with this, I’m not going to accept it or put up with it.

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Food, Body and Hate

Being that I’ve been spending more time at home since I’m due in about 6 weeks I’ve been doing more reading online and one of the things I’ve discovered about people (at least on the internet) is they have a deep and quite disturbing dislike for overweight people.

I’ve read more than one article, comment and blog post lambasting people for being fat, for being (supposedly) unhealthy and for (supposedly) eating nothing but fast food and (supposedly) never exercising or taking care of themselves. And then there are all the supposed costs that come with being fat, especially the healthcare costs.

Here’s the thing, it is impossible to look at a person and judge what kind of life they live, how healthy they are and whether or not they take care of themselves just by judging their size. While I plan on writing a whole lot more about how body size does NOT equal health that is not the point of this post.

What I want to talk about now is food. I’ve been very candid on this blog about my weight and my struggles and I’m not gonna stop now. Before I got pregnant I had worked pretty hard at losing weight and I had lost quite a bit. When I started I weight 270 pounds when I got pregnant I was somewhere around 210, still not where I wanted to be but I was much, much happier. I was wearing a 14 or 16 depending on brand and I was able to do a lot of stuff I hadn’t been able to do when I was bigger. Since getting pregnant I’ve (obviously) gained some of that weight back. I’m 32 weeks pregnant and I have gained 18 pounds. I don’t really “work out” but I’m active and I eat pretty well. My doctor is happy with my weight gain, my blood pressure and my blood glucose levels. I’ve had three (THREE!) 1 hour glucose tests for gestational diabetes and every time I have passed with excellent numbers, my blood pressure between low normal and normal. In fact, the only thing my doctor has worried about are my iron levels because I’m anemic. I’m putting all this out there to first point out that I am medically healthy and so is my baby.

During the course of my pregnancy I have received a lot of unwanted advice, comments and just plain rude behavior by people who assume that because I am fat and pregnant I must obviously be unhealthy. I’ve been told what to eat, what to do and that whatever I’m eating or doing is wrong and harmful to my baby, by complete strangers. Most of these comments are aimed at me while I’m grocery shopping, I buy food not just for myself but also for Ben. There are a lot of things I buy just for him because he wants them and he’s an adult and is capable of deciding what he wants to eat.

Most of the food I buy consists of lean meat (usually chicken because I have a hard time eating red meat), various frozen vegetables and some fresh ones, fresh fruit depending on what I can afford, whole wheat bread, low fat milk, cheese (usually cheddar and mozzarella), unsweetened applesauce, canned beans and green chile. I cook 95% of our meals at home. The ones I don’t we either order pizza or we’ve been invited somewhere for dinner. We don’t keep soda in the house and the only juices we have are 100% juice. Despite the fact that we both eat the same things while we’re at home people assume Ben is much healthier than I am because he is thin and in very good physical shape. He’s got a super fast metabolism and is one of those people who has trouble gaining weight. I’m the opposite, my metabolism is much slower and it is easier for me to gain weight. We’re both healthy, we both take care of ourselves but because I weigh more the assumption is that I’m unhealthier.

On the occasion that we do get fast food if Ben is the one ordering it he is treated entirely differently than if I am ordering it. Even if he orders an insane amount of food (as he’s sometimes known to do) he gets treated with more respect than I do, even if I’m just ordering a small french fries (I’ve craved them a lot while I’ve been pregnant). Ben will actually be the first to say I eat better than him. He loves fruit and veggies but he also can (and sometimes does) eat 6 cupcakes in a row. I can’t eat more than one and I don’t really want to. But he’s still healthy. He’s got excellent blood pressure, no diabetes and his cholesterol is well within the healthy range.

My point is this, unless you are someone’s doctor you have no idea what their actual health is and even if you “know” what that person eats you have no idea whether they are healthy or not. Judging a person’s size or judging what you observe them buy on a single trip to a restaurant or grocery store is in no way indicative of their overall health.

The other point I want to make is about the way people describe food. I’m gonna just say this once: Food is not inherently evil. Eating a cupcake isn’t evil, even eating 10 cupcakes isn’t evil. Eating carrots doesn’t make you a good person, neither does eating whole grains or drinking fat free milk. Food has no bearing on whether or not a person is a good person or a bad person and eating certain foods doesn’t make you good or bad.

I like cupcakes, I love to bake them and eventually I want to open a bakery that specializes in (you guessed it) cupcakes. Does that make me “bad?” Am I evil because I happen to love miniature cakes? Nope, it doesn’t. Just like it doesn’t make me inherently unhealthy.

I have reached a point where I have had it with people who think it’s acceptable to hate someone, to harass and potentially harm someone just because of their body size. I have lived the majority of my life bigger than what everyone around me thought I should be. I’ve starved myself, hurt myself and done any restrictive diet you can think of. I’ve also spent most of my life being depressed because I didn’t fit into what society deems acceptable. I know I’m not the only person who has felt those feelings and I know I’m not the only one who has reached a point where it is no longer OK to treat people the way a large number of people treat people with bigger bodies.

Here’s what I propose. Mind your own business, worry about your own body and let everyone else do the same thing. Treat people the way you would want to be treated and learn to accept that people come in different sizes and being thin does not make you a better person.


I Don’t Believe in Hate

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people about homosexuality and one thing that comes up a lot is people declaring they know (For a fact or for sure) that God didn’t make people gay. One of the reasons I’ve struggled with faith is because I don’t know anything about God, really. The only thing we have is a book that has been rewritten, manipulated and edited for political purposes and for so long how can anyone really be sure about anything it says. I can’t understand people who claim to know what God did, is doing or hasn’t done. How the hell do you know? Do you have a secret phone line to the Almighty?

I get that there are a lot of people out there who take issue with homosexuality but instead of owning their opinions and just flat out saying “I think it’s a choice because I don’t think people are born that way.” they pawn it off on God by saying they know God didn’t make someone that way. I have a lot more respect for someone who can own their opinion and belief than for someone who sits on the fence and refuses to commit to their own opinion. Even the Bible seems to agree with me there,

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16).”

Like I said, I get that people have problems with homosexuality. I’m not one of those people. I’ve never seen people as just gay or straight, everyone is so much more than their sexual preference. I just fail to see how limiting someone by their sexuality is a worthwhile activity or how it makes you a better person. I spent a lot of time confused about my own sexuality, I found myself looking at girls the same way I looked at boys and I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t anything I ever chose to do, it was just something I discovered about myself. But to say that I’m less than or not equal to a straight person is just stupid. To judge someone based on their sexuality is to limit yourself. Judging someone doesn’t determine what they are it determines what you are.

You can believe that homosexuality is a sin without being a dick about it. I believe adultery is a sin but it is only my life I need to judge. The fact is not every person out there is going to agree with me and it’s not my job to police other people’s behaviors. Sure, I don’t have to like it but I do have to accept that their lives are theirs to live. You can have your beliefs and still understand that your ways are not everyone’s ways and it is not your responsibility to police the lives of other people. It is also not your job to spread hate and discord. Last I checked we were commanded to love one another:

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:12)”

I believe in loving your neighbor and treating people the way you would want to be treated and I encourage everyone to think about that before they’re cruel to someone. I’m not here to convince you that homosexuality isn’t a choice, even though I fully believe it isn’t, instead I’m here to ask you to think about your behavior and consider that maybe we don’t know everything. And if you believe when we all die we will be judged, remember the only life you are being judged on is yours, so living with your heart full of hate will be on you, not on those you hated.

 

 


I guess this turned into a rant

I read an article about how we have an entire generation of men who don’t know how to be men. (http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/have-we-raised-an-entire-generation-of-young-men-that-do-not-know-how-to-be-men) It was an interesting article, I could see the points the author was making. I know a few guys who still live with their parents, are unable to get jobs and don’t really have an interest in getting married or having families. There are a lot of reasons why our current generation of young men are stuck in these kinds of situations. For one the job market sucks, no matter if you’re a man, a woman, or an elephant. (Acutally, I think an elephant would get a job before either a man or a woman.) College is expensive and unless you’re in very specific degree programs, has become rather useless. Men (and woman) beg for grants and loans, go to classes that are run by egomanical professors and get degrees that don’t help them get a job. I have a very good friend who graduated with a degree in psychology a couple of years ago, the only job she was able to get that used her degree also caused her to get assaulted by her client. After she left that job (because honestly, who wants to be assaulted by their client) she’s been unable to find anything else and is now working a temp job doing taxes. This is a college graduate and yet she’s working for minimum wage (which in NM is $7.50 an hour). With so many college grads getting out there and realizing their degrees are useless it’s no wonder younger men (and women) don’t really want to go to college.

I live with my dad. I’m 24 (almost 25) years old. Am I proud of the fact that I live with my dad? Not particulalry. Am I frustrated that the only jobs Ican find wouldn’t pay me enough to live on my own? Damn right I am. The article talked about men living at home and playing video games and watching TV instead of having jobs and having families. I’d like to know exactly what economy the author of this article is looking at. Some men are luck enough to find good jobs that pay well (my boyfriend being one of them) but even with a job that pays what would normally be considered a good wage it is almost impossible to actually live on it. The cost of living has risen so much it makes it damn near impossible for young adults to live on their own without roommates or without their parents.

Why shouldn’t men (or anyone for that matter) want to hide from life in video games or social networking? When you look at your life and you see student loan debt, no chance a decent paying job and no real opportunity to start your own life what is the point of continuing to try. I’m not saying I condone this sort of behavior but I can certainly understand it. I have my own moments where I look at life and wonder what the point of trying is anymore. I keep trying and working and hoping that eventually something will be enough and I will be able to live with my boyfriend and our (as of yet unborn) baby without the strangling fear of abject poverty.

Maybe, if instead of just simply pointing out that men don’t know how to be men we look at the root of the problem and actually try to fix it our society wouldn’t be in the absolute free fall it is in now. The last thing young adults need to be told is how much we all fail at life. We get it, we’re not doing what generations before us did, but generations before us had jobs that paid well, jobs that you could work at for 30 years and then retire and actually get retirement. Previous generations could actually survive comfortably on one salary. So before everyone turns on us and calls us fuck ups and failures take a look at the world we’re trying to survive in and make a life in.


I am Curvy

It’s time for a rant.

I was reading an article about the word curvy. Apparently women with flat stomachs who happen to have a big difference between their waists and hips have a problem with women who do not have flat stomachs but still have a big difference between their waists and hips referring to themselves as curvy.

So let me get this straight, because I have a bit of a pooch on my lower abdomen I can’t refer to myself as curvy, even though I’ve got an 11 inch difference between my waist and my hips. Last I checked those kind of measurements mean curves. As a friend of mine pointed out: I’m not fat I’ve just got some extra padding. actually he was more…colorful about it but we’ll leave that out of here.

It’s recently come to my attention that apparently I’m at least somewhat attractive. I’ve struggled with my self esteem and body image for a very long time. I have bad days and I still have a mostly hate relationship with food but I’m learning that even if I’m not ‘perfect’ I’m still attractive.

Why do we, as women, tolerate other women putting us down for these ridiculous perceived flaws? Women come in all different shapes and sizes, some of us are bigger, some of us are smaller, some of us have no curves and some of us have more than enough. In the long run does it really matter if we all have perfectly flat tummies and perfect C sized boobs, and perfectly highlighted hair? What happened to variety and individuality?

Why are we so defined by our bodies? Aren’t we more than that? I know I’m more than that. I’m intelligent, a smart ass, creative, kind, compassionate, loyal and none of those things have to do with the 11 inch difference between my waist and hips. The fact that I can speak sarcasm fluently and am always there for my friends has absolutely nothing to do with my body. We are more than our bodies, more than our perceived flaws. Each one of us is beautiful in our own way. No, not every person is going to find you attractive, but you know what in the long run it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you are happy with yourself, your perception of yourself is the only one that matters.

I’m still learning to accept myself, to stop comparing myself to other women. I still have days where I hate my body with a burning passion and I want nothing more than to have all the things I hate about myself go away. I can be extremely sensitive about my size, even though I’m significantly smaller than I used to be. Silencing all of the negative voices in my head is a daily battle, especially when I have a hard time seeing the progress I have made. I look at pictures of myself from a year ago and I can’t believe I was ever that big, I realize how much smaller I am now and I also realize that in the end I am still the same person. My weight never defined me to anyone but myself.

I challenge women to stop this cycle of negativity, stop verbally assaulting ourselves and each other. We constantly complain about how men put us down and how men expect us to be these perfect beings but we put more pressure on ourselves and on each other than any man ever could. We need to learn to love ourselves and each other.

 

Ok so maybe that wasn’t as rant-y as I thought it would be…


On Gay Marriage

I’ve avoided politics on this blog, mostly because they tend to be extremely polarizing. However, some things I’ve heard and have had said to me have forced me to hop up onto my soapbox.

Begin Rant

Gay Marriage: What is the problem? I have yet to hear a legally valid argument against gay marriage. I do not understand why granting equal marriage rights has become such a huge issue. There is no legal (read: nonreligious) reason why it has not happened. By delaying and denying these rights politicians have turned a simple issue into a monstrous, epic battle.

Nearly every argument I have heard against gay marriage cites the Bible as the reason why it should not be legalized. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Bible has absolutely nothing to do with LAW. If a person is personally against gay marriage because of their faith that’s fabulous for them, however since marriage is a legal process religion has absolutely nothing to do with it. A straight couple can have a completely secular, legal marriage and it is just as valid as a marriage performed in a church (provided both situations have obtained a marriage license because that is what makes a marriage legally binding).

The other argument I hear so frequently is that gay marriage will destroy the sanctity of marriage. Um, excuse me? Sanctity? Can someone please explain this sanctity to me? When our divorce rate is at 50% I think it’s incredibly stupid for anyone to claim that marriage is somehow sacred. People step outside of their marriages, domestic violence occurs more and more frequently and people get married and divorced like it’s a hobby.

As I said, marriage is a legal process. In order for a marriage to be legal both parties have to apply for and sign a marriage license, this makes marriage a LEGAL process. A marriage is not legally recognized unless a marriage license has been obtained. Even if a couple has their marriage performed by a priest in a church they are still required to obtain a marriage license otherwise all they have is a fancy commitment ceremony, which is not legally binding.

the LGBT community deserves the same rights as the straight community, there is no legal basis for denying their rights. It is discrimination and it should not be allowed to continue. We all deserve equal rights irregardless of our sexual orientation.


I’m Off on a Tangent, Be Back Soon

“All right, you win. You win. I give. I’ll say it. I’ll say it. I’ll say it. DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME! DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME!” (Young Frankenstein)

Ah, the concept of destiny. Are things meant to be? Is anything ever certain? Are our lives predetermined?

In short, no.

Predetermination, it’s like when you get a credit card in the mail and it says you’re pre-approved. Does that mean you HAVE to get the credit card? Nope, you can choose to throw it out, you can choose to let it sit on your coffee table for the next six weeks, you could choose to actually try and get the card.

I hate the concept of destiny, but what I hate more are people who shove it down my throat. I’ve been known to say, on occasion that something seems like it was meant to be. I don’t actually believe my life is on a little track and every decision I make has already been made for me. In fact, that idea kind of pisses me off. If I believed things were destined, I’d have a few choice words for whoever created my roller coaster.

Life is constantly evolving, changing. Yesterday is never truly the same as today, or tomorrow, or next week. Even if we’re doing the same thing, there are differences, differences so subtle that if we paid enough attention and noticed them this whole concept of destiny would just wither away and die.

In some ways destiny goes with religion, people who believe in destiny tend to believe there’s a nice old man hanging out in the clouds who has a personal, vested interest in their lives. They tend to believe this old dude is up there actively planning out their lives and if any crap happens it’s God’s fault.

Or, it’s an excuse to deny personal responsibility. If I fuck up and don’t pay my phone bill, have my phone shut off and then have to pay more to get it turned back on that’s my damn fault. There’s no one else to blame. I’ve got to look at myself and say, “well, that was stupid now wasn’t it.” I can’t sit there and seriously believe it was planned for me to miss that phone bill. Well, I could sit there and think that but I would probably end up checking myself into Anna Kaseman and calling it a day.

I’m not sure I have a point to this, other than to complain about people who’s answer to everything is “it was meant to be.” You know what, fuck you. Don’t tell me it’s “God’s Plan” either. That just makes me want to hit you. Life is about choices, our choices. We’re responsible for whatever bullshit happens in our lives, we’re the ones who have to look at the messes we make and deal with cleaning them up.