Secrets From A Fat.. SO?!

Archive for the category “Confessions”

Words to Live By #1

I AM Enough by Chelsea Hellings

You cannot change what is a part of you,
Although I’ve often tried.
My body was never thin enough,
My imperfects I’d always hide.

I smiled when they said I was beautiful,
I laughed when they said I was great.
But it took a long time to believe in their wrods,
I figured lonelines was my fate.

The boys I wanted, didn’t want me.,
I was tossed, used and torn.
So many took me as a joke,
I crawled inside myself- scared and forlorn.

My self-eteem had let me down,
My belief in myself was nil.
I did not understand where I was headed,
Could not until….

I finally decided to believe in me,
I realized that I was worth so much.
This was when I could see through the storm,
When I allowed my soul to be touched.

I sometime wish for money and love,
When times get distressing and tough.
But I know that I will always love myself,
No mater what….

I AM ENOUGH!

Sticks and Stones

Somehow during our playground days, certain phrases, facts and games are psychology embedded into us for life. Even as we learn to discern and dislodge children logic from real logic, it still remains deep within us.

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

It’s an idealist statement, and one probably fit for a utopian society but, if I’m being honest here, no matter how many times I told myself that phrase, as either a child or an adult to this day, words could never not affect me.

One ordinary late night in my apartment after work, I was sitting in the livingroom with my roommates, friends and boyfriend. Three of us were sitting on the couch and my roommates were playing video games on the floor. We were laughing and talking which was quickly becoming a daily thing in this house when, my roommate D turned around, looked at me after a point I’d made about being introverted and chimes in and says, “Sarah, you are so not introverted.” Suddenly, in just an instant, I was thrown off my guard and didn’t have any words to respond. I didn’t know how to explain how this seemingly very loud, boisterous happy-go-lucky girl they had grown to know was actually a very fragile new skin that I was still growing into. I didn’t know how to explain a flaw I thought was obvious as my pink elephant.

I may have come a long way from running from childhood bullies in tears, hating the way I looked, or mentally locking apart of myself away from people so I don’t get hurt but, a small part of that fear still remains. There are days I feel like I have to be dragged out of the house like a horse by its bit because I just can’t summon the courage to leave it. There are moments when I just feel like all I’m doing is waiting to play the martyr, just waiting for the people I care most about to hurt me. And there are times when I just want to believe the worst in people. I had this fear that there was something wrong with me for feeling this way, so I kept people away.

Being introverted for me was never about not having friends. At any given time there would always be people I considered friends. There have also been plenty of people in my life who I like well enough to call acquaintances and talk to from time to time. If I really wanted someone to talk to, I could strike up mundane small talk with a stranger while waiting for a bus. You can surround yourself with people and still be lonely. Instead, with the occasional exceptions, I chose to stay in my room and lock myself away from others. I blew people off, canceled made plans at the last second and I kept myself distant.

Not many people like admitting their inadequacies or insecurities to the world and I don’t stray too far from this particular genre. Like most people, I strive to see myself in the best of light. I fight to be strong so others don’t see me as weak. I work hard at pleasing others so I can keep peace, even at the cost of mine. By keeping myself distant, I felt like I could control what people knew about me and therein, how I could get hurt. It never worked of course. Eventually, I would find myself inconsolably upset, in tears, and back to where I originally started and every time my world grew a little smaller.

And this is how I lived for a huge chunk of my life, alone but never with more than a handful of people at any given time that I kept in contact with. And every year that group that grew smaller and smaller till I realized I had literally pushed away every person I held dear to. I am not going to lie and say that a part of me wasn’t happy to be alone. Years at a time, I found ways to find solace in my own company, to hide myself away. But it was always in small isolated moments when I would realize how lonely I actually was. Because, I didn’t want to get hurt. Because I trust people too much and too little at the same time. I want to believe in the best in people and yet it seems like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m always waiting for people to let me down.

“Sarah, just trust me!” I was told one night by a rather frustrated manager, while I impatiently waited for the green light to go home. The sentiment might not have sent the message it was implied, I had been a little anxious to leave, but it impacted me in a different way. Three little words, just trust me. Trust? For all the optimism that I’ve been stereotyped to have ever since I could remember, I realized my trust lies very cynically. I trust people to talk behind my back, screw me over, for myself to fail and for everything to eventually fall apart. I trust the worst in people and in myself.

So I figured, if I can change the negative attitude how I feel about my body, can I change how I view about others? Can I trust other’s enough that I won’t get hurt? It’s hard, this trust thing. It’s easy to believe that as long as I keep apart of myself locked away that when the enviable happens, that the words of others won’t hurt. It’s easy to play the martyr, and I don’t want to. It’s harder to let go and put my faith in hands of others. It’s hard to have blind faith. But nothing in this life comes easy if you really want it. I can never know the character of a person, no matter the tests I set for people, if I don’t believe the best in others.

The truth is, I want to believe, I want to trust. There are a lot of things I want. It’s somewhere in the depths of that dreaded stomach pit, lie all of my fears. I want to believe that the bonds I’ve created are genuine and the feelings that I feel are returned.  Some of those requests are reasonable while others are a little delusional. But everyday that I spend a little less time worrying, wondering, or over analyzing are moments when I seem to be simply just happy. Life may not be perfect and I’m okay with that. Like I learned to love my body for what it is, so will I have to learn how to come to believe the best in people. At least I hope so anyway.

So here’s to sticks and stones never breaking my bones and may let words never hurt me.

Story of a Girl

Once upon a time, there was a girl. And she was fat. She didn’t like being fat either. She thought everywhere she went people were judging her on her fatness because as life experience had taught her, they were. But this girl kept her head high, ruthlessly resilient and determined to prove to others that she was more than she appeared. For years she shouted from rooftops, preaching her differences, her ideas and ideals, believing that they made her special. The people around her would shake their heads and chuckle, sometimes even giving a small patronizing pat on the head, before shuffling along. It wasn’t that they didn’t believe her, they just never once took her seriously. She was of course, the girl with a million and one dreams. And she was lonely.

 Then this girl met a boy. She had met boys before. But the boys of Before either couldn’t see past her fatness or they tried to hold her back. The boys of Before were like statues, perfectly content where they were in life, and the girl wanted more. She wanted more, much more, only she wasn’t sure how to get it. And this boy, the boy of Now, was on a similar journey. The boy of Now understood how she felt about her body. He didn’t try to fix her but never the less, he was always there to help. He didn’t just listen with interest to every one of her million inane plans or her body concerns, he selflessly jumped in with both feet to help her. And befuddling to the girl, he found her beautiful. The boy shared his life with her. And so this girl and this boy became fast friends and helped support each one another.

For a few months, this boy and this girl lived in a bubble built for two. They shut the rest of the world out of their lives and for a while, that was enough. Months passed by and suddenly, the girl became restless. Through the bubble, she began watching the world move around without her. The life of two was just no longer good enough for her, and again she began to crave something more. Part of the void inside of her had been filled but it was like watching carbonation bubbles deflate after it reaches the top of a glass. Her cup had not yet runneth over. It wasn’t enough that the girl had found someone who loved her completely, she wanted the relationships she idolized that were cultivated on television. She wanted a Kramer and a Carrie and a Lorelei and a Phoebe in her life. In her own way, this girl wanted to create her own family.

“Suddenly I realized – two people isn’t enough. You need backup. If you’re only two people, and someone drops off the edge, then you’re on your own. Two isn’t a large enough number. You need three at least.” – About A Boy

But like any illusionist would have you to believe, such things are often much harder to come by than they appear. The thing was, the girl was lucky. Like all human beings, she had the tools to accomplish anything she ever wanted but, she just didn’t know how to use them. And so she went through life constantly asking the imaginary audience, “is this your card” until this girl finally had an epiphany. The truth is, the answer has always been there, had always been there and always will be. It was a simple question really: How could you really comprehend another’s love for you when you cannot understand what it is to love about yourself. Most know what it is to unconditionally love another soul but cannot comprehend what the other see’s in return. Or at the very least, I didn’t.

And so, a little over a year ago I went on a journey to change myself. I may not have understood what I was getting into when I started it all, and my attempts certainly didn’t intentionally begin that way but never the less, it’s where my feet, and heart, ended up. I don’t have all the answer’s yet, and I doubt I ever will. There are days when I feel like I am little more than an annoyance to be tolerated by all those around me and then other days that are full of such joy that words could not even put justice too. I understand now what it’s like to completely surrender one’s will to thyself, not to a god or any one person, and to love what they see. It’s more than not feeling guilty over eating a whole box of cookies. I don’t have to love the parts of me I deem as flaws, but I do accept that, as a whole, it doesn’t make me an ugly person.

It’s a journey of just letting yourself be happy, even when the world around you is constantly trying to rain on your parade. And it’s time to move on to the next chapter, I guess. If the first stage, or chapter, is just loving yourself, then the next is letting people in. That in itself is a scary thought. There are too many fears to simply relay in an already long-ish entry. Fears that are common that almost every single person has ever had like, what if I get hurt? If I can forgive, how do you trust again? How can I communicate well to others? How can I make others understand how I feel?

And the truth is like before, I don’t know. I don’t know how this next chapter will play out but, I can make the same promise as I did when I started out last year, to just keep trying.

A Fat Girl’s Chubby Chaser

There are many universal facts that everyone knows but no one really talks about. Like we all know that there are many different types of people in the world. We all know these people not only look different, but have different, opinions, interests and tastes. And we know that these opinions, interests and tastes don’t always match up with our own. What one person may love, we can safely assume that there is probably someone not so far away who will hate what we love. We learn that even if we try to deny ourselves, or force feed people to like the same things we like and have the same opinions are ours that the independent will of a person is, inevitable. For instance, a child could find this out simply when a bully confronts them and makes that child cry for no apparent reason other than they’re different.

And so we spend our childhood and early teenage years trying to get by and fit in as best into whatever cliché niche we can. Essentially, most of just want to be liked and accepted. For some, fitting in comes more naturally than it does for others while the rest of us are constantly working or struggling at it. We try to figure out how to balance fitting in and finding our own likes and dislikes as we continue to try on different outfits of ourselves. But in the end, we learn that no matter how hard we try, not everyone will like us nor will we like everyone we meet.

At some point, there is a moment when we notice a boy, and we start to think he’s cute. We’re not sure why we find him attractive, but we do. And we start to like him. Then there’s the moment when a boy first starts to like you. You may not know why they find you attractive, but they do. Sometimes we like them back and sometimes you don’t. The first time a boy had a crush on me, I was mean to him. Not only was he not in any socially cool cliché but not even known by association like I was. He was tall, chubby and a complete dork. Just like me. So the moment he passed me a note in 7th grade English class if I would go to the Halloween dance I was help putting together, I circled no. I avoided him every chance after that I could. And when it couldn’t be avoided, I found ways to taunt him away.

In truth, he scared me. I had never had a boy like me before and yes, I was a little shallow. All around me were these ideal expectations being driven into my head about the kind of boy I should like. Because by tween standards, Eric was a loser. And maybe I should have been too, if my two closest friends hadn’t been in the “popular” group. But, I had also developed my own reputation by being acquaintances with at least a couple of people from each social group from band to a members of Student Council (a great way to get out of class I tell ya!) I never quite fit in, but I was accepted. Much like my life today.

It didn’t take me long after to fully appreciate and understand the sentiment, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It wasn’t hard for me to admit the statement not long after I started high school. I felt bad how I treated Eric because I knew I had been unfair. My thirteen year old self had assumed that if I circled yes on that piece of paper then I was signing my life over to a boy I didn’t want to be with. My thirteen year old self didn’t understand I could be casual friends with a boy and do things like, go to dances with, without being labeled as a boyfriend/girlfriend.  But then, that’s middle schooler’s for you, always in such a rush to grow up.

However I felt though, it didn’t seem to wash away the guilt. I still felt bad for how I treated the first boy to like me. I knew after I left middle school, I was going to choose a guy for what I saw in him and damn anybody’s else opinion. Some people consider this lowering my bar but,I saw it as readjusting my perspective. As long as I saw a decent human being, I was going to give every guy a chance and not care what anyone else thought. Maybe it was also a way for me rebel against the “good girl” I was cast typed as and maybe I was also growing up a little bit faster than my peers around me.

Over the years, while I had learned to love and accept other people beyond their physical appearance, I forgot to love myself. Yes, I just went there with that corny sentimental LifeTime television network phrase. But it’s true, I did. I could love a guy unconditionally for the potential I saw within him but there would always be something slightly missing. No matter how happy I told myself I was, there would always be a wedge of doubt. I found myself continually making compromises for another person’s happiness instead of my own. Which is only half unfair to say, because bringing joy into other’s life does bring me pleasure. I had just lost my voice.

My “me” had turned to a “we” and I had to learn how to insist what I wanted and I liked in guys instead of reinventing myself into the type of woman a guy would want me to be. Before, all my stories consisted of memories of “us” and most of the time when someone was referencing my name was just thrown in with his, if at all. I wanted my own identity but I felt the security in sharing one, and I felt guilty while I felt myself pull away. But, I found one. Or more like, little by little I just learned to love myself unconditionally and to let others do the same.

Because of the billions of people we share this planet with, there are many, many different types of men. And although it feels like I’ve been out with every single one of those types, I realize that I haven’t even come close to touching the tip of the ice burg. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how many dates you’ve been on or what type of person your attracted to if you’re not honest with yourself about your own needs and let yourself be happy. Sometimes that’s hard and sometimes it hurts other people. Okay, it’s almost always hard and the medicine is what I need to keep reminding myself to swallow. But like I said in the beginning, the independent will of a person is, inevitable. I know that no matter how hard I try and fight against myself, that I will eventually lash out and free myself from any bonds I let myself get tied up in.

Saying Goodbye to Unrequited Affairs

When I was eleven years old, I had my first crush. He had dirty blonde hair, brown eyes and looked like a monkey. I was absolutely head over heels in love. Whose to say what or why we’re attracted to the people we like. All I know is that I was eleven years old and had just experienced my first heartbreak from an unrequited love. Deep down inside, I knew he would never feel the same way. But, like most girls, I kept telling myself if I could only make him like me, then everything would be okay.

I was only just a Princess, searching or her Prince. But unlike most girls, I wasn’t in a rush to find him. I knew I would have to kiss a lot of frogs before I found my Prince because, my grandma told me so. And my grandma was the Queen of Westwood. And even though the boy had broken my heart, and the pain hurt more than anybody could ever prepare me for, I knew because of my grandma’s words that I’d be okay.

When I was twelve there was Alex, who was like a persian Hugh Grant. I stalked his number from the Parents night sign in book (where I wasn’t supposed to be). I called the number twice and threw it away. All I can say is that I am so glad I grew up in the last generation before caller ID! In seventh grade there was George, who was a year ahead of me and the only time we spent together was in student council. He looked like Joseph Gordon Levitt. I squealed with delight as George signed my yearbook at the end of the year but I was sad to know that was the last time I’d ever see him.

Then Tony came along. Since I have to be honest here, I wasn’t physically attracted to Tony when we first dated. But I loved his personality. He had this way of charming whoever he talked to within five minutes. And I knew anyone who let him get away was a fool. Tony was smart and cool in the way I can never be. He was hard-working, kind and a family man. I just wasn’t physically attracted to him for the majority of our relationship. I wasn’t repulsed but my heart wasn’t doing backflips. I did love him though, more than he will ever understand. I just didn’t understand what was wrong with me.

 The first experience I had out of my eight year relationship with Tony was with a man I call Mr. Cocky. The name should pretty much speak for itself. But he was exciting for me, or maybe he just a flavor I had never tried before. I guess I should have known better, that he was more in it for the conquest than actual dating. While he semi-broke my heart, he also showed me how to be tough. He told me how to hide my heart and all the flaws that scream as bright red flags to make men run away screaming. I guess you could say he took pity on me because, as he liked to brag, he was my “rebound”.

I didn’t take Mr. Cocky’s words fully to heart until after I dated a man I call Mr. Monkey…  and what can I say about this man? He made my heart feel whole. He was intelligent, extremely kind, hard-working and handsome to boot (in a nerdy sort of way). In truth, it was me who probably ruined any prospects of a relationship working out. I was still too emotionally needy. I wanted someone with mostly all the answers. I wanted someone who could fix me.

But instead of facing the truth, I just vowed to myself to never let myself get close enough to be hurt again. I had already rightfully lost Tony, the closest thing I had to a best friend. We were still talking, but it wasn’t the same. I was lost and I was lonely. So I kept putting myself out there, praying that something would click. Hoping that somewhere things would change. I’d like to think that I was putting myself out there looking for love, but I think I was really looking for a friend.

And while one morning I woke up and clicked that I was the one who needed to get my life together instead of waiting for someone to fix it for me, it didn’t seem to stop me from guarding my heart from men. I was barely phased when I ended things with a man I call Eggy in August. I wanted to let myself fall but, I could recognize the patterns and resisted. But it’s easy to resist against a man who you barely see and rarely makes any effort to talk to you.

There is one more guy, but at risk of losing my job, I’m not going to go into it. Except I will say that it was my fault how things turned out. Not all my fault, but most of it… probably. I tried too hard to fight against my feelings to not knowing how to turn off the emotional faucet.

The thing all these guys have in common though, is me. Each one of these men made me question what was wrong with me? They have made me question my self-worth, of why I wasn’t good enough or what they were looking for. They have each in their own way, made me have resentments against them. I have wondered countless times of what if’s. What if I had done this, what if I had done that? What if I had held back a little bit more? Remained a little bit more mysterious? What if I were thinner, prettier, funnier, cooler, etc? The questions about my self worth never seemed to end!

The ironic thing, for as coo-coo as I make myself about a boy I like, around the boys I could give a damn about, I act exactly as the girl I wish I was. Around the boys I’m not interested in, I come off as a girl who is playful, flirty and silly. To them I am independant and confident. I don’t come off as a girl who gets clingy or over emotional. These guys tell me that I am a catch! It’s just usually these are the guys I don’t want to get caught for. And I resent myself for not being able to act like this around the boys I do like.

I resent the stereotype that a guy has to make the first move. I resent the fact that women are supposed to give men something to chase in order for men to like us. I’ve grown enough to know that just because I’m interested in a guy, doesn’t mean I’ve been “caught”. I resent games and I resent that I can’t just walk up to a boy and say,“I like you. Would you like to go out?”  I resent that in order for a guy to be interested in me, I’m supposed to show a persona that’s only half me. The charm of smiling, flirting, and the restraint of not talking too much only lasts for so long.

I am grown up now and have been long done with playing Princess. I never did like the fact that the Princess was supposed to wait around for Prince Charming to get off his lazy butt and ‘save her’. Growing up, waiting wasn’t a strong virtue of mine. Neither was being saved. If I saw something I wanted, I went after it. And if I didn’t get it, I got over it because I realized maybe it wasn’t something worth having. I knew that as long as I gave what I cared for a 110% that trying and caring was always better than trying and being afraid. I get scared but eventually I’ll tell myself, “Hey, what do I have to lose?’ and go for it.

So this is me, saying goodbye too all those affairs that ended one sided. I could say something corny like it’s their lost, but that’s something I already know. Because I know I’m a catch. Because I am the girl who may talk too much, but I listen just as intently and openly. I am the girl who no matter what kind of relationship, platonic or romantic, will try to bring smiles, laughter, and sillyness into. So goodbye to all the boys who made me feel like I did something wrong, or made me feel like something was wrong with me. When all I did was… be myself.

Weight Wait, Don’t Tell Me!

You could say that I’m obsessed about my weight. I think about it… a lot.

It’s a constant conflicting battle I’m fighting with myself. On one hand I absolutely refuse to jump on any weight loss band wagon or diet trends and on the other hand I find myself in a constant war of fat. If Pat Benatar’s battlefield is love, then mine is definitely about weight. It’s a constant struggle, over the way my pants fit – or don’t fit, what or how much to eat. The angel and devil sitting on my shoulder usually have to rationalize my behavior. I am happy with the progress I’ve made so far and even more proud of myself for not gaining any weight back.

But I still unjustly and harshly over analyze every single curve, every roll and the way my butt wiggles. And it’s not fair to my body. My body didn’t just wake up one morning and decided, Hey! Let’s get really really fat! No, that was me. I put every morsel, sometimes sinfully delicious, sometimes shudderingly gross food, into my mouth. No one made me do it. There was no one holding a gun up and saying “Eat or Mr. Snuggles gets it!” Sometimes I ate because I was hungry and at other times, I ate because I was bored and thought I was hungry.

And I know I am one of those weird fat girls who likes knowing her actual weight number. I’m one of those girls who can call herself fat without meaning it in a degrading way. Some people find that sad or that I’m trying to pretend to be strong. Or saying that I’m okay with who I am, fat and all, for shock value. And I’m not. Or maybe I’m projecting those opinions onto others. Maybe it has nothing to do with what I think they’re thinking and simply they just don’t know how to react to such a bold statement like, “I’m fat. And I’m okay with that.”

A delicious grilled chicken salad Chris made from scratch

The normal response among woman is to degrade herself when she isn’t perfect and to expect sad sympathy replies and nonchalantly shrug the cries of compliments off. But when I say that I’m not purposely trying to lose weight, just eat healthier, I’m not sure people know how to respond to that except for a confused and half-hearted cheer of, “good for you.” And I wonder if they truly believe that. Because how often has that line been used before? Yes, I would like to lose weight and hope I do. But it’s not my goal.

 I’m not looking to brag about my healthy eating either. But when you shop where you work, it’s kind of hard for people not to notice what you’re buying. It’s just in our nature to be curious what the people in our life are consuming. I know I don’t have to rationalize anything to anyone, but it’s in my nature to try explain. Especially when I explain to a coworker I’m trying to eat healthier, then buy a couple greasy corn dogs a couple of days later.

I see it as, be a little bit of an angel, and be a little bit of a devil. I feel like that’s just me as a person and not just with food. I lean on the angel side a bit heavier than the devil with my personality and I lean on the devil’s side heavier than my angel side with food. And I’m learning how to balance the two out.

It’s hard to believe that as obsessed with weight that I am, I only weigh myself about once a week. I sneak onto the scale, do my secret ritual, and accept its results until I start all over again the following week. Because of course I hope to have lost weight. For as much as I want to reap the benefits of having a healthy colon and as much as I pride myself about eating less processed and chemical foods, I want some of the physical benefits. I want to be able to sit on a transit bus and only take up one seat. I want to know what it feels like to run for miles before getting winded; instead of from the mile and a half of a somewhat up hill walk to my bus stop. I want to go into a normal clothing store and know that they have something I can wear.

But it’s not about dieting. I am not looking to stay on a plan for a few weeks or a few months and then suddenly go back to old way’s. This is about learning to like myself and how to bring my alter ego Lilly out from just this idea and merge her with me. Now that it’s summer, I would love to incorporate exercise into my life. I don’t mean to become a gym rat. I like the idea of yoga, swimming and eventually running.

We hear about healthy living, from the thin. We hear it being preached by just about anyone but I wonder, how many of them are actually as virtuous as they claim? It’s hard to be around people who brag about all their diet or healthier eating tips because I wonder how often they swallow their own words. Because it’s hard to not hear the smuggness in their tone. Why do we have to change who we are? What is so wrong with just being happy with the way you look? Why do we need to let other’s constantly make us feel like we have to improve the way we are? Why can’t we just be good enough?

I am good enough. I am not looking to change myself because of what society tells me I should look like. I am trying to change myself because how I’m not living, is killing me.

Hardly Alice

“I didn’t say you weren’t Alice. I said you were hardly Alice.”- Absolem aka the Blue Caterpillar.

The first time I saw Alice In Wonderland (Through the Looking Glass version 2010), I have to confess, I was disappointed. I thought it altogether way too cheesy.  While watching it a second time around, this time in my room with no cheesy 3D glasses, I saw the movie in a different light. Yes, Tim Burton is just as weird and in my opinion still a one trick pony who rotates the same actors around. But during the second viewing of Alice in Wonderland, my perception shifted.

I did read Alice in Wonderland as a kid but, I confess I never got around to reading Lewis Carroll’s “Through The Looking Glass.” Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have missed the overall movie message. The message asking a question, who are you?  Or more specifically, who is Alice? Through the Looking Glass takes place after Alice grows up, one where a woman’s voice held little weight and choices often made for her.

As far as the movie’s interpretation of the book goes, it leads into Alice’s life “all grown up” and trying to be bred into a young society woman. We see as her personal freedom and voice diminish from existence, that her sanity snaps and throws her back into Wonderland.At one point the Cheshire Cat was like, “TheAlice?” And Alice responded, “There’s been some debate about that.” “I’ve never been one for politics,” he replies. It’s actually Absolem, who towards the end of the movie, finally provokes Alice into shouting in defining terms, her identity.

Like Editor in Chief of US’s Cosmopolitan Magazine, Kate White wrote in April’s issue (I think) of, “I am always looking for inspiration to borrow from others”. I am always borrowing ideas from my family, Chris, friends, coworkers and just things I observe in the media. Because if you look, inspiration is all around you. For instance, I like Kate White’s example of trying to incorporate Natalie Portman’s attitude for never asking for extensions on deadlines. But it’s not just what I see or read inspires me.

My own family inspires me. My mom inspires me to be kind and generous. Chris inspires me to not give a damn about people’s opinions and to explore outside my comfort zone. I don’t think my own coworkers realize how much they’ve inspired me to be better at just my own job in the year that I’ve been there! Mama T inspired me to keep my work area cleaner. Speedy Gonzales inspires me to work faster but to be thorough. Mr. Cinnamon inspired me to memorize my codes faster when I first started. Miss Bookworm inspires me to never call myself dumb or stupid and motivates me to want to learn now. Mr. Beanie inspires me about how far a sincere a simple compliment can go.

But those are only a few examples. In honest to god corny truth, I’m always trying to borrow or learn something from everyone I know everyday. You guys make me into a better person. And I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. Sometimes there are many people who teach me the same message, but each in a slightly different style. It might be a slight variation or spin on something I already know, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. I have gone the long way to make my point but I promise I have one.

Alice is yelling at Absolem. “I am the daughter of a blah blah blah. I am this, I am that. I am Alice!” (I can’t remember verbatim as I’m going off the cuff here). Before she had started off on her self identity realization, Alice was in the space in between. She felt who she was, and I’m sure deep down knew who she was. It wasn’t until she had to verbally remind, not Absolem, but herself, who she was, did Alice get her “muchness” back. And that inspired me to take a page out of Alice’s book.

I know who I am, at least, I feel her. I feel my “muchness”. I know that by simply listing my identity, it won’t change me over night. It won’t make my muchness sprout faster than the cake Alice ate to grow taller. But it will me grow. My identity will change. I don’t mean for any of the following to come off as overly critical or unjustly harsh. So without further ado, my muchness.

I am Sarah. I am somewhere between not tall enough and too tall. I lean on the side of being too fat, fat enough to be given sighs of sympathy “She would be prettier if only…” but not fat enough to be considered for the show Biggest Loser (I tried out in 2010). I am pretty enough to know that I am not the ugliest girl in the room, but I’m not the one that gets gossiped about for being a knock out. (And not just because of my weight.) I know I have a face that is passably pretty… a little plain and a sometimes a little ordinary (especially one that’s sans makeup) but a face pretty enough by media standards to be called cute. It’s enough of a face that most days, I like my reflection. But I am not the girl who boys stumble over their feet to get to and I’m not the girl who people laugh about those boys falling over. I am just me, I am just Sarah. And I’m fine with that.

I am the girl who will never have it all put together, but who acts like she does. I will act like I have my life figured out, when I don’t. I have a vauge idea of a direction I want to go in and hope it pans out. I will always be the girl who tries to always have a genuine smile on her face. Not just because I want to be happy, I do, but because I feel like it’s a mask I can control. I get scared letting people see that I am emotional. I over analyzes situations, even if I don’t have all the facts. I am the girl who is laid back and emotionally accepting of just about anyone and I am a girl who doesn’t get truly offended easily. After venting, I try not to hold onto anger or resentment. But I like to vent and sometimes I need a few ears to tell it to. I am a girl who loves with her whole heart and will silently cry for months over mistakes and people she hurt. I am a girl who will always be bleeding love.

I am smart enough to know that I can accomplish anything I want… when I focus. I am a girl who never stops trying, stubbornly so. I am a girl who loves to learn and dreams big. I almost always need lots of visual help, lots of practice, and patience. I am competitive enough to be driven, but not competitive enough to finish first. I am an average girl who doesn’t want to be average. I have a million plans, ideas and projects but never finish them. I have an insane amount of patience but I get distracted easily. I am a girl who loves to tell stories but gets too lost within details. I am a girl who has trouble letting go. I am a girl who is constantly trying to reinvent herself.I am a girl trying to refind her muchness. I am Sarah.

I Am A Writer

Recently, I wrote an article about fighting negative stereotypes. I wrote about how labels don’t make up a person’s entire existence. And it’s true. For it takes many stereotypes, many labels to be all rolled up like a giant burrito to make a person who they are. But what about the good labels? What about the labels that have always been apart of you? The ones where you let others made you to believe you weren’t good enough to be labeled as.

One night a few days ago, I was riding the bus home with a coworker we’ll call… Coughdrop. On any given night, I will sometimes catch the bus with at least one of several coworkers but I always particularly enjoy Coughdrop’s company because of their laid back attitude. Because most of the time, I can convey the same message of warmth in a wordless hello, a nod and a smile, as I would to one of my more physically affectionate coworkers. So it wasn’t surprising to me, that while Coughdrop and I were standing at the bus stop, I randomly confessed a secret that I had only told one other person in my entire life. I am a writer.

Yes, I blog. And people I know I blog. People know I like to write and they know because I told them. Those aren’t secrets. But I have only said the words, I am a writer, to two people. Instead of telling people, “Oh, I’m a writer.” I say, “Oh, I just like to write.” Because the truth is, beyond bloging…  I have ideas for novels and short stories. They’re ones I’ve been working on for many years and very few people know about. And I don’t tell anyone because not only don’t I think they’re really all that good enough or great but because I don’t have a whole lot actually written. Not enough to really share with anyone. One of my story ideas is a romance murder mystery while another one is a spin on a classic Christmas Tale. I have a slightly sci-fi/fantasy spin on Beauty & the Beast and a complicated Greek Mythology twist brought into modern times and Zeus muse daughters. None of which are Pulitzer prize worthy so I figure… why brag about them?  So, I never thought of myself as a… writer. Even now, the label sounds foreign and strange to me. To be a writer, I always thought you had to have that passion, that drive, and dedication real writers had to have!

The label behind what a writer should be however, has different meanings. To me, writers are intellectuals or classics like Charles Dickens’, Jane Austin or Proust. To me writers of today are dedicated bloggers who write everyday just because they have something to say. Writers are the people who spend hours in coffee shops writing. You have Hollywood writers, journalists, editors, bloggers, and everyday people who struggle to get their work published. Because that’s what writers do… all the time. Writers are what they do and who they are because it’s their job or their dream. It was in turn, a stereotype I had placed on others.

So writing was just a label I never associated with myself. Because while I enjoy writing, because I don’t have that same dedication I let myself believe that I wasn’t a writer. But as I sat on that bus, and let the confession and my someday story ideas slip from my mouth into Coughdrop’s ears, I realized… I am a writer! While I might not have the same drive, or the right dedication that more serious writer’s may have, I do enjoy writing! I do have a semi-passion for it. My mind is constantly coming up with ideas to blog about. It’s just the ideas I scribble down from my notebook have a hard time making it passed the paper and into some sort of coherent thought. I can’t tell you why exactly I have such trouble, because I’m not exactly sure myself.

All I know is that, the more I write, the easier writing becomes and the more I enjoy it. I still may have trouble after a few days piecing my thoughts together, but the overall writing becomes easier. But the more I write, the less sleep I get. And I worry if I miss a day about how many more entries I have to make up. You could say I place too high of expectations upon myself of having to write every day. But when it comes down to it, I am a writer. And it’s a label I’m comfortable with. While writing may never be anything more than a hobby, I’m beginning to feel like labels can be a good thing. I’m beginning to realize that as long you love what you do and at some level have that passion (even if it doesn’t manifest into a profession) that it’s okay to let a label be a part of who you are. I’m probably not going to yell it up across the rooftop’s to people or brag about it in conversation. But for the first time, if the topic of writing comes up, I am no longer going to shyly say “Oh, I just like to write.”  Because I am a writer!

Meet My Alter Ego, Lilly

Before Beyoncé admitted to the world about her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, I used to come up with alter ego names’ for myself. For instance, Elizabeth Henry was the pen name I wanted to write with if I ever became published (online blog not counting). It’s a combination of my middle name and my father’s last name. I loved how old-fashioned (and very British) it sounded. I used to think that it would bring more credibility than my own name ever would. But my favourite alter ego name I created for myself has to be Lilly Adams.

Lilly Adams was a persona I created when I was sixteen and watching America’s Next Top Model. Like most sixteen year old girls, I was obsessed with fashion. Most of the time, Lilly looked like model/actress Lily Cole but her looks changed depending on my mood. So after playing around with names I liked, I swore that if I ever lost the massive amount of weight it would take for me walk down a runway, that this two hundred twenty pound sixteen year old would want her model name to be known as Lilly Adams.

It started mostly as an absurd thought. I never really thought that I’d ever really be a model so, I put it on the back burner for years as a silly idea. In fact, I never really told many people about my fake model name. I could already imagine the eye rolls, the chuckles and blank stares I would receive. ‘So, you want to be a model?’ was the voices I heard in my head, mocking me. And honestly, it wasn’t so much I wanted to be a model. I was just a cliché teenager who wanted a beautiful photograph to help validate her ever wavering confidence.

So Lilly just became this idea I would think about when I would watch Top Model. Somehow over the years, I developed Lilly into an alter ego. When Top Model would come on, I would wonder, who is Lilly and what makes her so different from me? Lilly is brave, she is fearless.  She is silly, confidant, flirtatious and radiant; she’s the type of girl who lights up a room simply by entering it. And while I have many qualities that pride myself for, all of those qualities are not ones I naturally posses.

I tease myself that when I am being naturally flirtatious or extra boisterous, that Lilly has come out to play. When I’m listening to music with my headphones and have the sudden urge to sing or dance, instead of dancing myself per say, I imagine Lilly singing perfectly on tune to whatever song I’m listening to and dancing in the middle of the street. Lilly is apart of me now and she’s not. I try to emulate her as best I can everyday, to be fearless while being utterly loveable.

I think we all have a little bit of Lilly inside of us. Someone who we hide within us most of the time but can be seen within the twinkle of your eye without even realizing it. Maybe it’s the face you put on before you go to work, or the courage you have to sum up to do something scary. Like for Beyoncé, sing in front of millions of fans while having to look utterly perfect. We all have them and I declare it’s time to start giving them names! Maybe yours is named Paula Deen, John Doe or maybe even Larry Tate. Who knows. I think once we recognize these personalities within us, it helps encourage that specific behavior. Or at the very least recognize traits we want to avoid. Maybe Jerkface Jerry comes out when you’ve had too much to drink. That way, you can warn people ahead of time. “Look if I accidentally have too much to drink tonight, just know whatever I say is not me, it’s Jerkface Jerry.”

So hello and meet Lilly. If you catch me singing randomly, or being a little extra flirty or silly, it’s probably because Lilly decided to come out and play.

 
Lilly comes when you stop to call her
Lilly runs when you look away
Lilly leaves kisses on your collar
Lilly, Lilly, Lilly, Lilly, stay!

The Secret Scale

I have a secret relationship with my scale. I don’t personally own one but, my mother does! In fact, I convinced her to buy the one she has now knowing I could secretly borrow it.

A little untold secret of fat girls is that we’re not supposed to really care about our weight. Oh, we all know fat girls stuff their faces either behind skinny people’s back or when we’re with a large group of people at a restaurant. But heaven forbid we actually know our own weight! How big our chin rolls are, how many stomachs close to a cows we have, and the way we waddle walk are supposed to dictate exactly how fat we are. From chubby, to kinda over weight, to plus size, to yeah she needs to lose weight to morbidly obese. Weight is supposed to be a number too scary for us fat girls to handle. And for some, perhaps it is. But for me, I get a higher rush, secretly undressing in my mother’s bathroom to see if I lost so much as a pound.

And if I have, I’ll over analyze my body in the mirror, wondering what part of my body is now that much closer to being skinny. I’ll hold my tummy with both hands, check out my butt, and turn my face to either side just to see if I can notice any difference. I’ll test my pants when they’re back on to try and see how close to a pants size I am to losing and I’ll sway side to side once my shirt is on again to see how much my muffin top has shrunk. I do all of this privately, and nakedly.

I’m not vain, at least I’m pretty sure I’m not. I like to make sure before I leave the house I took passably decent and sometimes I will spend a couple of hours “dolling myself up” but I don’t think this makes me vain. Nor do I think I have an eating disorder. When the scale goes up a couple, or a few, pounds from what I was hoping, I won’t lie and say that I’m not slightly disappointed in myself. But instead of beating myself up I remind myself to just be more conscious of how much and what I’m eating. 

My mother’s scale gives me hope and the urge to keep pushing myself to keep trying. I usually fail but I never let it defeat me. I hope to someday soon be at least a couple of clothes size smaller. Everytime I look at that scale and see a smaller number, it fills me with pride for myself and confidence that I can one day reach my dream of being in between a size ten or twelve. I always want to look in the mirror and think yeah, I’ve still got some curve but still be healthy.

I just want to take a moment and say, Thank you scale. Without you I wouldn’t know I’ve lost a pant size or that I’ve  become seventeen pounds closer the weight on my state id. I would probably be less confident and still be beating myself up. I would probably revert to over eating and not changing. So while you usually get blamed for playing the bad guy for letting us know our true selves, thank you scale for making me grow (No pun intended) into the ever more confident, and beautiful woman I am starting to finally feel.

Sincerely,
From A Fatso

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