Eff You, Pinterest (Part 3)

Although I only occasionally pop by Pinterest anymore, I still manage to see enough annoying stuff to structure a blog post around.  So here ya go…10 times Pinterest pissed me off in the past week or so.

One.

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No.

Do it for the “holy shit, you’re going to live until you’re 95!”

Do it for the “holy shit, you are so confident!”

Do it for the “holy shit, you’re setting a great example for your children!”

Do it for the “holy shit, I look hot!”

If you’re doing it so other people will think you’re hot, you should probably reevaluate.

Two.

Yeah well neither does creating fitspirational Pinterestable pictures, so who the heck are you to talk?

Three.

Trust me, it’s gonna be really hard to keep going if you aren’t proud of yourself.  Be proud now.  You deserve it.

Four.

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Sweat more.  Bitch as much as you damn well please.

Five.

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I nanny for a 3 year old who regularly eats more than this.  I get that we all have different caloric needs, but I resent the idea that 1200-1500 calories is the norm, especially for an active person.

Six.

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1 for 3.  Your personality is what makes you sexy AND pretty AND beautiful.  Your body is NOT what makes you sexy.  Your confidence in yourself and in your body is what makes you sexy.

Seven.

Or if the person on the elliptical next to you in really gassy.  Or if you forgot your headphones.  Or if your knee injury is acting up.

Eight.

First of all, this isn’t even true. Second, what is the definition of “moderation” here?  A bite?  A bowl?  Third, why would you try to fill your diet with zero-calorie foods?  Your body needs energy.  Calories are energy.  Therefore, your body needs calories.  You’re welcome for the bonus science lesson.

Nine.

Not true.  A run where you get chased by a chicken is NOT better than no run at all.  Just one example.  And yes, that happened to me once.  No, I don’t want to talk about it.

Ten.

Okay I get the whole tough love thing, but c’mon!  Why you gotta be like that?  If you ever need a good cuddle when you’re feeling extra lazy, just let me know.  I know a few Craig’s List pages that are great for things like that!

 


 

Pinterest Sucks Part 1.  Pinterest Sucks Part 2. *

*I don’t actually hate Pinterest.  I just hate some of the stupid things on Pinterest. 

 

IN THE COMMENTS:

What is your most hated fitspiration/thinspiration quote?  I really, really hate “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”  Ugh.

5 Ways to Love Your Body

Think back to a good relationship you’ve been in.  It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship; just think of any really good, healthy, functional relationship with anyone in your life.  Now think about what made it good.  For me, there are a few things that all of my best relationships have in common:

1. Speaking kindly to one another.

2. Accepting the ups and downs.

3. Spending time together.

4. Doing things we both love.

5. Taking care of each other.

It all seems so simple.  It’s such a given.  Of course I would do all of these things for somebody close to me.

Now think about your relationship with your body.  Do you do these things for yourself?  I sure didn’t.

I used to be so mean to myself.  I wrote words like “fat pig” and “disgusting — lose weight!” on my mirror with a whiteboard marker.  The voice in my head was a raging lunatic bitch all the damn time.

I never accepted the normal ebbs and flows that my body and mind went through.  Bottomless pit of hunger days were feared and bloat was akin to a national disaster.

I didn’t want to spend time with myself.  I never undressed in front of a mirror because the sight of my stomach made me want to curl up and cry.  I never allowed myself to just be because that meant spending time with somebody I hated.

I didn’t do things we both loved.  Instead, I forced myself to do things I hated, like run on the treadmill and not eat cake.

And I really, really didn’t take care of myself.  I didn’t feed my body what it needed.  I didn’t have hobbies, unless you consider exercise addiction and shopping for sugar-free Jell-O hobbies.

But how do you get out of that place?  How do you get to a place where you like yourself, love your body, and enjoy spending time with you?

Treat yourself like a person you love. 

Yep.  Treat yourself the same way you’d treat your best friend or your mom or your little sister.

1. Speak kindly to yourself.  This can come in many forms.  You can be really cheesy: “Wow, Carly, you truly are a magical human filled with the power of a thousand hummingbirds.”  You can keep it simple: “You’re a good person, Self.”  It can be sassy: “Oh guuuuurl, you’re rockin’ those jeans today.  Get it.  Work it.  Shake it.  Twerk it.”  It can be in an exaggerated, stereotypical English accent: “‘Ello chap!  You’re looking mighty fine!  Cheerio!”  Whatever.  Just say nice things, even if it feels weird and stupid.  It helps drown out your inner-dickhead.

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2. Accept the ups and downs.  Some days you feel amazing, inside and out.  Other days, you feel like fried crap on a stick.  That’s okay.  Roll with it.  Get help if you need it.  Don’t feel like a bad person if you have negative body image days or funky days or PMS-y days or really depressed days.  It all comes with the territory of being a human.

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Some days you feel fabulous. Other days you trip and fall into a pile of mud.

3. Spend time with yourself.  Do things alone.  Go see a movie.  Take yourself out to lunch.  Take a bubble bath with Harry Potter (preferably the person, but if that doesn’t work out, the book will probably suffice).  Watch that TV show that nobody else in your family likes.  Go on a walk with dirrrty hip hop playing in your headphones.  Work out.  Go shoe shopping.  Rub lotion on yourself while pretending you’re in a confusingly sexy Aveeno commercial with Jennifer Aniston. Bake.  Paint (your house or your toenails or a picture).  Eat Doritos from the bag while watching The Biggest Loser.  ANYTHING.

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Order room service and eat it in bed.

4. Do things that you and your body love.  Don’t force your body to do things that you hate, and vise versa.  I love Taco Bell but my digestive system detests it, so I don’t eat it often.  I hate running, so I don’t make my body endure it.  My body probably likes beet juice, but I think it tastes like dirty blood, so I don’t drink it.  Things that my body and I love?  Dancing.  Bread.  Spinach.  Lazy Sundays.  Swimming.  Cheese.  Lots of water.  Walking.

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5. Engage in self-care.  Take time to check in with yourself.  Learn to say “no” to invitations (if you’re as popular as me, you have to get really good at this).  Get enough sleep even if that means skipping out on the gym or brunch or a shower.  Go to the doctor regularly.  Find hobbies that fulfill you.

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Try to treat yourself like you would treat somebody you really love.  Even if it’s hard, just fake it ’til you make it.  Even if you really don’t like yourself, stop being such a dick to yourself.  Break the cycle of feeling awful.  Start showing love with your actions and your mindset will follow.

And if all else fails, just slather yourself in Nutella.  There’s no way to hate yourself when you’re covered in Nutella.

Damage Control

I am completely overwhelmed and humbled by the response to the Transformation Tuesday post I shared last week. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, share, and/or comment respectfully and kindly. Respectful opinions are always appreciated here.

I do want to address a few things, though:

Please, try to refrain from commenting on things that are irrelevant to the point of the post/your comment. I saw a comment on a Facebook post calling me a “chunky girl” with a “pitiful face.” No matter how confident I am with my body nowadays, I’m not unflappable. That shit still stings. It’s not constructive. How does my pitiful face relate to your hatred of my post? It doesn’t create a space where we can engage in a real, honest, interesting discussion. It creates a space where I feel the need to get defensive, which isn’t fun for anybody. I also deleted a handful of comments that “complimented” my appearance either inappropriately or just irrelevantly. Try to remember that I’m a real person with real feelings. If that’s hard to remember or conceptualize, try to think about me pooping. That always helps humanize people. And when you’re done thinking about me, move on to Angelina Jolie, then Judge Judy, then Justin Bieber. Trust me, it’s funny.

I didn’t delete any negative comments other than the ones regarding only my appearance.  That’s amazing.  Thanks for keeping it civil, you guys.

This post wasn’t targeting any one person, but rather a social media trend that annoyed me.

I bought the blue strapless bikini top in Hawaii about three years ago. The brand is 2Bamboo, but I couldn’t find the exact top anywhere online.

Yes, I engage in some of the techniques I mentioned. I take pictures in good lighting in clothes that fit when I’m looking my happiest and healthiest. My point of this post was not to call out people who do these things, but rather to caution social media consumers (all of us) to be wary of this. Don’t compare your post-Thanksgiving dinner, fluorescent lighted self to anybody’s Instagram picture.

My humor style is very dry and sarcastic. I apologize if it came across as mean and hateful. Meanness and hate ain’t cool, so I’m truly sorry if that’s the vibe you got.

I don’t judge people who manipulate Transformation Tuesday pictures, even if they do so knowingly. We all want to feel good, and I’ve been in a place where I felt so awful that I probably would have used the skinny apps had they existed on my flip phone.

That post was meant to be funny and silly. I try (operative word: try) not to take things like this too seriously, because for fuck’s sake, it’s just social media.

Your real transformation – whether it’s external or internal, or resulting from weight loss, an awesome haircut, a What Not to Wear wardrobe makeover, a new outlook on life, whatever – is amazing. Be proud. Flaunt it. Don’t let any person (including me) or any post (including that one) tell you how to feel. You’re cool. You’re motivated. You rock.

Again, thank you all for being such awesome, fun, hilarious, respectful, opinionated, interesting people.  I love having this space where we can chat and debate and laugh.

I’ll be back later this week with a new post, containing 100% fewer stomach-baring pictures than my last post, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check back.

Transformation Tuesday: I’m Calling Bullshit

Transformation Tuesday.  It’s the one day of the week where Instagrammers can unapologetically flaunt their body transformation as an inspirational side-by-side before & after pic, usually with a motivational caption (“If I can do it, anybody can!”) and a staggering number of hashtags (#fitspo #fitspiration #strong #healthy #eatclean #weightlossjourney #ididit #fattofit #progress).  That’s all well and good because being proud of yourself is awesome, but I see a ridiculous number of manipulative Transformation Tuesday posts (I’m not talking about yours, though.  Of course not yours.) that use strategic posing and lighting and various slimming techniques… Well, I’m calling bullshit.

So I did what any good narcissist blogger does.  I took a bunch of pictures of myself under the guise of making an important point: It is SO easy to manipulate a photo.  Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram.

Here are a few ways that people manipulate pictures.  We’re all guilty so try not to get your undies in a bunch.

Every photo was taken within a 24-hour period. Enjoy.

1. Clothes

It’s amazing what a flattering outfit can do.  Check out the difference between too-small shorts vs. the stretched out, haven’t-been-washed-in-five-wears jeans.  Also, the angry before face doesn’t hurt.  Pure sass right there.

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I can’t believe I posted this next one on the Internet, so please be nice.  The first bikini just doesn’t fit.  My sultry Victoria’s Secret smolder doesn’t detract from the weird shape this suit has me squished into.  The second bathing suit fits and flatters.  TRANSFORMATION TUESDAY, BITCHES!  Am I InstaFamous yet?!

PicMonkey Collage Back

Okay, onto the clothed before/afters.  Pay no mind to the previous day’s makeup rimming my lower lids.  In the “after” pic, I’m wearing one of those compression tanks that squishes your fat in, so when you take it off your stomach explodes out like a can of Pillsbury biscuits.

There isn’t a huge difference between the front views…

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But check out that back view!  The second pic is a hell of a lot smoother.  Transformation Tuesday, my ass (get it?  because this picture is of my ass?).

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Oohhh, and let’s talk about pant rise (<< a sentence I never thought I’d say with enthusiasm).  I prefer nice high-waisted bottoms because this isn’t 2001 and low-rise jeans so aren’t the business because who wants to check if your labia is showing every 10 seconds?  But, in the before picture, I have my shorts pulled down so my hips (my largest part) are showing.  In the after picture, the shorts are pulled up to my waist — my smallest part — making me look much slimmer!  For the record, I’m also sucking in like my life depends on it.

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2. Strategic Posing

Ah, the classic “boob lift.”  Look guys!  My ribs are showing!  I’M AMAZING AND INSPIRATIONAL!

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3. Posture

I think this one speaks for itself.  STAND UP TALL!  BOOBS OUT!  STOMACH TUCKED!  ASS POPPED!  CHIN…Ugh, this whole standing up thing is fucking exhausting.

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4. Filters

Black & white is always the safest choice.

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5. Time of Day

An optimal Transformation Tuesday pic is taken first thing in the morning, pre-breakfast, post-pee.  Duh.  No pictures, but trust me: my morning bod looks vastly different than my 9pm bod.

6. Lighting

Natural lighting is your friend, people.  Or, when in doubt, just turn all the lights off.

There clearly isn’t a size difference between the two pictures, but the before pic screams: jaundice! sick! I’m living in a house with no lights and I’ve probably never been outside ever!  The after picture is more like: health! natural! I like to go hiking in just a sports bra!

Light

Ah yes, another bathroom selfie.  The left pic is pretty regular, but the lack of light in the one on the right totally makes it look like I have ab definition.  Lololol.  That’s a good joke, Dark Bathroom.

Lighting

7. Angles

Any good Instagrammer knows how to work her angles.  You can angle your phone, your body, or your mirror.  Bonus points for all three!

The first pic was taken in a wall-hanging mirror.  Then I took the mirror off the wall, angled that bitch, and snapped the second pic. I look taller and leaner.  Fuck your long and lean pilates muscles, I have a tilted mirror.

Angle

8. Skinny Apps

AKA the Kim Kardashian diet plan.  Yeah, there are actual phone apps that will skinny-fy your photos.  But beware!  They usually leave sneaky clues behind and people figure out that you skinny-apped your pic and they get pissed.

Check it out!  Instant plastic surgery!

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You can also transform from a regular civilian to Nikki Minaj with the click of a button.  Check out ma hip:waist ratio.  Hot.

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The point of all of this?  Don’t compare yourself to an Instagram picture.  You really shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone ever, but especially not over social media.  I am not trying to invalidate the hard work that anybody put in for their own transformation.  I just want to remind you to be aware that a lot of the stuff out there in social media land is bullshit.  You’re awesome and you shouldn’t be made to feel inferior.

I also think it’s important to note that these aren’t “good” and “bad” pictures of me.  I look like each of these pictures sometimes (minus those skinny-fied ones).   Sometimes I’m in natural lighting and sometimes I’m under fluorescent bathroom lights.  Sometimes I stand up tall and sometimes my back needs a break from holding my boobs up.  Sometimes I wear clothes that fit and sometimes I try to stuff myself into something from high school for old time’s sake.  Every one of these pictures is me.  And you know what?  I’m happy with the way I look in every one.

(Except maybe that weird bikini one, because that shit is preeeetty rough.)

Washington D.C. in (lots of) Pictures

A couple of weeks ago, I jetted off to Washington DC to visit my wonderful friend Shaida who is living there and generally being a badass.  Time for a photo dump.  Settle in, friends.


 

The Jefferson Memorial.  The Washington Memorial.  The White House.  The Lincoln Memorial.

Monuments

MY FACE. HEY.

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Peanut butter gelato (OMG) with peanuts (YES), Reese’s (GIMMIE), and sea salt (LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL).

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The Holocaust Museum was incredible. I love this quote so, so much.  It’s beautiful.  We need to stand up for each other’s rights, or else who will stand up for ours?

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Founding Farmers was AMAZING, so thanks to everyone who recommended it.  There was a hell of a wait, but I was by myself so I was able to snag a seat at the bar.  I started off with this chicken salad salad.

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And finished with this brie, apple, and onion jam-topped grilled bread.  I love brie.  Did you know that?  Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before…

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Hot is right.  Also, how old is too old to SnapChat?  Part of me feels like it should be restricted to the pre-teen set, but the other part of me loves having another social media outlet to waste time express myself.

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Um, Matchbox Pizza has my heart.  We got the arancini (fried risotto balls) for an appetizer and they were basically heaven, if you could fry heaven and slather it in marinara sauce.

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Then I got a pesto chicken pizza with ricotta cheese (<< my own addition; it was genius of me) that was charred and crispy and chewy and creamy and chickeny and… Yes.

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Out on the tizzown, bitchez.

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We also went to Georgetown, which is probably the cutest place ever.  AND… AND… We found this giant marble thing at Georgetown University that said “Davis Center” which was real exciting because we all went/go to UC Davis.

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IT’S LIKE HOGWARTS!

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A Baked & Wired cupcake that reminded me that I don’t really like cupcakes.

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Burgers for lunch!

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CHOCOLATES.  Chocolate hazelnut, caramel apple, lavender caramel, and key lime pie.  No, I didn’t share.

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On Saturday night, we stayed in, ate Mac & Cheese and Doritos and watched Saturday Night Live.  Nothing bad about any of that!

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On Sunday, we went to the Taste of DC.  Basically, food trucks and restaurants set up vendors and you pay $1-5 for small tastes.

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Clearly, I use the term “small” relatively.  Clockwise, we have phyllo cups filled with short ribs and ratatouille; a samosa with some kind of sauce on top; mac & cheese; a gelati, which had strawberry ice and vanilla custard.  I WAS STUFFED AFTER THIS.

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Farmer’s market schtuff.

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We headed back into Georgetown for dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers.  Or was it Bakers Fishers Farmers?  Wait… Fishers Farmers Bakers?  I don’t know.  But the Moscow Mule was awesome.

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Pretzel sticks to start.  The dipping sauces were pimento cheese, sour cream & onion dip, and BBQ mustard.

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And for my entree, a veggie sandwich with brie.  Plus fries.  Because obviously.

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I had the greatest time in DC.  It is SUCH a fun city with so much amazing food.  Thanks for havin’ me, Shaida!

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IN THE COMMENTS:

What’s your favorite big city?  DC was awesome, but I think San Francisco might be my #1.

We’re Doing It Wrong

You guys.

You know this whole “let’s love our bodies and ourselves because fuck the media’s unrealistic ideals” thing?  Yeah.  We’re doing it wrong.  It seems that everywhere I look or listen or smell (?) these days, there’s some kind of body shaming going on.  Sometimes inadvertent, sometimes not, but either way… STOP IT!  Shit, the world is a hard place to be sometimes and we need to start looking out for each other.  

Let’s stop it with the (really funky, really catchy) songs about how guys only like girls with big asses.  In fact, let’s stop with all songs that teach people that their worth comes from another person finding them sexy.  Find yourself sexy, dammit.  Draw yourself a bubble bath and pour a glass of red wine and get all fresh with yourself.  But not too fresh because it’s only your first date and even though you really like yourself, you still have to play hard-to-get, because people totally dig that.

Let’s stop it with skinny shaming masqueraded as “fitspiration.”  Strong is not the new skinny.  Strong isn’t the new anything.  Also, skinny and strong aren’t either-or things, but that’s another rant for another day.

Let’s stop calling plus-sized costumes “fat girl costumes.”  Not cool, Walmart.  (Although, this does give me another justification for shopping at Target even through Walmart is totally cheaper.)

Let’s stop putting ourselves down, especially in front of other people.  That can be really triggering for somebody who struggles with body acceptance and it can make him or her question his or her own appearance.  Just don’t.

Let’s stop letting other people determine what’s beautiful or good or desirable.  That’s our job.  That’s your job.

Why can’t we just lift each other up instead?  This isn’t a college biology course; we aren’t graded on a curve.  We can all be beautiful and happy and FABULOUS.  What’s that Buddha quote?

Fabulosity is like a candle: you can light shittons of other fabulous candles with one single fabulous candle, and the life of the single fabulous candle isn’t shortened.”

I’m paraphrasing here, people, but I think I’m getting my (fabulous) point across.

Instead of tearing your fellow humans down, think about what you’re posting.  Know that the words you say have power.  Start consciously thinking of ways to make other people feel included and worthy and, you know, fabulous.

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Also fabulous? Mexican food in Thailand. QUESO IN MY FACE.

Sound good, friends?

P.S. I think you’re fabulous.

Truths

Truth: I just spent the weekend in Washington DC and it was awesome.  I’ll probably post a recap soon(ish), but until then you can see about one-fifteenth of the food that I ate on Instagram.

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The most phallic structure in all of Washington D.C.

Truth: I haven’t responded to all of your amazing and thoughtful comments in, uh, forever.  Your words mean so much to me and while I hate taking forever to respond, I hate responding in a rushed, hurried way even more.  It’s on my list.  I’ll get there.

Truth: I just took on two new volunteer positions.  Those coupled with my nannying job just made my year “off” a whole lot busier.

Truth: My diploma came in the mail!  And it only cost tens of thousands of dollars!  What a bargain.  In all seriousness though, I can’t wait to get this sucker framed.  So exciting.

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The most expensive piece of paper I’ve ever owned.

Truth: Grad school applications are starting to come together, but I think I’m getting my first wrinkles in the process (<< exaggerating; I still have at least 5 years of good skin left).  It’s just so overwhelming!  Resumes and letters of rec and personal statements and volunteer verification and transcripts and GRE scores… For eight schools.  AHH!

Truth: I’m not going to say which schools I’m applying to because (a) I don’t want to jinx things and (b) rejection is hard enough without everybody knowing about it.  I’ll let you guys know when/if I get in and what my choices are (if I have any)!

Truth: I’m dying for some RAIN!  California has been in a severe drought for about a year now and we need it bad.  Do a rain dance for us, okay?

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Blue skies and sun, all day every day. What a drag.

Truth: I don’t get the pumpkin obsession.  It’s a squash.  It’s orange.  It’s a vegetable.  Yeah, it tastes pretty good, but really.  CALM DOWN PEOPLE.

Truth: I can take or leave Halloween, but I’m already excited for Thanksgiving.  It’s the only day of the year when it’s socially acceptable to bathe in gravy.

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Last year’s joint Hanukkah/Thanksgiving celebration. Ever had latkes with gravy? Yeah.

Truth: I still suck at Twitter.  Seriously.  I just like Instagram SO much more.  Tweeting is confusing and weird and I can’t get into it.  I have no thoughts that can be summed up into 160 or 180 characters of whatever.  All of my thoughts require a hell of a lot more space than that.  I’ll keep trying though, because I’m not a Twitter quitter.

Truth: I don’t think I have a future as a poet (see: “Twitter quitter”).

Truth: I got a parking ticket today.  $43 of bullshit (<< not really, because it was a two-hour zone and I was there for, like, four hours.  But accepting responsibility is for goobers and douches.).

Truth: I had a super productive day and I’m feeling hyped up on life…

Truth: … Except I’m also really tired.

Truth: It’s 7:52pm.

Truth: I’m gonna go eat ice cream (probably), shower (maybe), and watch TV (definitely).

BYE!

IN THE COMMENTS:

Share a “truth.”  Make it a juicy one.

A Body Image Monopoly?

“Oh my god, stop complaining about your thighs; you are seriously sooo skinny.  Look at me!  Compared to you, I’m a whale!  You’re not allowed to bitch about being fat in front of me!  It’s not fair!!”

Sound familiar?  If you’re anything like the people I know, then you’ve probably had a pretty similar conversation before.  Some people simply feel more entitled to have shitty self-image than others.

But guess what…

There isn’t one group that has a monopoly on body image issues.

Body image.

Nearly everybody has some kind of body image and from my completely unscientific research, it’s often quite negative.

Women.  Men.

Girls with big boobs.  Girls with small boobs.

Curvy ladies and the thin ones too.

People who wear a 00.  People who wear a 24.  People in between.

Really old people.  Really young people.

People with light skin or dark skin or skin with warts all over it.

People with a thigh gap.  People with chafe-y thighs (*hand raised*).

People with tiny elf feet and people with Paris Hilton feet.

Blondes and brunettes and redheads and the hipsters with that grayish lavender hair color like Kelly Osbourne.

EVERYBODY.


 

Every single person is allowed to feel shitty about the way he or she looks.  Just because, in your probably not very humble opinion, that person has it better than you, does not invalidate his or her right to feel bad.

When we make each other feel bad for feeling bad, it creates this really awful cycle of guilt.  We hate the way we look >> somebody tells us that we shouldn’t hate the way we look because we actually have it good >> we feel guilty and irrational and stupid for letting a poor body image rule our lives >> we get so caught up in trying to minimize those bad body feelings rather than dealing with them that they get worse >> the cycle repeats.

Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.

This kind of thinking also assumes that self-image issues are based in reality and rationality, when they aren’t.  (This isn’t to say that these issues aren’t “real” or that only irrational people have body image issues, because that definitely is not the case.)  Just because you think somebody looks pretty/sexy/desirable does not mean that they automatically feel good about themselves.  Conversely, just because you think somebody looks ugly/too thin/too large does not mean that they should feel shitty about themselves.

Body image issues know no size, no color, no height, no gender.

But wait!  There’s good news, too.

Body confidence also knows no size, no color, no height, no gender.  There’s also not any group that has a monopoly on body confidence.  There is no upper limit of people who are allowed to feel good about every part of themselves.  Every single person is allowed to have complete confidence in his or her entire self.  You are allowed.  I am allowed.  Your super hot friend is allowed.  That girl puking in the dirty bathroom of the bar is allowed.  6-year olds and 60-year-olds and 106-year-olds are allowed.  Everyone.

So let’s stop negating peoples’ bad feelings about themselves, even if we’re trying to give them a compliment in the process.  Let’s stop judging people who have confidence even though they don’t conform to our standards of perfection.  Let’s support and love and encourage each other because life can be really hard and really shitty sometimes.  Let’s try to make one another feel good ’cause at the end of the day (the beginning of the day, too) we’re all wonderful and beautiful and worthy, even if you can’t see it right now.

Sound good?  Great.

Girls’ Weekend

This past weekend, I spent a night in gorgeous South Lake Tahoe with a few girlfriends.  But now it’s Sunday night and I’m tired and lazy so let’s skip this whole words thing and just focus on the sub-par iPhone pictures.  Seems like a decent tradeoff, yeah?

Lunch on Lake Tahoe.

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Hiking!

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CHEESE PLATE HOLLLAAAA!

 

 

 

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Getting ready for a night out.

 

 

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Won big at the  casino!  Just kidding, I lost $5 in quarters.

 

 

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Arty the Party (a South Lake Tahoe DJ at one of the casinos).

 

 

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Sometimes you have to grab the deer by the ears.  Or something.

 

 

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Oops, the room got a little bit messy. 

 

 

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The morning after breakfast.  I hope I ate enough carbs!!

 

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Oktoberfest festival. 

 

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A kid’s scoop.  KID’S SCOOP!!  WHAT?!!! 

 

 

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“I quit…” 

 

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How I Let Go

I get a lot of questions about how I gave up the unrealistic body ideals and diet mentality that used to control my life; a lot of questions about how I learned to be happy in the body I have now.  

I never know what to say because the real answer is so simple: I was tired.  No, I was more than tired.  I was so incredibly exhausted; exhausted to my core; exhausted by the life I was leading.

My brain space was constantly occupied by thoughts of calories and serving sizes and muffin tops (the food variety and the fat variety) and BMIs and weights and inches and disgust and frustration and sadness and questions.  So many questions:

Why didn’t I lose weight this week?

Is that guy over there not hitting on me because I’m too chubby for him? 

Why can’t I have the same willpower as people who don’t eat anything?  

Why am I bingeing? 

How many calories can I burn today?

How do I stop my hip fat from hanging over my jeans? 

How many calories in that pack of gum I just chewed? 

When can I eat another sugar-free Jell-O? 

Am I bigger or smaller than that girl over there?  What about that other one over there?  Am I prettier, too? 

Why am I so disgusting?

Will I hate myself forever?

Will I ever be able to eat like a normal person?

Those questions clouded my mind.  They took priority over most everything else.  Those questions made me so damn tired because I didn’t have answers to them; because they were stupid and meaningless.  But not to me.  No, to me, those questions were really, really important.

Until they weren’t. Until one day, I hit a point where I couldn’t do it anymore.

I couldn’t compare my weight and height and body fat to other people, trying to see if my numbers were higher than theirs.

I couldn’t measure out another quarter cup of almonds (raw – because salt is the devil’s seasoning because bloating).

I couldn’t spend another morning agonizing over my weight because it went up or didn’t go down enough.

I couldn’t research another diet, become enamored with the success stories and then fail.  Again.

I couldn’t continue give the control of my happiness to a measuring tape and a scale and a pants size.

I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t, so I didn’t.  I had no other choice but to try to make peace with food.  So I did.  It took time and it was uncomfortable and difficult, but guess what?  I’m here.  I did it!  I made it!  I didn’t die!  I didn’t gain 1,000 pounds!  I didn’t eat only bagels and ice cream all day, every day (only some days)!  I re-learned how to eat intuitively and it was hard and sucky and awesome all at once.

And now here I am on the other side of that crazy obsession.  Yes, the number on the scale is higher now.  I had to buy new pants.  My ass jiggles when I dance (and when I twerk…. and when I walk… and when I run…lol jk, I don’t run).  But DAMMIT, it is all so, so worth the weight.

I just want to remind you that there is a light at the end of the diet-obsession tunnel.  One day, if you hit the point where you’ve lost all faith in diets and pills and magic fixes, just know that you have the capability to repair your relationship with food (I’m sorry; I feel like a douche referring to a “relationship” with food, but just go with it).  You have the capability to like yourself and love yourself and the way you look.  You can get to a place where you feel at peace and happy with yourself.

You can.  I promise.

And you should totally try, because it’s freaking awesome.

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