Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BAM! Love Yourself - Curly Hair, Don't Care

Ever since I was a child, I have idolized my mom. Whenever I went to the salon with her, I would watch in fascination as she would get her short hair permed. The wrapping of the hair, the addition of chemicals, sitting under the heater thingy as it set. It looked like all those glamorous ladies in movies of the 80's. So, sometime around third grade, I decided to get my own hair curled! I mean, it was one step closer to being the amazing woman my mom is!

The only problem is that I was in third grade and overweight, so already a target for bullying. Let's just say the perm took very well, I had amazingly tight curls, and kids LOVED making fun of me. If there was a spill on a floor, one of the boys would tease that they could just "turn me upside and use my mop hair to cleanup."  I used mousse back in the days before fancy mousse technology, so my hair was slightly crunchy. Girls would straight up touch my hair without my permission to show each other how "weird my crunchy hair is". I HATED IT! I didn't want other people touching me. I didn't want to be used as a mop! I just wanted to live with my curly hair.

But alas, after a few years, I gave into the bullying and broke down, quit perming my hair, and bought a straightener. After all, I had to keep my natural curl from coming out, even the slightest wave seemed like a risk for teasing. And if it was a risk for teasing, that meant it was ugly.  But I have very very baby fine hair. I have plenty of hair, ti's just very fine, and so my hair can only grow to about my shoulders, and it is very obviously fine when I straighten it, with almost zero body or volume. I lived for well over a decade, closer to two, feeling unhappy with my hair and constantly looking for an option to love it.

If I didn't blow dry it, my hair went up in a ponytail or bun so the natural wave wouldn't show through. My hair has some amazing natural wave, so my hair stylists always wanted to curl it and have fun. I'd let them do it, but be self-conscious of my curly hair all day, avoiding the mirror.  I had enough trouble keeping my hair straight in the desert in the summer. So I knew SOMETHING had to change when I learned I'd be moving to San Antonio, TX. While not the most humid place, San Antonio has a fair amount of moisture in the air, and any styling I attempted would be null and void around halfway through the day.

I gave in. I decided to go curly. When I moved to San Antonio, I stopped by Walgreens and bought some mousse and a blow dryer with a diffuser (SO necessary if you have fine hair and want it to be curly AND have body). It didn't take long for me to become used to my new style. In fact, I fell in love with it the first day! Besides the ease of styling, my hair fell so naturally into position around my face that it was like my hair was made to be that way!

Since making this change, I have become vainer than ever before. I love my hair. I love my looks. I love looking at myself in the mirror (though I still do have the occasional pony tail days, because life is hard sometimes). I have become the selfie QUEEN!! Don't believe me?  Here are some examples:

And these are just select selfies from my instagram, which I swore would NEVER be filled with selfies (whoops, guess self confidence fixed that).

So what's the point? For years I struggled with my hair, because I was teased in elementary school. For over a decade I avoided one of the key things that makes me feel beautiful!  What about you? What is your favorite hairstyle? Your worst? What is one thing you maybe feel inspired to go try again? Are you going to do it?! Do it! (Unless it's a mullet, rethink that, unless that's totally you, then do it!). Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BAM! I am more than a physical stereotype!

With the amazing reception of my waterpark post, I was telling some of my coworkers (and friends, because my coworkers are my friends) about my blog and how excited I was at the views I was getting. I often describe my blog as a body acceptance blog, even though I do occasionally post about other things, like my lifemy opinions, and my sleep habits. However, my whole life has been a rollercoaster about happiness, and while a lot of my problems have been rooted in other areas of my life, much of my disappointment, frustration, and sadness has come about from my discomfort in my own skin. As I have found amazing joy in body acceptance, it's something I want to spread to everyone.

When I mentioned that my blog is about body acceptance and my fat and fearless posts, I was surprised when a gentleman with a very fit body showed immediate excitement. I'm used to plus sized women wanting to read of my experiences, but it was the post I mentioned about the true purpose of the body acceptance movement that really got him excited. I texted him a link to my blog, and he actually read my posts! Last night he texted me. This text included the following: "I loved the part about the skinny teenage boy who can't bulk up because that was exactly my experience, and a big reason why I wanted to read it."

Now, he sent this text after I had fallen asleep, but I read it at about three in the morning on one of my nightly wakings. It got me thinking. I do the Fat and Fearless series because it's something I can relate to. I love to label myself as "the fat girl". But I want my blog to reach out to more people. This left me with a conundrum, how could I write posts to help the confidence of people that I can't relate to? How can I help the girl who is so thin, people tease her for having an eating disorder? Or the person with hair that they feel is too dark and coarse? Or even that skinny teenage boy who wanted to bulk up and couldn't? I've never been there. I've always been the fat girl.

And then it hit me, I am more than a fat girl! I mean, it's EASY to see who I am outside of physical constraints. I know that I'm a flute-playing, musicology student, animal-rights advocate (be happy I haven't gotten into THAT on my blog, because once I get started, I don't shut up.. hmm.. maybe I should add that to my blog...) who expands the title of crazy cat lady to a level previously thought impossible. But that's not going to help with body acceptance!

When I say I'm more than a fat girl, I mean it in the physical sense. Yes, I'm a plus sized woman, and yes I LOVE MY BODY, but I love so much more than the extra weight I carry around. I am pale. I don't mean this as a "white supremacy" thing. I am more pale than the average white person. People laugh at my paleness, heck, I laugh at my paleness! Once, while wearing shorts, my music minister tried to introduce my pasty white legs to the sun, since they had obviously never met in the 25 years of my life (all in fun and games, a big part of body acceptance is being able to laugh at your uniqueness).

I have big wrists, in more than the fat girl way. Tons of fat girls can still wear bracelets and such. Nope, it's all mens watches for these wrists. I have baby baby BABY fine blonde hair that I can't grow past my shoulders without it beginning to look scraggly and unkempt. It's also naturally wavy, but not a uniform wave, and bullying in the past has given me complexes about the curl in my hair that I only got over in the past two months! That's right, at the age of 25 I have FINALLY braved past bullying I received in fourth grade, over a decade ago.

I am freckly. Tons of people are, some wish they weren't. There are also tons of people who aren't, some of whom wish they were. I have two crooked fingers on my left hand. I have a hump at the base of my neck that was pointed out by a physical therapist and I still fret over. I have a scar on my forehead that I got in third grade. I bruise far too easily. I don't even have the hope of ever having a thing gap with these thunder thighs. I have "child bearing hips". My body shape goes between an hourglass and a pear depending on the day. The hairs on my toes grow too long. The right side of my face is more animated than the left giving me a crooked smile.

All of these things are uniquely me. And they're probably things that, for the most part, only I realize. And yet they're also all things I was able to list with ease at three in the morning and then list again hours later when I write this. Some of these I have learned to love. Some of these I am still learning to love. But you know what, they're all things about my body that bother me, and they all fit into the concept of body acceptance! So, in my new, upcoming series, BAM! (Body Acceptance Movement!), I have decided to focus on a different body part of body concept. Because, well, hopefully we all at least have skin and bones. And maybe as I focus on loving every inch of my own body, I can help my readers focus on loving every inch of theirs, even if they are the polar opposite of me.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Fat and Fearless: Waterparks!

With my recent move to San Antonio and the addition of a career that actually pays money, I wanted to treat myself to a mini-vacation. So off to Schlitterbahn New Braunfels I went! The weather was PERFECT for a waterpark, and I had a fatkini that had barely even been worn. Of course I was nervous! Fat people don't belong at water parks according to the general public, ESPECIALLY in bikinis. With my boyfriend being bigger as well, I spent hours googling information about weight limits. Only one ride had a weight limit, I was just in it, and my boyfriend's back injury would prevent him from going on it anyway. There was nothing at the waterpark that was preventing us from going.

When my boyfriend took my "before" picture, I felt gorgeous! I was rocking my bikini, I was feeling confident, and I was excited to have fun. And funnily enough, THIS FEELING DIDN'T CHANGE. I knew I was going to write this blog post and so I was really aware. I looked at people. As I passed them. As I stood in line. I made the distinct effort to observe those around me. Not ONE person gave me a dirty look. When I got in line for the only ride with a weight limit, I wasn't questioned, not once. No on called me fat or made Seaworld references. I even had conversations with various people, and they treated me LIKE A PERSON!

Thanks to the DryPak, I was able to take my phone on rides with me for even better selfies!
It wasn't until day two that I received ANY comment about my appearance. It was from two naturally dark-skinned people asking if I remembered sunscreen. Of course I did! I mean, I put it on, mutiple times! But yes, the ONLY comment about how I looked was my ridiculous paleness, not about my fat. When I went down rides, everything jiggled. People I passed had a beautiful view of my buldging stomach, my flabby arms, and my overly junk-filled trunk. Did some of them look at me and see a fat girl? Probably. Do I think people may have said in whispers that I shouldn't be wearing a bikini? Absolutely! Do I care? NOT A DARNED BIT! I had the time of my life. I focussed on the rides. On the fun. I wore my bikini with pride. I mean, it really showed off my figured. I teased the niece and the nephew of my boyfriend, who came along with us. I went out of my way to kiss my even bigger boyfriend in public, to embarass the niece. And even at his grandeur size, no one said anything to him. All we did was have fun!

OK, but maybe my stomach wasn't QUITE ready for the advancement in body acceptance. I am regretting the weekend just a bit, but only because I am in immense amounts of pain from a sunburn. Oh, and I just posted a pretty awesome video on YouTube of me riding a waterslide. You know you want to watch it! Do so HERE

Post a comment! What's your biggest fear of being a fatty at a waterpark, or what's your biggest accomplishment as such? Any lifehacks for waterparks?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This BIG Girl Made a BIG Move to the BIG City!

Hello readers! I am so sorry I haven't posted in, well, a really long time, but my life has been so busy with changes, blogging just wasn't possible. Don't worry though, I have TONS of great ideas for my blog featuring recipes, body positivity, and of course some amazing Fat and Fearless posts (including Water Parks and Online Dating! Be excited!)

Since my last post back in APRIL, a lot has changed. When I wrote that post, I was working at Walgreens full time and feeling clueless about my future. Until I got the call that would change everything. The call of a job offer. In my dream field. For a career job. In San Antonio, TX.  And I had two weeks until I started.

Now, while I was only living 2 hours from SAT, I had a LOT to do. Getting a moving truck. Packing. Giving my two weeks notice. Saving money (because moving costs a LOT of money). Making arrangements to get my two kitties to San Antonio (I'm a Crazy Cat Lady and I am NOT ashamed!). Finding an apartment! (Sidebar: I would like to say how much I love the idea of an Apartment Finder. Mine was AMAZING! He video chatted me the weekend before I moved down to tour some apartments and helped me get settled. If you move to San Antonio and need a realtor, ask me and I'll give you his info). Moving in! All this in two weeks.

Surprisingly I was successful. I am thoroughly settled in now. Settled into my apartment. Settled into my job (which is everything I dreamed of and more). And, most importantly, settled into the 7th biggest city in the nation. Which is a pretty big accomplishment for a girl from a town of 50,000 in Idaho who only used highways to get from one city to another. Now I take highways everywhere. Hell, the entrance to my home is on a highway!

So, from San Antonio, Texas, thanks for reading! I'm so excited to continue my life and share my message of beauty and confidence with the world! I work with youth, and mentioned my body acceptance ideals to some of the teenage girls and one girl said "I wish I had the same mindset you did." I hope I can make a difference in her life, and in the lives of girls her age, and maybe, just maybe, in your life as well!  Oh - and saving all the kitties. Because, ya know... kitties.