Favorite Quotes

  • You're not too old, and it's never too late

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nope...Haven't Fallen of the Face of the Earth...Yet

I'm still here. Feeling very guilty for letting my blog fall by the wayside, but life took over this summer. It has taken over our fall, too. I won't bore anyone with the details of how and why life has taken over. You're kind enough to stop by, so today I'm going to share with you how I've started exercising again because...I WANT to...not because I need to lose weight.

I do still want to drop some weight, but that's not the primary motivation for my exercise. For the first time in my adult life it's because I feel I'm worth the exercise. I'm worth taking care of. And it feels good.

This epiphany came to me recently, only in the last month or so. I don't know how or why, it just appeared. To be honest, my knees have been bothering me lately, and I don't like the way that feels. Also, I've had a lot on my plate--both emotionally and in life, period--and I felt like moving might feel good to me.

I was right. It does.

I'm approaching this movement differently than I have in the past. In the past, I would have told myself, "You need to exercise because you're overweight and you need to drop some poundage."

I would have hit my exercise routine hard, planning out rigid workouts that would often take 1-2 hours every day. I would tell myself I had to work out every day, or else I wasn't doing it right.

I would have told myself I had to push myself to exertion, really kill myself, or else the workout wasn't "worth it."

I would have quit my routine within a week.

This time around, I'm only exercising when I feel like it. (No rigid workout calendars, or keeping records of reps and weight lifted).

I'm only doing things I enjoy doing (light/dance type aerobics, light weight lifting, fun treadmill routines) and only for the amount of time I feel like doing them (usually it's been around 30 minutes). I'm also doing yoga again, and for 30 minutes. No "hot" yoga.

(Gotta love child's pose!)

I'm exercising because I care about my health, not the numbers on a scale, wherever that may be because I ditched my scale a few years ago.

This change in mindset has been life affirming. Simply by altering my thoughts and approach to exercise, I'm enjoying the act of moving my body more than I have in years.

I also thought about how fortunate I am that I'm even able to move my body and pretty much do whatever activity I want to do. I don't want to lose this privilege. I want to keep being active as I get older. I want to continue playing golf and tennis, walking my dogs, going on hikes whenever anyone suggests it. I don't want to have to hang back and not participate because my body can't move the way it used to. I don't want to miss out on life.

It's such a relief to experience these kinds of feelings in relation to movement and exercise. I've been killing myself for far too long. Being kinder and gentler to myself feels amazing. It may have taken a while, but I'm glad I've learned this lesson.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Insecure in Paradise

Ok...so, it's been a while since I've blogged, but there are good reasons why.

1. Life has been crazier than usual.

2. I went to Hawaii.

I'm going to talk about my trip to Hawaii as it triggered MANY of my eating and body image issues. It was something I wanted to do, I was happy to be invited along on this particular trip, but I was forced to face my issues head-on several times throughout the week I was there. I'm hoping many of you (whoever you are!) will be able to relate.

First, some background info: In late March, I got an email from my husband's sister-in-law. Let's call her Carol. This woman is kind and sweet, (now) but she and I had gotten off on the wrong foot and had a bit of a falling-out five years ago. We spent a Christmas together two years ago, and since then have made nice and exchanged emails, etc and have tried to mend the fence. In the March email, she invited me, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law (husband's sister) to go with her, Carol's sister and a friend of their's to Kona, Hawaii. I was surprised that they had thought to include me on this adventure given our history. I thought about it long and hard for a week, then decided I would/should go. I'd never been to Hawaii, and this had always been a trip I'd wanted to take with my husband. It's very unlike either of us to travel like this without one another, but since it was his side of the family, my husband was very supportive of my going.

So I went.

Here are the major triggering events that I had to face:

This was in late May, so I wasn't exactly ready to don a bathing suit just yet, but I was forced to do so.

I struggle with wearing sleeveless tops because my arms aren't toned like Halle Barry's and I'm embarrassed to show my arms, but it was so hot and humid in Kona, I was forced to wear sleeveless a couple of times.

We went on a snorkeling trip to swim with manta rays, and the dive boat operation didn't have a wet suit big enough for me. I had to first try to squeeze myself into a smaller wet suit and I was mortified. Have you ever heard the adage, "trying to fit ten pounds of s!*t into a five pound bag?" The boat's co-captain had to swim over to another boat and get a larger wet suit for me. Thankfully, that one fit and I could swim with the mantas. Still...I was mortified.

I had the big idea to take a helicopter tour of the island. When we called to make our reservation, I had to get on the phone with a woman at the helicopter tours place and actually tell her how much I weigh. Again, more mortification. On the day we went on the actual tour, I had to step on a scale so they could double check my weight. Of course they didn't shout out my weight for all to hear, but still...they knew my weight. This was one of the most fear-inducing things I did while in Hawaii.

None of the women on this trip know I am struggling with food and body image issues. They don't know that I've been working with an ED therapist and nutritionist for two years now. So I was all alone with my thoughts and insecurities. It was quite stress-inducing. Not to mention the fact that my mother-in-law, (God love her) has her own food issues. I'm not sure how aware she is of these issues, but she definitely has many of them. She will often say things like, "I'm going to be good and not eat any chips" while the rest of us are munching on chips and salsa. One day I had to ask her, "Is eating chips 'bad'?"

"No," she said, "but we're going out for dinner later and I don't think I should eat chips."

I was going out to dinner later with her, and I was eating chips. Before my work with my Dynamic Duo, this would have really thrown me and made me feel bad about myself. Not so much this time. I was just very aware of my mother-in-law's attitudes and behaviors towards and about food. It added to my challenges.

It was weird/difficult to be "alone" in paradise, without any real support system there, and being constantly triggered while trying to work on relationships with my in-laws. Doesn't that sound like a fun trip??

My therapist said she was proud of me for going and enduring all that I did. I am, too, to be honest. Thankfully, my therapist is on speed dial and she allows me to text her, so I was in touch with her a lot those first few days. I also appreciate Verizon allowing Hawaii (and I guess Alaska) to be considered part of my calling and texting plan because had Hawaii not been in my plan, I would have racked up a TON of texting charges.

So here's what I learned:

That I didn't completely fall apart when putting on a swimsuit for the first time this year.

That no one looked at me like I was some ugly, disgusting monster in a sleeveless shirt. That other, larger people than myself, wore and wear sleeveless shirts and probably don't give any thought to it. I should learn from their example.

That it wasn't my fault the dive operation didn't have enough wet suits in different sizes to accommodate their guests the evening we went swimming with the manta rays. It would have been sad for me to miss out on that experience, because I am healthy and fit enough to have participated. I'm glad I did.

That I didn't dissolve into a puddle of mush when I had to speak my weight or weigh in before going on that helicopter tour. Again, it would have been a sin to miss out on that trip. I'm glad I got through it and got over myself. I'm glad I was able to go on that excursion.

Did I have a nice time in Hawaii? Sort of. Kona's nice in its own way. It's desolate, for the most part. I'm glad I got to know my husband's sister-in-law and her sister better. I realized we're all dealing with something be it stress and anxiety or weight and body image issues. Many people have told me that the other islands--Kauai, Maui and Oahu--are much greener and more lush and tropical than the big island of Hawaii. The next time I go, I plan to visit those islands. And I'll be sure and take my support team with me!

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Not All About YOU! (Why helping others helps you)

If you're struggling with depression or low self-esteem or eating issues...whatever your issue is, what do you do to help yourself? What do you do to make yourself feel better when you're feeling down and really battling to get through the days?

My therapist often asks me this question. I meditate. I write. I spend time with my girls. I golf with my husband. I pray or go to church. And most importantly, I volunteer.

I am involved in two volunteer activities on a regular basis, and interestingly, they both involve food. This is not lost on me. Or my therapist. Or my dietician.

I drive for Meals on Wheels once a month, and I serve on the line at a local community soup kitchen. I love doing both of these things. I look forward to when it's my turn to volunteer. I can't imagine my life without these organizations and pastimes. If my Meals on Wheels coordinator calls and asks me to fill in for someone else, I (usually) always say yes. Right away. I know how happy and filled up I will be afterwards. It's funny that Meals on Wheels and the soup kitchen "feed" my soul and satiate me--all food words and images. But it's the truth.

Have you read any research on how volunteering helps the volunteers? It lowers blood pressure, improves mood, it increases endorphins and creates a phenomenon known as "helper's high." For anyone who has ever dealt with depression, you know very well how it leads to isolation. Lord knows, this has been the case for me in the past. When I was depressed, I loved staying inside, by myself, where no one could see me, where I could eat in private and I didn't have to deal with anyone.

But I'm here to tell you, volunteering and getting yourself out there, in the world, among the living really does help. It goes against everything depressed people feel and believe...and that's a good thing! I understand the feeling of, "People are a pain in the ass. They don't get me. I don't want anyone to see me like this. I can't even get out of bed!" but I swear, helping others gets your mind off of you and out of your own head. It's all good, people.

Helping others also lets you see first hand that other people are struggling with life as well. It's not all about you! We all need to help each other. Your helping someone else--even in the smallest of ways--helps you, too.

Driving for Meals on Wheels is one of the easiest ways to help others. You load up your car with the food, usually prepared at a senior center or nursing home, then drive around and deliver the food. I love seeing the people on my route. I've really come to care about them. People often say to me, "I bet they love seeing you and talking to you." They do. As a former nurse, I know that older people are often lonely and enjoy speaking to people during the day, even if it's only for five or ten minutes. I have the same conversations with them over and over again. We always discuss the weather. They tell me about their kids and grandkids. I know this helps them. It helps me, too. Truly, I feel so good, so uplifted after I'm done with my route. So satisfied.

The same holds true for the soup kitchen. And it's not only homeless people who come through our line. The soup kitchen where I volunteer is open to anyone and everyone, so we often feed day workers and landscapers and their wives and children. It's wonderful. We have our regulars there--many of whom are homeless and either drug addicts or alcoholics--and I do love to see them come through the line. I know they're still there, still alive and still fighting.

NEVER do I feel superior to these folks. I only feel like more a part of the human race, the human condition, and that I'm glad I'm there to feed them, talk to them, give them a smile...make them feel like they matter. Because they do.

So if you're depressed or mired in your own troubles and you happen to be reading this, please believe me. Please take the word from someone who has struggled with her own issues. Get out there do something for someone else. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Embracing the Struggle

I've been struggling with a number of things lately. Namely, the two things I address here on my blog: my writing and my eating issues. This picture aptly portrays how I feel at the moment:

Yes, I am an elephant trying to climb a steep hill. I'm hoping anyone stopping by might understand this feeling.

I continue to work on a novel I've been writing for the past seven/eight years. My drive for the story is waning. I just don't care that much about my characters anymore, and I no longer think the story is something worth telling. So I've started on something new, which has given me "life" this past week, but my inner editor won't shut her big trap, and that has kept me from sitting down, "butt in chair" as Anne Lamott says, and writing what I want to write.

I also struggle with blogging, if you can't tell. I don't know how professional bloggers do it--how they come up with interesting subject matter almost every day. Maybe my life isn't that exciting. Maybe I'm not getting out enough and not having enough "adventures." Hmm...I do have an adventure planned for late May, but more on that later.

I've also been wrestling with my food/eating demons as of late. I realize this is a continuous journey and these issues will rear their ugly heads at different times, but it feels like I've done a complete backslide. And this, after I'd been doing so well.

I haven't completely given into my old ways--not of eating--but definitely of how I think.

For anyone with ED issues, please weigh in here, but how hard is it not to let "diet mentality" creep in when it's EVERYWHERE in EVERYDAY life? I can't seem to escape it no matter how hard I try. It's on TV, on the radio, in the grocery store check out lines, in my family and some of my friends. AND...how difficult is it to try and explain to family and friends how you're trying not to think "diet" thoughts even though you need to lose a few pounds? Of course it makes sense...you need to lose weight, so you "should" be on a diet or restricting food, right? But my therapist and dietician say "no." It's hard for me to wrap my head around. I can only imagine what others might be thinking. And that's a struggle, too...not worrying about what other people think when you've done that your whole life. 

My most recent "diet mentality" slip up came a few days ago. I was in the car and listening to a station where the hosts were pushing this new weight loss program that requires no exercise (right up my diet mentality alley...). I came home and researched it and almost called to schedule an appointment. But I knew deep down it wasn't good. It didn't feel "right." So yesterday, I met with my new RD and thankfully, she helped talk me off the ledge. The program can't be good, because if what they promise worked, we'd all be doing it already. How many times am I going to have to learn this lesson? I just get so easily sucked in with diet talk. All. The. Time. 

Thank God for meditation and my supportive family. And friends. And therapists. I need a lot of help keeping my head on straight. So today I'm going to just: 

What else can a woman do? I'm going to work on my writing projects because now that I've blogged, my butt is already in the chair. I'm also going to try and be easy on myself. I hope anyone who's reading this and has the same issues at least knows they're not alone in the struggle. And if you're into meditation, check out this great app called, "Headspace." It's helpful for those who've been meditating a while, or for those just beginning.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Relapse Shmelapse

Returned from a session with my ED therapist today. It’s a good thing I met with her. 

I’ve kind of been flirting with relapse lately. As she so succinctly put it: “You’ve been having a bit of an affair with your ED in the past few months.”

And if I’m being completely honest, she’s right. She’s very smart. It’s why she gets paid the big bucks.

Relapse for me doesn’t look like someone bingeing and purging or secret eating. For me, it has been about feeding into new fangled diets, taking the bait whenever I read about a star’s weight loss, clicking on links to see how people are eating, what they’re cutting out of their diets. In other words, buying the whole diet business nonsense and applying it to my life. 

My therapist told me I can never buy into the nonsense or I’ll be right back where I was two years ago. She said diets and their witchy ways will always entice me, and I have to be aware and careful. She said I should meet with my nutritionist again. This all feels like me taking big steps backwards.

I had been cutting the cord from my Dynamic Duo these past several months because I’ve been in a pretty good head space. I’ve been more accepting of my body, I haven’t been beating myself up, I’ve been eating mindfully and exercising within normal limits (for me). 

But then something happened. I’ve had more personal stress in my life lately. Two deaths; family members bringing their personal stress to me and my taking it on; I’ve just recovered from a very bad case of bronchitis; my husband is away on business (a trigger for me) and I’ve been bombarded with these pictures of a friend of mine on Instagram that have REALLY triggered me.

My therapist said recovery from an ED ebbs and flows, so relapse is a normal part of this journey, and I get it. I blame a lot of what I’m feeling at the moment on being sick for two weeks. That’s never good for anyone and can really throw someone off recovery. 

So I’m trying to be easy on myself and be thankful that I have such a great support system and wonderful therapist to whom I can turn in times like these. One definitely can’t recover on their own, that’s for sure. God knows I can’t. I need all the help I can get. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Something from the Past...

I wrote these six sentences and they were published on the now-defunct site, Six Sentences. I thought I'd share this piece here.

Second Helpings

by Amy Simonson

"Food is my most favorite thing in the whole, wide world, and I dream about it every night!" the little girl exclaims

at dinner. The mother ignores her husband’s sardonic head shake, and smiles at her eight-year-old cherub across

bowls of creamy mashed potatoes, crisp sage stuffing and buttery glazed carrots. She thinks to herself, I’ve never 

comforted or rewarded with food like my parents did, so where does she get her infatuation with food? She 

glimpses a future where her chubby teenaged daughter sits home on Friday nights watching TV and cuddling up 

with bags of Doritos and packages of Tastykakes, rather than cheering on her high school’s football team and 

hanging out with friends. The mother’s broad smile morphs into a frown and tears moisten her eyes. She pushes 

her plate away, and surreptitiously slides her hand beneath the table to loosen the top button of her jeans.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sports Illustrated and Orthorexia

These are two names you'd probably never hear together unless you troll blogs such as mine.

I'm going to start with Sports Illustrated, my disdain for which began some thirty years ago, when my husband and I were dating in high school. He has received a subscription to this publication for his birthday every year since I've known him. When we were teenagers, I recall his excitement upon getting the "swimsuit" issue every January. Back then, when I was much younger and WAY more insecure, seeing his eyes glaze over when looking at Kathy Ireland and Christy Brinkley hurt my feelings. I knew, even when I weighed much less and my skin was much tighter, that I didn't stand an ice cube's chance in Hell of EVER looking like those women. How could I compete? Even though Scott was excited to see me and told me I was beautiful, the arrival of the swimsuit issue always caused a rift when it arrived in his mailbox.

I've had to live with the swimsuit issue ever since, but as I've aged and matured, my revulsion for the thing has diminished. The feminist in me still shakes her head as SI primarily puts males and male-dominated sports on their cover every week BUT the one time in January or February (see? I can't even tell you when it comes out anymore) when they salaciously kowtow to the lecherous masses who want a little highbrow T&A. In all fairness to my husband, he does hide the magazine more so now that our daughters have reached their teen years. Last year, I found it already in our recycle bin, the cover turned over so as not to be seen by our girls. I did appreciate that effort. Usually I'm the one tossing it on to a fire, a ceremonial ritual I've come to relish over the years. I'm getting off topic...

This year, Sports Illustrated is showing in its glossy pages, a plus-sized model! I saw the pictures online yesterday, and saw a clip of her video shoot. She's very attractive and how wonderful to see someone who looks more like the rest of us than the super skinny, unattainable body types SI has touted for more than forty years!! Hooray for SI!!! (Boy...I never thought I'd EVER shout those words...) The model's name is Ashley Graham, and she's working hard to promote healthy and realistic body image and self-love and acceptance, no matter what your body size or type is. I hope SI continues this trend. I already feel my decades-old contempt beginning to wane.

Of course, here is this year's cover:

The most impressive thing to me about the picture above is how little body hair this girl seems to have. Do you know how much time, effort and money I'd have to put in to attain such hairlessness?

And here's my new hero:

I just read that this is an ad. That Ashley Graham wasn't photographed like all the other models, but still...it's a baby step in the right direction.

Now, on to orthorexia. I've been introduced to this concept by my friend, Marty, who emailed me a link to a story on Salon.com. I'm having trouble linking to the exact article, but the title is "We're clean eating our way to new eating disorders" by Mary Elizabeth Williams. It was published on Jan. 30th of this year.

Orthorexia focuses on obsessing about the perceived value of particular foods. In other words, jumping on the bandwagon when it come to veganism, eating gluten-free, sticking to a purely raw foods, or Paleo diet, etc. It was interesting to me that my friend sent me this article at this particular time. I talked in my last blog post about working out more and "intermittent fasting" (which I'm not doing, BTW). This is where my head has been lately, so it's a good thing that I read this article. It's so like me--and others like me who have struggled with eating and food issues--to glom on to the latest food trends and fads. I've seen my ED therapist in the last few weeks and she (of course) knew right away what I was doing. It is so difficult to live with ED issues at this time in American  history. Food fads are everywhere--even "good" ones--and I have to be wary of what I see, hear and read. All. The. Time. It's constant, and being around people who talk about what they're eating, what diet they're on and how much they're working out doesn't help. I'm so sensitive to these things that even the smallest, most seemingly inconsequential comments can trigger me. Last weekend, I was at an all-day scrapbooking event with my sister. She pulled out some pictures to show me and she happened to mention that two of the people in her photos had lost a lot of weight recently. "See this woman here?" she said. "She looks nothing like this anymore. She has lost a ton of weight." Good for her, I thought. But again, my old ways of thinking jumped up. Why are you pointing this out to me? I know my sister wasn't making any point telling me about the woman, but I see it as her/society's way of talking about weight and food. It's GOOD that heavy people lose weight and "look better" than they did before. She then showed me another picture of a man who has since lost weight since his picture was taken. "He's lost a ton of weight, too." It's everywhere, this type of thinking. It's definitely in my own family. It's very hard to get away from and to keep my head straight. It's just the way the world is. I get it.

And now, orthorexia. We ED folks need to be aware and careful. The old adage, "Everything in moderation" has never been more true than it is today. Even too much of the good things can have negative effects.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fighting the January Head Games

Well, it's January, and many people with eating/food/body image issues knows what this means. It means we get jazzed about working out, dieting and losing weight. Even though I've been actively working on overcoming these issues for the past two years, January always seems to be a trigger for me. I fall back into old habits and old ways of thinking. Thankfully, I have an appointment with my ED therapist later this afternoon.

This month, two things have piqued my curiosity: the Daily Burn and Intermittent Fasting. 

I signed up for the free 30-day trial of the Daily Burn, and so far, I have to say I like it, and I believe it's a good tool for me. I answered some questions and they put me in the "True Beginner" sector, which admittedly, felt like a "put down." I've come to terms with being placed in the True Beginner group, because thinking I can work out like a fiend at a higher level than where I should be exercising has also been an issue for me in the past. So, fine. I'm a "true beginner" and that's ok with me. The Daily Burn provides me with workouts that are specifically suited for people who are getting back into exercising, who aren't in great shape. I've done four workouts and feel like I've been challenged physically. I will sign up for the program, which is $9.00/month and allows me access to a range of different workouts and health tools.

Now, for Intermittent Fasting, or IF. I realize my old diet mentality has kicked into high gear with this one. IF says you eat for an 8-hour period of time then stop eating, usually in the evening so part of your fasting time includes the time you're asleep. (This is just one method of IF). Sounds do-able, right? So I eat from noon to 8 p.m., stop eating, go to sleep and don't eat until noon the next day. This eating style jumped up and down, waving its arms to grab my attention, and grab my attention it did!

Knowing what I know now thanks to my DD (Dynamic Duo) after my excitement subsided, the red flags started going up. Purposely eat this way? It's total diet mentality, and one I'm trying to fend off. I called and scheduled said appointment with my therapist and I texted my dietician, who says she's never heard of IF. IF is everywhere on the Internet, but when I explained it to her, she said she didn't like the sound of it. I knew she wouldn't.

Many people hail IF and say it has worked for them as an "eating lifestyle." These people also pointed out how many religions utilize fasting periods, and this was ironic me because yesterday in church, my rector's sermon included something about fasting and why it's good for us as Christians--to purposely give up something we like (food) in order to challenge ourselves and prove that we can give up things we enjoy. It's always interesting to me how what I hear in church specifically speaks to me and my life at the current time.

I'm thinking about IF, but I know it goes against all of the "intuitive eating" lessons I've learned these past few years. I'm doing well with my eating issues, and I've had a fair amount of stress these past few weeks. The old Amy would've given into food cravings and binge-eaten, but not now, and I'm proud of that. Still...January is playing its usual head games with me. I'm trying to stand strong. Anyone else out there jump on the diet/workout bandwagon in January? If so, how long do you usually stay on for the ride?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Aspiring to Not Throw in the Towel

I've been working and reworking my novel-in-progress for the better part of the last seven years. Yes, you read it correctly: SEVEN years. I know...many authors--famous ones at that--have worked longer and harder on more significant pieces of literature. But I'm wondering...should I continue?

I'm now rewriting the entire novel because I'm at a different place than I was when I first set out to write the thing. I've unearthed more interesting plot lines and characters. I no longer want to say what  I wanted to say seven years ago. Is this normal? I wonder if the authors who've gone before me faced the same issues--that they weren't the same people they were when they began the adventure of writing their novel?

Advice I've read and heard from others keeps playing over and over in my mind. Like, "the only difference between a published author and an unpublished one is perseverance." I wonder, is that the case with me? Am I just losing steam, or have I really lost interest in the topic(s) of my novel? I don't think I agree with the latter. I think I still like my characters, I'm still interested in the story line, so it must be the former. I'm just losing steam. And I write and say this after I've gotten a lot of writing done in the past few weeks. It's first-draft, rough babble, but at least it's down on paper and I have a mound of clay with which to work. Still, the process of rewriting a novel is daunting.

In my Internet search for some sign of whether or not I should continue, I found this:

And I found a great web site for writers called The Review Review. It's edited/owned by Becky Tuch and you can find it here: www.thereviewreview.net.

This site has many articles related to writing, the writing life, magazines where one can submit, etc. The editor, Becky Tuch, penned an article about just what I've been feeling lately--about how many writers get to the point where they just want to quit because they've faced so much rejection, or because they feel their well has run dry, whatever. I'm hoping you can follow this link and read the article here:  http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/quitting-writing-i-cant-go-ill-go#.

I've recently shared my story outline with my eldest daughter, who is an avid reader who is sixteen years old. She likes it. She's jazzed to read it, so because of her excitement and my recent discovery of cyberspace commiseration, I'm going to soldier on. It gives me some hope, something to go on, something that tells me to keep plugging away. At least I know I'm not alone. I'm actually in good company.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year to anyone who might be stopping by! I'm excited to see what 2015 brings--in the way of healthy attitudes, publishing opportunities and anything else I'm not aware of just yet.

I'd like to share two things that were brought to my attention by a good friend within the last few weeks. The first is librarian/writer/blogger Kelly Jensen. She spoke recently about plus-sized protagonists. This is where my friend and I found her: www.twinjabookreviews.blogspot.com. She can also be found here: www.stackedbooks.org. It's great knowing there are other women out there talking about and bringing light to the subject of plus-sized living in a "thin is in" world. The articles I read discuss how plus size girls are popping up more and more in YA fiction, in particular. I think this is great for younger girls/women to see characters that reflect a more realistic worldview--one that's more in keeping with reality than what's often portrayed on TV and visual media. Maybe female writers can educate young women and help downplay body/weight stereotypes that surround us today. I would like to be one of those writers. Reading these articles have made me rethink a character I'm working on at the moment. I haven't described her body or physical traits yet. Maybe I'll keep it that way and allow my readers to come up with their own vision of my female lead. Going forward, perhaps I'll write something where I can incorporate a plus-sized character--one that's real, and one to whom women can relate.

I was also introduced to a Tumblr feed called "This is How Fat I Am." Follow this link to check it out: http://iamthisfat.tumblr.com. I admire the women who have submitted to this feed. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to post a picture of oneself and share their weight issues with the world. It's courage I do not possess at the moment, but I am buoyed by this sense of pride and self-worth these women have.

This is a short post because "Mommy duty" calls, but I wanted to touch base with anyone who might be checking in with me, and  share these positive body image related resources.

On a lighter note, I found this a couple of weeks ago, and I cracked up. Of course it spoke to me! I apologize for the "F" word...it's not one I usually use. Still, this is funny.