Showing posts from July, 2015

fat: clarification, further examination and some checking of myself

After my previous post, I got a Facebook message from a friend (who is staying anonymous because she is private, not because she has body shame). With her permission, I ’m posting our exchange. Body stuff is such a loaded topic, so it makes me happy that we can talk about it sanely, in stark contrast to most of the internet. Cheryl, I just read your post about weight and dieting, and I have a lot to say about this post and would be happy to have a longer 1:1 conversation after you have had some sleep...say in 2-3 years! Briefly let me just say that in not one of the photos you posted were you fat by anyone ’s definition -- anyone ’s but your own. To say that you were the “fattest cheerleader ” is a disservice to you and to all of us who are fat. Further, you ’ ve set up a double dichotomy of skinny = good and fat = bad. For your sake, and most especially for your son ’ s, I would encourage you to spend some time reading in the Health At Any Size (HAES) and All Bodies are Good Bodies

the principal suffering of human beings, or: croissant hangover blues

“I’d come to squander an appalling proportion of my mental time on empty vows to cut down to one meal a day, or on fruitless self-castigation over a second stuffed pepper at lunch. Surely on some unconscious, high-frequency level other people could hear the squeal of this humiliating hamster wheel in my head, a piercing shrill that emitted from every other woman I passed in the aisles of Hy-Vee.” --from Big Brother by Lionel Shriver I never think of really smart, self-actualized women—whether fat, skinny or in-between—as dieting, but Shriver’s novel about consumption and excess in various forms (I think; I’m only on page 28) suggests that maybe she’s not a total stranger to the endeavor. I spent my teens and early twenties bingeing and dieting, plummeting to 107 pounds for a brief period and becoming the fattest cheerleader on the squad for a much longer one. Then I came out, and within a year my eating habits were the best they’d been since childhood. Halloween duri

i don't just want my kid to be happy

“I’m in heaven,” I told AK yesterday. We’d just sat down in creaky-springed seats near the back row at Highland Theatre to see a matinee of Inside Out. Dash was already getting sleepy in his carrier (see previous post re: bringing infants to the movies). There was a cardboard tray of popcorn and a mini bag of M&Ms next to me, because we’d just discovered that while a small drink and small popcorn cost $10, a kid’s combo containing the same items plus M&Ms only cost $6 (and you didn’t have to be a kid to order it). It was all of my favorite things. Joy and Sadness ponder a memory. The movie, as you probably already know, follows the inner workings of an eleven-year-old girl named Riley as she navigates a move and a new school. Thus far, Joy has been the main driver at the control center of her mind, but all of a sudden Sadness—a bespectacled blue girl in a turtleneck—is popping up in the most unexpected places, even tainting pleasant memories. Assuming that you you

the strip mall on memory lane

There is a Big Lots! around the corner from Dash’s daycare. I’d been meaning to check it out since he started daycare last week; you’d think it was a museum or something, and in a way I approached it as such (hey, you take your thrills were you can). I hadn’t actually been to a Big Lots! before, but I grew up going to Pic ‘N’ Save, its eighties counterpart (Wikipedia tells me that Big Lots! actually bought Pic ‘N’ Save in 2002, although by then it was called MacFrugals). Pic ‘N’ Save occupied most of a down-and-out strip mall in Hermosa Beach. This was back when there were still down-and-out parts of the beach cities. My mom always speculated that the other businesses in the strip mall—an Indian restaurant and a couple of stores that kept heavy curtains drawn at all times—were fronts for something. The price was right. Pic ‘N’ Save was full of cheap crap that regular stores hadn’t been able to sell, but we were a family of bargain hunters. If a brand of kids’ shoes had br

burden of proof

Friday morning I was pulling into CVS to buy baby sunscreen in anticipation of the Homeboy Family Picnic. A basic errand, but compare it to the day of last year’s Homeboy Family Picnic , when I was trying to finish four grants and text with a potential birthmom who ended up dumping me later that day, all before getting on a plane to New Zealand. I mean, the New Zealand part was good, but I was appreciating this year’s hard-won simplicity. My coworker Sierra with two-year-old Marla. Sierra claims to hate kids. Clearly. I turned on NPR just in time to hear Barack Obama say, “…and then there are days when justice comes like a thunderbolt.” As he continued to talk, and I sat in the same CVS parking lot where I’d once called AAA for a dead battery, I soon found myself in tears, the kind that come when a weight you didn’t even know you were carrying is finally lifted. People say this about finalizing an adoption: Sure, you’re out of the danger zone as soon as your child’s bi