Body Positive Power–Megan Jayne Crabbe

I took my sweet time reading this book. I’d say about six months just because I wanted those lessons she was teaching in her book to really sink in. 

Now, I can’t remember word for word what she said, but the feeling of this book really resonates with me even still and I find it has changed my line of thinking.

When I start to talk to myself in a way that I wouldn’t have originally thought of as self deprecating or harmful I catch myself now. 

Why am I bullying myself? You can’t hate yourself into a body you love. 

Which was a big point in her book. 

You can’t be cruel and think you’ll end up happy. You can’t bash yourself and think that’s a form of self love because it’ll get you to a place where you love the end result of all your “hard work”.

But I don’t want my hard work to be a result of me bashing myself or constantly pulling at my body angry that it can’t be different just because I’m willing it to be so.

This is MY body. No one else has this body, so it’s important that I treat her with respect. 

And fuck am I ever happier about that. 

When my brain goes “Ugh. New stretch marks. Way to go fat ass.” I stop that in its tracks and think “So what?”. 

“So what?” is my new key phrase to body positivity. 

So what if I’ve gained weight to the point of new stretch marks. I learned to love the last ones, these new ones can be loved just the same. 

So what if I’ve gained weight at all? That just shows I appreciate food and relaxation. I know I’m not actually a lazy person, I do things ALL the time. I work hard, so I deserve the relaxation and comfort that comes from eating and laying down. 

So what if I eat a bag of chips in one sitting? I was fucking hungry to the point of inhaling it. I obviously NEEDED food.

I’m learning to listen to my body more. Not intuitive eat as a way of dieting. I will no longer diet. I’m done with that. (Hell yeah!) I will listen to my body on what foods it agrees with and which foods it craves. (And sometimes that craving is a goddamn apple! Who knew!!!) 

I want to get back to a place where I move my body for the joy of moving my body. Like when you’re a kid and you run because you love that feeling of being free and the wind whipping through your hair. 

And so what if I get winded halfway down the driveway. I can be breathless for the joy of it! 

I don’t want to punish my body into a body worth having. I want to enjoy the body I have because it was worth having all along. 

All the shapes and sizes I have been get a colossal “So what?”. 

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli isn’t too concerned about what size of pant she is wearing.

So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli doesn’t want to give anymore energy or wasteful thought tangents on where her body SHOULD be. Instead living in the body I have now and being grateful that I am who I am and no one else is like me. 

So what if someone else bashes their body? Not only will I not internalize it to the point of thinking “Does that person think I’m fat and hideous because they think THEY are fat and hideous?” I will stop THEM in their tracks and tell them to stop talking to my friend like that. 

This book is so fucking important for all communities. It’s not only about body positivity and how Megan got to where she is, it’s about facts and figures and LGBTQ etc things, it’s about able bodied people (which is everyone. We all have bodies that are able to do stuff.) and it’s about how we value self worth. 

It’s so important. 

And so what if I don’t look like the girls in the magazines? 

We’ve risen up so much the girls in the magazines have come out to say “Me either.” 

Fuck I love this book. 

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KMF–February Reboot

In the eternal words of Matthew McConaughey:

All right, all right, all right!

This Saturday is my reboot. My personal New Years because I rang in the New Year half dead on the dining room table while my family forced me to play the Pride and Prejudice board game I got for my mom for Christmas.

After all my cuckoo bananas health nonsense I think I’m finally in a place where my lungs could take it if I worked out.

So this weekend I will be using February as my New Years, feel free to count down with me so it feels legit.

Because this time I’m going to be too legit to quit.

I’ve suffered from serious self-esteem hits lately because I’ve gained another 10 pounds.

Okay, to be fair, 7 of those I lost and gained back from when I had that crazy case of the Up Chucks in December.

Well, those are back and I’m disappointed I didn’t keep them off, but hey, I kind of saw that coming. What with Christmas and all manners of holidays happening.

I can only hold off on eating my moms broccoli casserole for about 2 seconds before I’m like “Pffft worth it.” And eat my weight in it.

Now, this isn’t just a reboot of my body, it’ll be a reboot of my mind. I’ve been all over the map recently with my headspace and unfortunately everything is annoying the Hell out of me. So I need to sort out what I’m going to do with that.

I’m thinking nightly meditation while looking at pictures of Rupert Grint.

That’ll cheer me up and calm me down. And then I’ll weird dreams where we live in a house together and only do things like hold hands and have pet chickens while somehow the basement of our house is really a giant swimming pool. Then we will swim together and lay on the beach (which is somehow also in the basement) and have to be under an umbrella and in vintage bathing suits due to our mutual paleness, covered in sunscreen and eating Reeses Pieces….

What was I talking about?

Ah well, I feel calm already.

Ooooommmm OOooommm Iiiiiii’m in love with Ruuuupert. Iiiiii’m in love with Ruuuupert.

Wait. That’s not right.

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Sometimes you just need to laugh at Tom Hiddleston losing his composure.

Keep moving forward.

Keep Moving Forward: To each their own, and to own their each.

There has been something that goes on with my friends and family, and in all likeliness: everyone ever.

It’s that we each have our own stuff to deal with body wise.

The other day I was chatting with some people and I was complaining about the painful pimple under my lip.

Now, you’ve likely seen pictures of me, you know that I don’t get pimples very often, I have “flawless” skin. (That’s in quotations because I do have blackheads and big pores that I fill in with light make up. Nothing overtly noticeable, but still.)

Anyway, I was noting that it hurt and “Ugh, I want it to go away.” when I was verbally attacked by the girl sitting next to me who has a face covered in pimples.

“Oh really, your one pimple? You’re going to complain about your ONE pimple?! LOOK AT MY FACE.”

I’ll openly admit that I can be a vain person. I’m into my looks because I like make up, I like nail polish, I like doing my hair (most days), and I love when my body looks great in an outfit.

I’m not the hottest person in the world, but I’m fucking adorable, all right?

I am aware that I am blessed though. Which is the difference between being vain and being oblivious to other peoples feelings.

I was in no way remarking on my friends skin. I was just saying “Ow.”

Now to compare, when she (the teeny tiny toothpick that she is) complains about her “Food babies” or “Oh God, I’m going to look so fat in a bathing suit this summer if I don’t work out soon.” I don’t immediately jump down her throat. Sure, it makes me feel like shit sometimes that I’m not a rail or that I’m not a certain “acceptable” size. But I still recognize that we are all different, we all have our stuff we are self conscious about and we all need to vent our frustration about this stuff to other people.

Which is why I don’t sit on her when she complains about ‘being fat’.

Although at some point I have yelled “Do you want to see a real fat body?! DO YOU?! I WILL STRIP DOWN NAKED AND SHOW YOU WHAT IT REALLY LOOKS LIKE UNDER HERE!” when I’m having a particularly sensitive day.

At the same time, being aware of the others persons situation and body image is also really important. I may not have been meaning to push one of her buttons, but I did. I didn’t realize that complaining about the one out of maybe five pimples I get a year would result in my being verbally attacked by another human being.

There are people I know that are completely unaware that what they are saying is hurtful though, sadly, she is one of them and complains loudly about how hideously fat she can get when she looks like she may be a little bloated. Whereas, compared to her, I look like a behemoth and 6 months pregnant. She’s someone I call a “fisher”. She’s fishing for the compliments about her weight, she’s fishing for your to say something about how you wish you were as small as she is, she’s fishing for the feedback about how good her body looks.

Which makes me want to throw her off a bridge.

I don’t hate her, I just want to throw her off a bridge sometimes. It’s out of baffled annoyance. She knows this, it’s fine.

Skin is probably one of the biggest things that people mention to me because I have such “nice skin”. Which makes me feel like people are going to get a little Hannibal Lector on me and try to wear it.

But you know what? I have issues with my body too. Mostly pertaining to my insanely thin hair, my stomach, my sides, my cellulite butt, my back fat, etc etc.

Mostly my back fat. Man I wish I could wish that away.

The difference is, that while I’m also aware that I have these “problems”, I’m also aware that by complaining about these to a person who has been struggling worse than me or who is sensitive about this topic, is not wise or very humane.

What’s my point?

We’ve all got our own shit and we can’t completely censor ourselves for each individual person. Sometimes you just have to say stuff because it hurts your face or you need to poo but you’re constipated or because you feel gross in your own body.

Sometimes you just have to think “To each their own” and to own your each.

I may have incredibly thin hair, but I curl it to make it look bigger, I know what hair colours work on me so you don’t see my scalp, I know that I’m literally the only person who thinks about that shit daily. I know that when someone hugs me they aren’t going “DEAR GOD WHAT IS THIS MASS ON YOUR BACK?! DO YOU HAVE EXTRA BOOBS BACK HERE?!” (My sister did say that to me jokingly one time time actually, but it was more child-like than sinister.)

And as for my skin? Here’s my dirty little secrets:

I don’t always wash my make up off every night because it gives me pimples, I don’t use soap on it, I drink as much water as I can, I don’t drink pop, I try to eat some fruits and veggies every day. I don’t wear a ton of thick make ups like …what’s that gooey shit that goes all over your face called? Every person I know who wears foundation has massive pimples. Stop it. Just stop it.

I wear Dream Matte Mousse from Maybelline.

And I copy the hell out of what my grandmother puts on her skin because she’s 80 years old and her skin looks beautiful.

Clinique bitches. Slap that moisturizer on your skin after a shower and you’re good.

And I exfoliate maybe twice a week after letting my skin be super dirty and empty its own pores.

There you go. My skin secrets. I’m literally just dirty all the time.

Now stop yelling at me.

Keep moving forward.

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Keep Moving Forward: The Candy Cane Queen Has Spoken.

There has been so much going on lately that I don’t know what to update you on first. But I think we all need a little ‘Keep Moving Forward’ so here it goes:

I’ve decided diets can kiss my big fat butt. They can lovingly say goodbye to my Mighty Oak thighs. They can tell my stomach ‘Aahh buh-bye’.

All of this came in a revelation of guilt and sadness as I finished a bowl of candy cane ice cream. You know the kind with chunks of candy cane and chocolate crackle that you can only get this time of year? The ice cream that we buy in threes because we eat it every night because it’s frickin’ awesome?

Yeah. That ice cream gave me a revelation about myself.

Fuck dieting. It only makes me feel sad and terrible and I beat myself up when I go off it.

So I’m done.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that I’m literally going to go eat a tub of this ice cream. Or start eating fast food again, or pop, or anything that actually makes me feel like garbage and have gut rot. But I would rather have my holiday treat in a little ramekin and be a happy little duck that such a treat exists and I have the money to afford it. I would rather be “fat” and happy than “thin” and live in a world without super delicious foods.

I put those in quotations because I don’t actually believe I am fat. I HAVE fat, but I am not 100% made up of fat. So even if I weeble and wobble in places, that doesn’t mean I don’t have bones, muscles, or functioning organs roaming around in my body making up other parts of myself right alongside all my thoughts and tiny little heart and brain things that make me uniquely ‘Alli’.

Fat is a tissue not a mental issue.

This is not a ‘Giving Up’, this is a mental health thing. I’ve been beating myself up for being something I’m not and treating myself like something that should be super-human instead of what I really am.

A girl who enjoys food. Sorry I’m not sorry. I’ll try anything once and even sometimes give it a round two just to be sure.

I refuse to let myself be a person who will talk to herself like she’s trash just because she has some pudge. I’m more than the fat on my body and the food I put into my mouth.

I feel ridiculously free and relaxed by letting go this constant hamster-wheel of self-loathing. It’s quite empowering to look at my body and think ‘You are hot, not “even with” but BECAUSE OF your powerful thighs, your big round butt, and the softness of your stomach. They are just body parts girl, and they are working in your favour.”

No matter what shape or size I am, I will ALWAYS be pretty as long as I have a smile on my face and friendship in my heart. So suck it society.

I know that I can change my diet and work out if I want to be smaller. I don’t WANT to be smaller. I just want to be physically fit even if that means I stay the same weight or gain weight from muscle. For that, I can just work out more and be more mindful that while I’m not on a diet I’m still going to eat all my greens because I like them and not mentally kick my own ass when I eat something on the “NO NO NO” list. I would much rather work out than stop eating fun food.

The last five years has been a journey to this point. Hell, I’m sure the last 28 years have been a journey to this point.

I’ve done everything to lose weight and while I have successfully lost 20-50 pounds off and on from random diets and magical “cures”, I would much rather just look in the mirror and go “Hey Beautiful, someone will love your wobbly bits. And from now on that someone is you. Work it sister.”

That’s legitimately how I talk to myself. I’m my own sassy best friend.

Candy cane ice cream has saved my self-esteem. Who knew?

Keep moving forward, quit fat shaming yourself, and eat that fucking ice cream. THE CANDY CANE QUEEN HAS SPOKEN!

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Keep Moving Forward: Body Image Edition

I read this article on HelloGiggles.com the other day that said something that really spoke to me. It was about not just how we view our bodies but how we talk to it, how we treat it, how we spend most of our time hating it and wishing it were different instead of appreciating what it already is when our bodies are always there for us to take care of us and never give up trying to.

Last night the thought “I’m not me. I’m not the right weight.” Popped into my head as I looked at my body.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been teetering between 160 and 190 for the last three years. Before that it was between 140-160. I’m 5”6 which means that I “should be” teetering between 135-145.

But I’ve been there. I’ve been that weight and I distinctly remember thinking “Ew.”

Not because I was hideous or gross. But because I could feel my ribs. I could see my knobby knees. I could fit into my little sisters t-shirts. (At the time she was 13.) In my mind I was too small. I was too thin. I wanted more curves and to actually look like a woman. And now that I actually do look like a woman my mind is still going “Ew.”

My entire life has been a constant thought of “Ew.” When it comes to my body. Sure, I get clarity every once in awhile and think “Hey hot stuff.” But mostly it’s “Ew.”

Now, I can go on thinking that about the body that has cared for me my entire life, the body that has tried to right every wrong I’ve put in there or virus or sickness, what have you, or I could start appreciating that this particular body has put up with my yo-yo weight, my barrage of hatred toward my soft chunky dimpled parts, my forgetting to eat, my waking it up before it was ready, my poking prodding and overall make up/beauty regime where I curse myself for having light eyebrows and no lips. I can appreciate that when I get sick my body is the one who is fighting the good fight, that it keeps on going even when I’m dead tired, even when I’ve been trekking through foreign countries and have run it off its feet, when I give it blister after blister and all it does is knit my skin back together after the hundredth time of this.

I can keeping thinking “Ew.” Or I can start saying “Thank you.” Because if there’s one thing in this world that I should be grateful for, it’s that I have a body that can do all of those wonderful things.

So what if I have cellulite or thinning hair, or back fat? God forbid I enjoy eating. If I wasn’t suppose to sit on my ass and eat then the good Lord wouldn’t have made food so delicious and books so fucking hilarious.

And for the record, I think I’m at the perfect weight because it’s making me appreciate how my body works and what I can do to help the old girl. It’s making me think harder about what’s going on here and how to view life.

So the next time I say “Ew” when I see something on my body I dislike, I’m going to change my thought into “That’s supposed to be there.”

It may be a ridiculous lesson, but I needed it.

Keep Moving Forward.

Here’s the article:

http://hellogiggles.com/open-letter-apology-body

index I had to haha.

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Keep Moving Forward

For the first time in a month I’ve felt like myself.

I’ve been calling myself out on my shit.

Papa is a complaining jerk who doesn’t see fit to get off her ass and GET fit. Since I’ve moved home from Vancouver I’ve gained 20 pounds. Which is apparently just my M.O. because whenever I move home I gain 20 pounds. It’s super weird.

I was a wanker last week, let’s be real here. I was just starting out exercising again and that’s always really hard and I’m hard on myself and I cry and I barf in my mouth and then I pull myself together.

Yesterday was the first day that I was like ‘There I am’ while exercising. Not because I immediately lost those pesky 20 pounds, but because I felt stronger. I was motivated and not being a self-pitying twat waffle while crying. Although I did actually barf in my mouth a little bit but that was because I had a mimosa and then worked out.

What a dummy.

SO here I am about to do my 5th work out in a week and I’m proud of myself and I’m not giving up on myself (never do completely) and I’m so excited because I’m three work outs away from seeing some sort of change. (This is what happened the last time.) And even if I don’t see a change at least I know I’m on the right road for it. I’m working and trying and that’s more important than the fact that I’ve already lost three pounds.

Even if I keep crying, barfing, and being in super pain from working out (hello PMS boob pain) I’m still going to battle on because hell, I’ve made it through three work outs in a row, I don’t want to break my stride.

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I’m Human.

Here’s the thing, and it’s a big thing, an obvious thing but a big one: I’m human.

So when I find out that instead of losing ten pounds, I’ve GAINED ten pounds, I have to remind myself that I am human. I fall off the wagon even though I just started and that I’m doing this for Lent. It is okay to fail, it just means that I have the knowledge, will power, and attitude adjustment to do better for the next time around.

The next time around starts when I’m not so stressed about moving/saying goodbye to my favourite restaurants in Vancouver. The next time starts when I will have all day to think about the food I’m putting in my mouth. The next time starts when I am not PMSing and the Salt Monster comes around.

OR, the next time can be when I pull myself up by my bootstraps, remind myself that I am the kind of person who loses more in inches than in pounds, and that I am beautiful no matter what shape and size I am. As a person who hates endings, I find it rather easy to say Goodbye to being a pansy weakling with no willpower.

The most important word in my vocabulary now will be: “No.”

That sounds negative, but it worked for me before. I simply say “No” to food pushers (mainly me.) and to bad foods for me and to being miserable and using my body as a cage to hide myself in.

I’m coming for you life and I’m not sticking around in this prison anymore.

That’s all nice to say, but goddamn Thai food has got me in its grips. And I’ve reintroduced alcohol into my life. And I have a horrible stomach ache because of it. I freely admit that I am the kind of person who needs a support system in this. I need a person I can go to every week who tells me that I can and will do better. That I have it in me to take care of myself! That tells me “Hey. Take bacon poutine and peanut butter milkshakes off your docket kid.” (Those happened at the same time and were so delicious and I felt disgusting afterwards.)

How unfortunate that that person isn’t always myself.

Tomorrow may not be the seventeen thousandth restart, but I will be conscious of my food decisions even if I add alcohol to the mix. (Which I will, we are having a party tomorrow to say Goodbye.)

I do not hate my body. I am disappointed in myself for letting me down today, but I will always, ALWAYS, rise again. Notice how I didn’t say letting myself down this week, month, or year. Just one day. Every day is a new start and I will only let myself feel bad about this for as short of a time as I can. I will not wallow and take myself out of the running completely.

No fat shaming here. My body is my body. I have fat, I am not fat. I do love my body, even the “weird” nooks and crannies. Honestly, cellulite kind of makes me laugh. Jiggling my thighs is endless enjoyment, papa loves her tree trunks. I DO look at my back fat as my enemy, but that’s because I KNOW that under that is a beautiful majestic back that use to wear backless shirts and bathing suits. Oh you beautiful girl.

My stretch marks are my army stripes. I don’t want to be thin: I want to be a warrior. I want to be a woman. I want to be able to kick through doors and run a mile, and be a divine wind.

This is simultaneously a love letter to myself and update on how I am doing.

God isn’t perfect either, but Papa G will help me get through this. Probably by making me throw up tomorrow night since that’s our new M.O. when drinking. Haw haw. Thanks for that downer/embarrassing new trick.

Sorry this isn’t about books, but my body needed the attention today.

Constant vigilance.