Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

My beautiful Dumplin’. This book was so wonderful I started a book club.

Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m a chubby bunny. I mention it whenever I read a book by or about chubby girls.

So reading about this chubby teenager who is constantly crapped on for being fat broke my heart and then FULLY MENDED IT.

If you’ve watched the movie: STOP AND READ THE BOOK.

Because while the movie was adorable and fun, the book is actually 100 times better.

No joke.

There are so many more sweet moments between Dumplin’ and her mom. There are a handful of fights between them that didn’t make the movie.

And her Aunt Lucy isn’t the same as in the movie, where she’s pictured as a lovely larger than life woman who in spite of being fat lived her life to the fullest.

In the books, she was a recluse who was too scared to do anything because she was afraid of what she looked like and didn’t want anyone to see her. Which I think was really important to the narrative. It made Willowdean want to be braver. Made her want to grow, while also loving her aunt more than anyone 

Willowdean was so frickin’ great and touched on so many things that I worry about too. (Like when someone touches my back or chubby bits and how I would/do react.)

PLUS the movie left out the very loveable and friendly Mitch. How could they do that?! Especially when they left out so much of her relationship with Bo.

And the romance with Bo was GREAT in the book and they barely touched on it in the movies.

I realize that it was supposed to be all about Dumplin’ but really. There was a reason her life started to shift and she started to examine her life more.

And the reason was her Aunt Lucy’s death and what that meant to her.

You totally thought I was going to say Bo. Pfffffffft nah.

Read this book. Just frickin’ do it.dumplin

This is Me–Chrissy Metz

Classic. After I said I was going to write every day I immediately forgot and here we are four days later.

But here we go.

SPOILERS TO “THIS IS US” FIRST SEASON. 

Now, I knew I was going to like this book immediately because I really like Chrissy Metz as a human. (Not that I know her in real life. What an assumption I made based off of interviews and the like!)

I’ll admit that I don’t fully like her character in This Is Us and it’s because of one thing. 

After her father went back into their burning house and saved her dog because she was losing her mind crying because the dog was stuck and dying, she did something unforgivable. 

(Hello. Who WOULDN’T be LOSING THEIR SHIT AT THAT. I would’ve gone back in for my dog in a HEARTBEAT.) 

After Jack dies: SHE STARTS HATING ON HER DOG.

EXCUSE YOU!!! 

Your dog didn’t kill him. Don’t you dare pin that on a dog! It was just a horrible circumstance. 

If my dad died saving my dog I would be like YOU’RE A HERO JOE. AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR SAVING MY SWEET ANGEL DEXTER. AND I WOULD LOVE THAT DOG MORE BECAUSE MY DAD SAVED HER FOR ME AND I WOULD NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS BLAME A DOG FOR THE DEMISE OF MY FATHER.

Unless Dexter tripped him on the way out the door and somehow kicked it behind her and my dad got trapped and burned to death.

THEN I would probably be like “Damn it Goose you fluffy adorable murderer.” (We call Dexter ‘Goose’ because she gooses your bum when you come in the door like a perverted old man.)

Wait. I’m supposed to be talking about a book. Not why I don’t like Kate. Or at least, teenage Kate. 

THIS BOOK WAS LOVELY.

It gives you the feels. It makes you feel like you have a comrade in arms. It makes you feel like you aren’t alone in feeling like you are a fat piece of trash and then she lifts you right back up to show you how you are BEAUTIFUL and MAJESTIC and everything is just as it should be. No matter what size you are you are fucking amazing. You hear me?!

Chrissy’s writing was full of heart and kindness, and past self-deprecation and it was lovely.

Plus I love seeing women living their dreams on their terms and how they became that way.

She is a fucking star and amazing. 

But teenage Kate can get bent. Ya hear me?

Constant vigilance.

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The Time of My Life–Cecelia Ahern

I always trust that when I pick up a Cecelia Ahern novel that I’m going to like it. There’s just so much magic in her stories that I really love them all.

I also trust that I’ll cry like a little bitch and be devastated for days. 

Exhibit A: P.S. I Love You. 

I really like what she did with this story, it was quite fun.

Lucy finds out she has an appointment with her life. And her life is a physical human manifestation that she actually gets to MEET and talk to and stuff gets sorted out. 

He’s a very bedraggled person at first.

Which had me thinking, what would MY life look like if I were to meet her?

I decided this moment in time where Hermione is struggling to function in potions class in their fifth year.

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Constantly being like “What the fuck am I doing? What is going on? Getting overwhelmed.” Hair is a mess. Attitude needs an adjustment, and I’m just doing too many things ALL the time.

I feel for Hermione. But she’s a badass bitch. And so am I.

That took a turn.

ANYWAY.

Very enjoyable from start to finish, great summer book. OR snuggly winter read under some warm blankets.

Constant vigilance!

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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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Work It Out

Good morning!

Last month whizzed by and now here I am on the first of February thinking about what my new goals will be for the month. Because part of my New Year Resolution is to make new goals every month.

January goals went pretty well! I kicked my Tim Hortons habit! (Bye bye French Vanillas! *sobs*) I started a new workout regime to get to my newest goal: Fit into my Maid of Honour dress. I’ve been eating better, and better still, not getting on the scale three times a day to see if the salad I just ate made me lose ten pounds magically.

Now, since today is the beginning of a fresh month I’ve decided that I will weigh myself once a month now instead of every day to watch my progress.

Turns out: That was stupid of me.

I’ve been feeling really great in my body, I’ve been having less stomach problems, I’ve got more energy, feeling really great, feeling like I don’t really NEED the homemade cappuccinos anymore (even if they are only 90 calories). Just all around kicking ass!

Until I stepped on the scale. I haven’t lost any weight. At all. Which really bums me out because I SWEAR I was thinning out around my middle. I just had a mini flip out because WHAT THE HELL IS ALL THIS FOR IF I’M NOT LOSING WEIGHT WILL I FIT INTO MY DRESS WILL I EVER GET THE BODY I DREAM ABOUT HOW COME NO ONE LOVES ME IS IT BECAUSE I’M THIS GIANT PIECE OF —-

Whoa Nelly. Look, progress reports are important when you are trying to hit a goal. But to get on the scale and start berating myself after an entire month of happy happy joy joy was really surprising. I thought that I would be like “Ah well, better luck next month!” get off the scale and go about my day. But instead I was thrown back into an old habit and worse, an old way of thinking.

So my goals for this month are: Be kinder. (Yes, that’s the same as last month and should always be a goal.) Change my way of thinking of my body. Treat myself better. No scale until March 1st. Doing something nice for someone. Learn to say ‘No’ to things. (That’s a big one, I’m not what you would call well off financially and I keep saying ‘Yes’ to things I shouldn’t.) Stand up for myself at least once this month. And as ever: Practice piano.

That one is actually proving to be the hardest to get to.

Anyway, if you are wondering what my work out regime is currently, you can find it here:

MyPeakChallenge

I’m finding it to be so unbelievably doable, especially for anyone with a sedentary job or is new to working out. I also like that there is no “30 Day to a New You!” tag on it or anything like that. It’s a year long program that’s suppose to help you reach your own goals.

And it’s run by hot Scottish guys, so there’s that. I’m talking Sam Heughan from ‘Outlander’ is part of it. And it’s so nice to not be yelled at while working out, even from a video. Like they are laughing sometimes. Which makes me laugh! I love that!

Anyway, follow me on Instagram if you want to watch my stories on this program unfold.

It’s mostly me laying on a mat sweating my balls off praying to Beyonce to help me.

Keep moving forward!

 

Paddle Your Own Canoe–Nick Offerman

If Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal, Nick Offerman is my disgruntled guardian angel.
He has a special way of speaking and writing that is so inviting I’m looking forward to his other works.

This book is so chock-full of wisdom that you come away a better person. Or at the very least, with some words of wisdom on how to not be a dick.

And a person who feels like they can paddle their own canoe and just “do you”, so to speak.

His stories about person and professional triumphs and failures made me feel like I’m not alone in this world and that here, here is a kindred spirit of wildness and subtleness, someone who while also being quite reserved, has a filthy mind. A kindred spirit who knows that working with your hands is one of the most rewarding things on the planet and that looking at something you made is important (no matter what it is.) especially if you put your heart and soul into it.

He made me realize certain things about myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise known or recognized if they came along. And not just about “paddling my own canoe”, but what I would want in a relationship, friendships, and dreams I’ve put on the back burner.

This man is a unique and forthright person and I’m so happy for him that he found a person who loves him and supports him and has a filthier mouth and mind than he does.

It’s good to know that Megan Mullally and Nick are together and love as much as they can and are complete goons together. It’s just so nice to read.

Even if he’s talking about a song he wrote where he’s doing her in the ass.

Constant vigilance! …That’s an unfortunate phrase right after that sentence.

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Why Not Me?–Mindy Kaling

As I’ve said before: Mindy is my spirit animal.

I had a theme going for a short time where I was reading books by thoughtful but filthy minded and mouthed women who tell it like it is and actually connected with me on a level some authors never reach with me.

Mindy always gets through because she isn’t ashamed to speak her mind.

I’m so grateful that someone like her exists to help me out of whatever self sabotaging stage or made up stage I’m in. Where I’m just going around and around in circles and finally there is someone to knock some sense into me.

This book is all about her life and her motto “Why the Fuck not Me?”. I love her writing and her stories, which made me fall in love with that phrase.

What on Earth makes me think that anyone is better or worse at something than me?

Why shouldn’t I be the one pursuing my dream of the week, month, or year. And why do I always let the naysayers and my inner naysayer bowl me over with their negativity thus leaving me where I started? None the wiser and with zero progress in my life.

Mindy takes you into her arms like a wise majestic creature from another universe and whispers in your ear in a deep Batman voice: “Why the fuck not you?”

I adore her and this book and can’t wait for more from her.

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