Monday, 6 January 2014

How to do all the things

I am so tired of people telling other people how to do any and all of the things. What words you can say if you're over 30, what music to like, what movies are ok to admit you enjoy, how you should be using your phone, facebook, instagram, twitter, toothbrush, kitchen sink, how you should live your life, spend more time being in the moment, not be on antisocial social media, what you should and shouldn't feel good or bad about, how people should or shouldn't be parents, women, men, feminists, activist, human beings. It just goes on and on.

Here's an idea. If you don't like the way I do things or the words I say you have two choices. If you genuinely like me then you can choose to put up with the things about me that don't mesh 100% with the way you live your life (as I do with many of the people I love when it's not a deal breaker like racism or violence) or you can remove me from your facebook, twitter, instagram, life. That's it. Those are your two options. You can not change people to fit your view of the world, believe me I've tried. It will just make you tired and angry and sad and tired. It is pointless.

Just because you feel like you are missing important parts of your life by using your mobile phone does not mean that I think I am. Just because you think someone over 30 shouldn't use the word totes does not mean I am going to stop saying it. I don't think anyone should eat processed foods including bread, pasta, snack foods, low-fat food items, etc etc and while I try to communicate my opinions where possible and roll my eyes when I see people making bad food choices, it does not stop me from making my own choices in line with my belief system. In fact it doesn't affect me in any way. Sometimes I go a little bit over the top with my views but I'm trying to stop. I'm trying to remember that my views are mine and mine alone, shaped by my life, just as yours have been shaped the same way. After all, I can't force you to be right ;)

So in the infamous words of some song by some people, maybe its time to live and let live. Its great for you that you've had some new epiphany and its really changed the way you choose to live your life. Just remember that if I don't ask about it, I probably totes don't give a shit.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

2014: The Year of Me

I don't really go in big for resolutions. I've never been an avid resolution setter. As someone said on twitter the other day, if it's important enough to you then you just do it, you don't wait for a special day to start being better. However this year I've decided to make some resolutions. This year I turn 35 and when I reflect on my life in my 30s I see that its been a massive period of growth and change for me. I've become more willing to be myself, found my own style, lost friends and made new ones and lost some again.

This year I embark on a new adventure. On the 29th of January I begin my journey to becoming a Nutritional Medicine practitioner, Naturopath and Herbalist. I'm not sure about the herbs and stuff yet, my main focus is on learning the science behind nutrition, how our bodies work and how we can heal ourselves by making choices about what we put in our mouths. It seemed a natural step after my journey from 100.5kgs to the 74.5kgs I am now (I put on a couple of kgs over December dammit!). I am both excited and slightly trepidatious about this new journey, there's a lot of learning to do and a lot of it is science, but after doing a chemistry and anatomy and physiology bridging course last year to get prepared I think I'll be okay.

Plus this year I will be the proud mother of not one but TWO high school students. That's a scary thought. Wasn't it just yesterday that they were babies in my arms? (such a cliche). Having two in high school and one in primary school (who is too young to walk home on his own yet) while I'm studying will make logistics a little tricky but we'll make it work. I'm going to need to get good at planning and preparation though. Especially for dinners to make sure we are eating healthy meals every night and not falling in to the "I'm too busy" trap.

So with all this excitement happening this year I decided that I needed to set myself some guidelines, goals, resolutions (or whatever you want to call them) for 2014. Its going to be an amazing and challenging year and I need to make sure I don't let myself get distracted by unimportant things. So here they are...

2014: The Year of Me

I will stop telling myself that I am broken and that there is something "wrong" with me. I will embrace my differences and understand that they make me who I am.

I will stop doing things simply because I feel a duty or obligation to do them. I will only do things that I want to do, because I choose to do them.

I will not make excuses for who I am. My opinions, ideas, thoughts, friends, diet, taste in music etc etc are part of me and I am awesome. So there.

I will put myself and my own needs first. I am important, I matter and I should be valued, especially by myself. My health, both physical and mental, come first.

I will stop feeling like I am missing out because I don't go to events that make me feel socially anxious. If people are really my friends they will understand and make the effort to see me in a setting that does not leave me housebound for days afterwards.

I will acknowledge the things I am not so good at and respect that they are a part of me.
 
I will stop allowing myself to feel bad because of what someone else says or thinks about me. Furthermore I will stop assuming I know what people think about me.

I will stop making room in my life for people and things which do not make me happy. I will make extra time and effort for the things and people that do make me happy. Life is short and I will endeavour to fill it with as much happiness as possible. Because I am worth it.

I will not give up when everything gets too hard. I will push on, challenge myself, use the strength and resilience that my life has given me, pick myself up and do better.

I will allow myself time to be sad or angry or grumpy or just a bit meh. These are valuable feelings and they will be easier to handle and pass quicker if I acknowledge them. Having negative feelings does not make me broken or a failure. It makes me human.

I will thank people for what they bring to my life as often as possible. I will tell people I love them.

I will take time to reconnect with myself when I need to and I will be the best me that I can be. 

and finally...

I will blog when I feel like blogging. I won't worry what people will think about my posts, what they will think about me. My blog is the place I write down my life to help me work through it and make sense of it. If all I ever do is whinge then so be it. This is my space to be and write and express whatever I want to. I write for me.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

An old unpublished post I just found: Wednesday's Child: which came first?

I was going through the ridiculous amount of drafts on my blog and found this one. I think I was probably going to write more but I decided to publish it anyway because I think it's an interesting idea...

I was just reading some statistics about depression and I came across something I've seen so many times before but this time it made me stop and pause. This is what I saw

Those with the following personality types are at risk of depression:
Lifelong worrier
Perfectionist
Sensitive to personal criticism
Unassertive
Low self-esteem
Self-critical and negative
Shy and socially anxious

And suddenly I wondered, are these personality types prone to depression, or are these personality types caused by depression? I'm sure I'm not the first person to wonder this, there are lots of much smarter brains than mine that spend a hell of a lot more time thinking about depression than I do.

Unsent Letter: Dear Broken Little Girl

Dear Broken Little Girl

You've got the world fooled. With your masks and your costumes. With the illusion you have created. I'm not fooled anymore, I see who you truly are. I see the little girl terrified of revealing any weakness or cracks. The little girl who uses people for what they can do for her and then casts them aside until she needs them once more.

I used to look at you and think you were so much more than me, that I was so much less. Now I realise that you will never be as much as me. Not until you are willing to be wrong, to be imperfect, to be fragile and vulnerable and human. Anybody can do what you do, yet you doubt my ability. You think you are so grown up and in control, but you're not. Everything you stand against, you have been. Everything you fight for, you've never endured. You are an empty shadow trying to fill yourself up at the expense of others.

You once told me that I should learn to put myself first and say no. Well I've learnt. I'll never let myself be used by you again. I can see the real you and I don't like who I see.

Love me

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dress Ups

Last night we went to an outing that required us to dress up 1950s style. As always I left everything to last minute but I managed to throw together a pretty decent ensemble. During the night I posted the following on social media 

"dress up parties are much funner when you aren't as fat #justsaying #confessionsofaformerfatgirl"

I posted this because I realised how much easier it had been for me now that I am a size 12/14 instead of a size 20 to find something to wear and how much more comfortable I felt being "in costume". Somebody took exception claiming that I should re-word my statement as some of our mutual friends may find it offensive and upsetting. Hogwash I say. Anyone who has been as big as I have, or bigger, knows exactly what I am talking about. 

When you are any size bigger than a 16 wearing any clothes can be hard, let alone dress ups. While it is getting easier, with more plus size fashion labels available, being overweight and shopping for clothes is not much fun. You feel self conscious constantly. Just looking at clothes labelled plus size reminds you that you are overweight, that you have "failed" to meet society's expectations, that you are a "fat person". Its hard not to feel like everyone is staring at you, judging you, wondering why you don't "just stop eating you fatty". The internal dialogue alone is usually harsh enough to make you want to hide in your house forever eating chocolate and potato chips, let alone the rude stares and judgemental glances from shop assistants and other shoppers. 

I used to say I hated dress up parties. But what I really hated was that I was too fat to make dress up parties fun. I was always too conscious of looking fat to enjoy myself. Plus the costume options are fairly limited when you are overweight and any options available are usually twice the price ("take that fatties!"). Society does not make it easy to be overweight, and to be perfectly honest, nor should it. 

As an overweight (obese actually) person I was unhealthy and unhappy. Technically, according to my BMI, I am still 2 kilos overweight sitting just outside the top of the healthy weight range for my height, but DAMN I feel so much better. I don't feel sick all the time, my mood and energy levels are much more stable and consistent, and most importantly, shopping and dressing up are FUN! I can walk into pretty much any store and find something that fits me. That is a great feeling. I still feel self conscious about my body and weight but that is a different matter for a different post (I'm planning on writing it soon, I promise). 

So basically, I don't think anyone I know would be offended by what I wrote, but rather understand exactly where I am coming from. If by some chance it did upset you, perhaps its time to consider if it was my words that upset you or how you feel in your own body that is upsetting. Or you could just ignore me, that works too :)