fat girl series – session 4

So today I want to talk about body aches. Fat girls always ache. If you have huge boobs, naturally your back is going to hurt from carrying all that extra weight. Of course, this also means that all of that extra pounds you’re carrying will also lead to aches and pains while exercising. These aches and pains will normally cause a person of size to lose interest and end up hating exercise.

I wish I had a solution for this, but I don’t. My only advice in regards to this is to push through the pain. Once the weight starts melting off, your body lessens the pressure on your feet, knees and back. It’s a vicious circle, no doubt, but it helps.

I asked my doctor (while I was still seeing one) about what to do. He told me to lose weight, yes, but when I asked him about the pain he recommended taking a pain reliever such as over the counter ibuprofen BEFORE exercising. Most of the time, people only take pain medication while they’re in pain; however taking it before exercising really does help. I was able to walk longer and faster. 

I don’t know about other fat girls, but I have problem with shin pain after walking about 2 miles or so. It hurts, really bad. I have found that wearing thin shoes that make your feet feel barefoot is amazing. If you decide to work out on a treadmill in the comfort of your own home, you should try doing it barefoot. I am well aware of the dangers of exercising on machines barefoot… but it feels better to do it barefoot for me. 

Now, knees. Knees constantly hurt when you’re exercising and obese. I get that. Sometimes it’s more than just the extra weight and pressure on your knees, sometimes it’s worse. If you have health insurance I would recommend consulting a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen. It could save your life. Not only do you risk straining muscles and joints, there is also the issue of heart problems and stuff like that. 

In this journey to lose weight, I ask that you join me in light exercises. Start off walking a quarter mile and gradually increase that until you’re walking like 2 or 3 miles a day. Just that alone will help you shed pounds. Once your knees and back have less weight to support, start doing toning exercises such as squats, crunches, use arm weights. ALL OF THIS HELPS! You won’t see immediate results, but you will see changes!

My next series will be about self esteem… just waiting for the right inspiration 🙂

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Fat Girl’s Journey – Series 3

Good morning cyber world!!!

Normally, Mondays suck. Well, in fact, it’s Monday. It still sucks.

I’m in a good mood and I will tell you why: EXERCISE.

Recently, my dog had a bit of a problem and it was really scary. We weren’t sure how we were going to pay for vet visits and all kinds of crazy stuff; come to find out, she’s just obese and pulled a muscle. The vets orders: exercise.

What a beautiful way to do some bonding with my dog and get both of us healthy at the same time! She did great the first lap (1/3 mile). Second lap she was getting slower. Third lap she was done. She did great for her first mile though. I was pumped and wanted to go more, but she didn’t want to and I wasn’t going to force her.

See ladies, it’s that easy. Take a half an hour out of your busy day and do some walking! It really helps boost your spirits and gets you healthy. 3 times a week, more if you can. That’s all it takes. 2 years ago, this was all I did. I watched what I ate a little bit, but focused on WALKING. I was doing 2 – 4 miles a day and FELT fantastic. Take the kids, take the husband, take the dog; it doesn’t matter just as long as you go. Evenings after dinner is a good time if you work. After dropping the kids off at school is fantastic since it’s still cool if you live in sunny So Cal, like I do.

You can do it! I have faith in you, my readers. If I can, you can! Let’s do this!!!

Mine and Kasey’s journey: Day 1 – 1 mile

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Taking a break from Fat Girl’s Journey…

.. to write about another hard hitting issue.

I watched Glee today and experienced a wide range of emotions. As a future teacher, a parent, and someone who attended school during the Columbine tragedy as well as all of those that followed,  I bawled my eyes out.

I don’t like how Glee was quick to turn it political though. Yes, Gun Control is the big ticket issue right now, but I don’t think gun control is the answer. Criminals will always be criminals. They will get their hands on guns and it would leave the rest of the country defenseless. For instance, take a look at Prohibition. Alcohol was still a booming industry even though it was illegal. Why? Because. You can’t take away something and expect the problem to go away.

The answer to violence is to recognize the real problem. I’m not one to quickly blame parents. As a single parent, I know how hard it is to raise a well rounded child into a well rounded adult. I get it. However, with all of the programs and resources available to parents, there is no excuse to bad parenting. I am so sick of people blaming divorce and guns. It’s not the issue. The issue is that sometimes, its okay to admit, we need to seek outside support and help. That doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you smart.

It’s not the media, it’s not the movies and it is most definitely not violent video games. There’s so much more to it. Victims of violence and tragedy are quick to blame other people. No. Sandy Hook victims should be blaming the shooter.  The Colorado massacre; blame the shooter. People that are that messed up in the head will use any and everything to play out such tragic events. It’s not the guns. It’s mental health.

I’m not going to get into it more, because I know this is a hard issue and I don’t want to be blasted for my opinions. All I’m going to say is this. Divorce is a fact of life. Violence is a fact of life. Instead of ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away, get some help. The best decision I’ve ever made was getting my daughter some therapy. She is a different person now because we are getting the tools necessary to make sure she turns into a healthy adult. Health includes MENTAL health. Parents, I urge you to talk to your children. Take some time out of your busy schedules and really get to know your kids. The first step is recognizing a troubled person; the next step is support. Do it. You can prevent these tragedies!

Fat Girl’s Journey – Series 2

I was listening to NKOTB – Remix (I Like The)… and it struck me as odd. I’m not sure if they are singing about an ugly girl that transformed into a beautiful girl or abstractly, if they are singing about a girl that they thought was a “wallflower” but as they got to know her they saw the beauty inside. See it’s kind of confusing because they talk about the “new you”. Weird, but it got me thinking about Body Image!

Body Image. What is it? Body image is defined as: a person’s feelings of the aesthetics and sexual attractiveness of his or her own body. The phrase body image was first coined by the Austrian neurologist and psychoanalyst Paul Schilder in his book The Image and Appearance of the Human Body (1935). Human society has at all times placed great value on beauty of the human body, but a person’s perception of their own body may not correspond to society’s standards. (Wikipedia.com) Granted, Wikipedia isn’t necessarily the authority to end all authority, but as a future teacher and career college student, I’ve learned to use Wikipedia as a starting tool for quality research, however, I digress. Body Image.

Body image is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. From the time I can remember I have had low-self esteem and thought I was ugly. As in Series 1, I stated that there was a good 4 years between the ages of 15 – 19 that I was confident and felt beautiful. As with finding that weight again, I’ve also been struggling to find that beautiful body image I once felt.

Before I continue with things my psychologist and I discussed in regards to forming a positive body image, I want to discuss briefly the contributors to a damaging body image. First and foremost is the media. We constantly have skinny bean poles shoved in our faces as that is what is beautiful. However, recently, more and more companies are hiring larger women to model their products. For instance Dove is promoting a healthy body image with it’s body/curves campaign. When we compare these ads to those of Victoria’s Secret models, I would like to argue that the Dove campaign is much more appealing and pleasing to the eyes. Take a look:

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Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was, on average, a size 8/10 depending on her diet and mood, by today’s standards? In the 60s, yes, she was a 14… but our sizes have changed and therefore by today’s standards she was a size 10 in dresses and 8 in pants. That is still “fat” by today’s standards of models. People would agree that Adele has a beautiful voice, but Simon Cowell would have told her to lose weight before he signed her. Look how he was with Jennifer Hudson and Kimberly Locke. Miranda Lambert (Country singer) is beautiful, and she admits that she loves her big butt. That, my dear friends is a healthy body image.  Therefore the media tells us that beautiful is skinny; media drives our society’s standards of what is considered beauty.

One more fact that I think is important to include in talking about society and their views on weight is this: The average size for an Australian woman is now size 16 (Read Here). Something to consider next time you see a WOMAN walking down the street and you’re quick to judge her as fat.

Now, what can we do to transform our negative body image to a positive one?

According to WebMd here are 6 steps you can take now, without dieting and transforming your beautiful self to something you don’t want to be:

  1. Stop negative self-talk immediately. While you still may not like what you see in the mirror, Martz says, learning to describe yourself with neutral, objective phrases can help stop the cycle of poor self-esteem. So, instead of saying to yourself “I have really ugly thighs,” think “My thighs could use some work.”
  2. Find and focus on the things you like about your looks. It’s best not to link your looks to your self-esteem, but with body image so intimately entwined with self-image, that can be hard to do. The next best thing is to find something about your image you really like. “It can be great hair, great nails, terrific teeth. Find the things about yourself you can say something good about, and every time you look in the mirror, go there first and say something positive to yourself,” says Martz.
  3. Treat yourself with the same kindness and respect you show your best friend. “Would you respect and care about a person who says about you what you are saying about yourself? If the answer is no, then begin treating yourself at least as well as you are treating others in your life,” says May.
  4. Say what you mean. Sometimes, hating your thighs is all about wanting thinner thighs. But sometimes, Kaufman says, negative body thoughts are a way of expressing discontent over other issues in your life. Learn to decode these messages, she says.
  5. Dress the part. If you’re putting off buying new clothes until you like your body better — don’t.  Whether you’re bursting at the seams in duds that are too tight or swimming in oversized clothing to hide your body, you are eroding your self-esteem. “Buy what fits you, and look the very best you can. It sends a powerful message to yourself that you are worth it,” says Aronowitz.
  6. Recognize that people naturally come in different shapes and sizes, and cherish your body’s uniqueness. And, Martz says, remember this: “Only 2% of the world’s women fall into the supermodel category. That leaves a lot of room for the rest of us!”

I know a lot of women do strive to be a better weight though, and that is also important. You can be big and healthy. Here are some dieting ideas that I know from personal experience that work:

1. Eat right. I’m not saying go on a fad diet (frankly they don’t work). Watch what you eat. Instead of grabbing that burger, go for a healthier alternative like a grilled chicken sandwich or a Boca Burger. Eat more fruits and vegetables, watch your carb intake and limit your soda intake. It’s simple diet choices, not a fad diet. Check out healthy recipes for Diabetics. It’s a well rounded diet that produces amazing results from just eating differently.

2. Exercise. You don’t have to join a gym, you don’t have to buy exercise equipment. It’s simple. In the morning walk 1 – 4 miles. WALK. Don’t run. Just walk. After a month, you’ll begin to see results. Invest in a Wii Fit and ACTUALLY do it.

The key to a simple body transformation is actually doing something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it or find it painstaking, you won’t continue. You have to train yourself and create good habits. That my friends, will take you far.

Good luck. I’m already beginning to feel better about myself.

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Fat Girl’s Journey- Series 1

Hello, there! My name is Viola. I am a size 20. I weigh 235 pounds. I am 5’5″. Yes, I am fat.

Whew, now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to more important business.

I have always been a big girl… except once. Once I weighed less than my sister, but I don’t think birth weight really counts; I mean we’re only talking a few ounces anyway. There have been a few moments in my life when I wasn’t fat. I was big, but I wasn’t fat. I distinctly remember a period between 15 – 19 that I looked good. I was proportionate, I COULD wear a bikini, and I wasn’t flabby, either. I was down to a size 14/16 at that point. I was happy and I looked amazing.

Now, after having a child, I have struggled to find that size again. I was getting close a few years ago, but I let myself go. I don’t know if it was the comfort of finding an amazing man that loved me for me, or if it was laziness. I don’t want to take FULL responsibility for this, so I will say it was a joint effort.

Now, before I continue, I should probably start from the beginning. I was a big kid. My best friend growing up was lean, thin and active. She played sports and everything. However, one thing I pride myself on is that I was never the kid to stay home and do nothing. We did our fair share of playing video games and watching TV, but we were out. We were always riding our bikes, skateboarding for a brief period of time, roller blading, out exploring our neighborhood and getting into trouble. I wasn’t skinny. I couldn’t run a mile in less than 10 minutes, not even in 6th grade. It wasn’t the food my mom cooked either. It wasn’t the healthiest all of the time, but it wasn’t full of fat and junk food either. I was just naturally big.

My high school days I started slimming down a little, but I wasn’t watching what I ate. I was a little more active, joining the volleyball team, playing the games in PE when I decided to dress out, I even danced a little in Jazz Dance. I was having fun and being active. I slimmed down to the point of not being skinny, but I was fit, so to speak.

However, when I stumbled across a Facebook page this morning (found here) I had an epiphany. I was the secret girlfriend. I would be the one that the popular guys talked to in private. They always came to my house when no one was around. At school, they didn’t talk to me or acknowledge my existence. Hell, even the MAN of my dreams, Shawn Clark, even only spoke to me outside of school and usually at my house. No one even knew he talked to me. My hot boyfriends (the popular ones) only dated me through the summer and disappeared when school started again. Chris, Justin, Travis, Josh… they were all guilty of it and I didn’t realize this was happening until this morning. It really is no wonder that I have been so screwed up in the head. My best friend (at the time), her current husband even cheated on her with me while she was away; he won’t EVER admit it, even when they broke up briefly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there were a few that didn’t mind being seen with me. I am very grateful for them as well. The other Chris had no problem letting people know we were together. DJ, we were brief, but he didn’t hide it. Jeremy was angry that I wasn’t more affectionate in public, but we did go to the Winter Formal together. Sad thing is, I can count the boys that would publicly say we were together on one hand. Jeremy and I were never a couple, though. That was my own doing, though. He scared me because I knew we could really be something… I pushed him away.

Anyway, my point is this. I was an embarrassment to boys, and I think it was because I wasn’t considered “HOT” by the people that drove the tiny little world of high school. It really wasn’t until after high school that I realized that there are some men, more than I thought, that like big girls. I dated, after high school, men that I thought were the hottest things known to human existence. Darren was a skinny little punk from Moreno Valley that was amazing for my self esteem and my confidence. Little did I know he was a thief and stole a bunch of money from me, but he made me feel confident to put on a bikini and go swimming or wear something cute out to a party or something. Tom, aside from him being the biggest asshole in the world, also made me feel important as long as no one knew about us. It wasn’t until I met my first real heartbreak that I felt on top of the world. He was older. He was also extremely hot and all of the girls at work wanted him, but he chose me. He could have had ANY girl he wanted there, but I was the one by his side. He’s taken now, but she’s not a spring chicken either ;). The best thing about him was that he didn’t try to hide me. I met his family, we went places, did things together. I even almost uprooted my life to move with him far away; I’m glad I didn’t, but I almost did.

Now I am in the most healthiest relationship I’ve ever been in. My boyfriend’s ex-wife is not a skinny girl. His step-mom is actually the reason I stumbled upon that page this morning. I have never felt so accepted before. His family encourages me to be me. They don’t try to tell me I’m fat or tell me that I need to lose weight. Even his kids tell me I’m not fat. It has been a huge self-esteem booster. I have never once in my life been told that I am perfect the way I am. It’s scary, but it’s just what I needed to hear. We even joke that he is a Chubby Chaser, but I realize he doesn’t like fat girls. He likes confidence and finds beauty beneath the weight.

I’m on this journey with you. My self-discovery will only continue as I beat down those haters with my confidence, my struggles and ultimately my triumph. I am doing this for me. No one else matters on this quest.

With all of this new enlightenment hitting me, I have no choice but to write. Hopefully, other fat girls will look to me for inspiration. I can tell you, ladies, it does get better.

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It’s been a long, long time, but I’m still here

It’s been an interesting year, filled with trials and tribulations, but I didn’t write. I didn’t want to use this blog as a venting tool for all the world to read my problems and judge me on things they have absolutely no clue about. Many things have happened, some good, some great and some just shitty.

A quick recap before I continue with the hard hitting writing:
– I’m getting married, someday.
– I am a worker now! I tutor low income students.
– I learned just how evil some people are in the world; some friends are no friends at all, just heartless monsters that can’t even admit they’ve done something wrong.

That’s a good recap. 🙂

Anyway, now to the business at hand.

I had inspiration this morning. I stumbled upon a Facebook page that embraces thick women. It is no secret that I am a thick woman; in fact I am proud to be big girl. However, now I feel like I should write about it. It is after all, what I know. I’m starting a series. It’s a working title but I’m going to title it for now, Fat Girl’s Journey. I won’t promise that I will write every day, but I will write when inspiration hits. So… join me in my quest to find truth, heartache, pain and happiness as I write about my journey as a fat girl.