Saturday, July 4, 2015

Because I Haven't Done One of These in Forever

100 questions no one ever asks? Here’s the full list (from Four Hats and Frugal):

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Gah, closed! Always!

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotels?
No, because they usually stink.

3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Tucked in, but not so tight I can't move: makes me feel claustrophobic.

4. Have you stolen a street sign before?

5. Do you like to use post-it notes?

6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?

7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
Oh, jesus. A swarm of bees, I guess?

8. Do you have freckles?
Yes, but sadly only when I spend time in the sun, which I don't do much of anymore because #fuckcancer.

9. Do you always smile for pictures?
Mmm, no: only when I have to. Generally speaking, I avoid the camera, and when I can't, I stick my tongue out or flip the bird or both.

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Just one?!? People scuffing their feet while they walk like they're wearing cross country skis.

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Just stairs.

12. Have you peed in the woods?

13. Have you ever pooped in the woods?
If I have, I've blocked it from my memory (assuming out houses don't count).

14. Do you ever dance even if there's no music playing?
On occasion, but that just means there's music playing in my head. ;)

15. Do you chew your pens and pencils?
Yuck, no.

16. How many people have you slept with this week?
Ha! NONE! Chebbar's working night shift. (And if you mean in a brown chicken brown cow kind of way, again none: being on completely different schedules makes sexy time complicated.)

17. What size is your bed?
King size.

18. What is your song of the week?
OMG! "Go" by The Chemical Brothers
19. Is it OK for guys to wear pink?
Anyone should feel free to wear whatever they want.

20. Do you still watch cartoons?

21. What is your least favorite movie?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Long story.

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
Pffffft. Like I'd tell YOU!

23. What do you drink with dinner?

24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Honey mustard or plum sauce.

25. What is your favorite food?
Pie. Fruit pie. Warmed. With vanilla ice cream.

26. What movies could you watch over and over again and still love?
Dirty Dancing
Dazed and Confused
Empire Records
Mean Girls
Pitch Perfect
That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure there are more.

27. Last person you kissed/kissed you?

28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout?

29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
Don't remember.

31. Can you change the oil on a car?
My step-dad showed me once, but very warm oil leaked very close to my face, so that was a one-time deal. (Also, do you know how TERRIFYING it is for someone with anxiety to be under a freaking car?!?)

32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
*hangs head in shame* I was quite proud of the fact that I had never gotten a ticket in 19 years, then got THREE in THREE MONTHS. Let's just say speed traps are more... effective? plentiful? in Alberta than in BC. *sigh*

33. Ever ran out of gas?

34. What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?
Sausage and egg biscuit from Tim Hortons.

35. Best thing to eat for breakfast?
Oatmeal with blueberries or peanut butter on toast. With a hot, strong cup of orange pekoe.

36. What is your usual bedtime?
I go to bed around 9pm when Chebbar leaves for work, but lights out isn't usually until about 9:45pm (I read, then meditate).

37. Are you lazy?
Sometimes/about some things.

38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
The only costume I remember is a medieval maiden-type thing.

39. What is your Chinese astrological sign?

40. How many languages can you speak?
One, unless Pig Latin or sarcasm count.

41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?

42. Which are better: legos or lincoln logs?

43. Are you stubborn?
Bwa ha ha ha hold on haaaaaaaaaaa I'm a Taurus.

44. Who is better: Leno or Letterman?

45. Ever watch soap operas?
Used to.

46. Are you afraid of heights?
Not really, unless you're making look over the edge.

47. Do you sing in the car?

48. Do you dance in the car?
Sometimes. Not often.

49. Do you sing in the shower?
Nope. I have imaginary conversations in the show.

50. Ever used a gun?
Only a water gun.

51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?
I don't really have an opinion: I like some, but not others.

53. Is Christmas stressful?

54. Ever eat a pierogi?

55. Favorite type of fruit pie?
Strawberry rhubarb.

56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Teacher. Child psychologist.

57. Do you believe in ghosts?

58. Ever have a deja vu feeling?
Once or twice.

59. Do you take a vitamin daily?
I take many.

60. Do you wear slippers?
Most of the year.

61. Do you wear a bath robe?
Most of the year.

62. What do you wear to bed?
One of those camisoles with the built-in bra and shorts when it's hot; leggings and a long-sleeved shirt on top of the cami when it's cold. I know sleeping nude has many benefits, but I run cold 95% of the year.

63. What was your first concert?
Alanis Morissette 

64. Walmart, Target, or Kmart?
Welp, considering we only have Walmart in Canada now...

65. Nike or Adidas?
Adidas or New Balance: Nike make the soles of my feet burn.

66. Cheetos or Fritos?
67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?

68. Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?

69. Ever take dance lessons?

70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?

71. Can you curl your tongue?
Yep. I learned in high school biology this is a genetic trait.

72. Ever won a spelling bee?
Never participated in one.

73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
Duh. Have you met me?

74. Own any record albums?

75. Own a record player?

76. Do you regularly burn incense?
Nope, but I diffuse essential oils.

77. Ever been in love?
Yep, twice: the first time was not reciprocated.

78. Who would you like to see in concert?
Counting Crows (missed them in May). I'd totally see Garth Brooks: I hear he puts on a hell of a show. I'd DIE for a Pearl Jam/Foo Fighters double-header!

79. What was the last concert you saw?
Foo Fighters, I think?

80. Hot tea or cold tea?

81. Tea or coffee?

82. Sugar cookies or snickerdoodles?
Sugar cookies.

83. Can you swim well?
Well enough.

84. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
There are people who can't?

85. Are you patient?
Depends on my mood.

86. DJ or band at a wedding?

87. Ever won a contest?
I won a shit ton of jelly beans in grade 5 by being the closest guesser (I don't even like traditional jelly beans, only Jelly Bellys). "We" won $350 in a radio contest when the dog barked 35 times in 10 seconds.

88. Have you ever had plastic surgery?

89. Which are better: black or green olives?
None olives.

90. Can you knit or crochet?
Nope. Great Grannie tried to teach me to knit when I was 10, but I didn't have the patience for it. I so wish I'd had another opportunity to learn from her.

91. Best room for a fireplace?
After working for a fairly high-end new home builder, ALL OF THEM!

92. Do you want to get married?
Yep. Because reasons.

93. If married, how long have you been married?
Not married: living common law for 7 years, together for 8 years.

94. Who was your high school crush?
Which one?

95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?
Um, no.

96. Do you have kids?

97. Do you want kids?

98. What is your favorite color?
Purple or green.

99. Do you miss anyone right now?
My family.

100. Who are you going to tag to do this next?
No one because I think they annoy people more than anything.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 4: 30 Day Learning Challenge

June 22: 10 Things to Stop Doing if You Want to Love Your Body - "Stop blaming your body for the bad things in your life. It's not your body's fault. Instead, say, 'Thank you, body, for being with me on this journey.'"
I posted a picture of my reflection in the patio door. I was wearing yoga pants and a form-fitting cami - lots of me visible, and yet I felt okay to share. I commented on how amazing it was how one minute I think I look like a hippo and the next I think I look okay. The brain is a bastard.

June 23: 10 Ways We Body Shame Without Realizing It - "'You're really brave to wear that.' By the way, wearing a sleeveless top or bikini does not take bravery. 'You're not fat, you're beautiful.' These things are not mutually exclusive - a person can be fat and beautiful."
The very next day, I took a picture of my shadow while walking the dog and noted feeling the need to explain the wide-legged yoga pants and Chebbar's hoodie for the reasons behind my silhouette. Again, the brain is a bastard.

June 24: I don't have to lose weight to be a yogi - "Always thinking that I couldn't enjoy something now because I was too big to try it out. Starting yoga helped me get over the mental block that I put on myself. The block where it has been ingrained into our minds that big people can't do certain things now and that losing weight is the only way to achieve all these great things."
Wanted to show off my great blue nail polish; managed to avoid making self-deprecating comments about my feet, but didn't avoid acknowledging the urge - keeping it real.

June 25: My Intimate Journey to Self-Acceptance - "I had learned to better integrate my body and mind, which took examining inherited perceptions: those of my mother, husband, authors, and culture. It took practice to own my body. It still does."
Forgot to take a picture because I was inexplicably cranky. 

June 26: Denise Bidot, Plus-Size Model, Isn't Sorry for Her Bikini Body. And She Shouldn't Be. - "Curvy women really shouldn't apologize for who they are... "

Oh. My. God. I *loved* this article - FINALLY someone who looks more like ME. I've been cloaking secret shame around the fact that I'm not "pretty" fat: yes, we're seeing more plus-size bodies out there, but - and I acknowledge it's still likely mothertrucking Photoshop - their bellies are free from stretchmarks and their thighs don't show a trace of cellulite. I don't know if the pictures have been retouched or not, but to me it looks just like a real woman's real body.
I wore a dress today, but not before fighting a battle with the mirror. My legs are too white: I shouldn't wear something this short (SO not short, either, FTR). My arms are too flabby: I should wear a sweater (it was 28C, fer crissakes). Eventually I said fuck it: these are my pasty white legs and my flabby arm, and if you don't like 'em, DON'T LOOK! 

In a discussion about pasty white skin with some coworkers, a (well-meaning) coworker suggested a self-tanning lotion. I *may* have wheeled on her and - more loudly than intended - said, "NO! I shouldn't have to slather myself in smelly shit to try to make myself more acceptable to other people." I even shocked myself. Heh

June 27: Unpopular Opinion: I Hate My Body - "I'm trying. Trying not to hate my body. I am soaking in every ounce of what the confident women of all shapes and sizes are doing."
Another day with no sleeves because a) it's hot as hell and b) fuck that shit. 

June 28: Why Body Acceptance Isn't for Everyone all the Time - "She says, 'Stop it. You're beautiful.' While those words are well-intentioned, they are also dismissive. They will not convince me that I am fit or beautiful. They can't change the fact that I feel uncomfortable in my body. Likewise, demanding that I love my body does nothing but make me feel guilty that I don't..."
Still hot as AF, meaning I'm miserable AF (the heat and I don't get along: I tend toward headaches and, um, bathroom issues. *ahem*). Took a picture of my mud masked-resting bitch face whilst in a tepid bath.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Week 3: 30 Day Learning Challenge

June 15: It's swimsuit season! Is your body socially acceptable? - "Imagine what we could accomplish, the joys we could experience, the simple pleasures we might rediscover, if we were to value and respect people of all sizes and allow them the autonomy to make their own informed choices about their personal health and well-being."
Today, I listened to my body and stayed home from work to rest, recuperate, and take care of my tooth. I saw an endodontist who told me a five-year old root canal had failed and was infected. Unfortunately, my benefits don't kick in until August 1; however, he was confident that with antibiotics and pain killers, we could get the infection under control and wait until then to take care of this.

June 16: 10 Reasons You Haven't Found Self-Acceptance - "My body, just like my life, is a work in progress."
Still not feeling 100% - foggy.

June 17: Living Large: How I Learned to Love My Body - "But this one woman, telling me so offhandedly, as if it were obvious, that I was fine, changed my focus. I stopped trying to meet some imaginary, impossible standard and instead focused on actually taking care of the body I had been abusing." [Emphasis mine because WHOA. Yup.]
Today, after my (doctor) boss gently reminded me that it's normal to feel tired and run down when your body is fighting an infection, my body decided to give up and fall down. Bit it walking to the car after work. Not much injured but my pride. Oy.

June 18: You Were (and Are) More Beautiful Than You Think - "The next time you look at a photo that someone else loves of you, I encourage you to remove your self-judgement and look at it with eyes of love and acceptance. You might be amazed by what you see."
Still tired. Did my best to remember my body is still fighting by being gentle with myself.

June 19: Never mind the bikini advice, here's how to really love your body this summer - "So go to the beach and wear whatever the hell you want. Your body is rad. But you're more than just a body."
Today I appreciated the ability to enjoy 20 minutes of reading and 10 minutes of meditation over my lunch break while watching dragon boaters and boot campers out my window.

June 20: What if You Still Don't Like Your Body? -"Please remember that accepting our bodies takes time. It takes work. It can be incredibly hard. It may take steps forward and just as many steps back. But it's always worth the effort... Our efforts are not futile. They're not useless."
We did our "traditional" Cirque du Soleil show for our anniversary last night. Being a champ, Chebbar humoured me with an "us-ie." As I looked at it, I made a typical crack about my double chin. Chebbar called me on it, asking about all the body acceptance stuff (evidently, he still checks ye olde blog every once in awhile). BUSTED!

June 21: Body Image Booster: Discovering Our Bodies - "How our bodies function is a miracle. Reminding myself of this fact makes me feel grateful for all the behind-the-scenes work my body puts in. It reminds me of how powerful and magnificent we are, even in the smallest of moments... "

Hoo, boy. Yesterday, I didn't honour my body by listening to it: I rushed around, drank a pop instead of water, and said I wasn't thirsty so Chebbar wouldn't get stuck standing in line at the show (after that, being thirsty was all I could think about). I had a low-level headache while we were at the arena that was still around when I went to bed, and when I woke up this morning, it had morphed into a migraine. After drugs, food, caffeine, LOTS of water, and going back to bed with ice packs on my neck and forehead, I feel almost human. And yes, I'm drinking water.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 2: 30 Day Learning Challenge

June 8: Living Body Love - "If you need beauty to be able to come to this revolution, do it... but it's not ultimately the end goal. The end goal is complete body autonomy and freedom to be who you are and know that you're valuable just as you are."
I took a picture and caught myself sucking in my got. Only took me a second to say, "eh, fuck it," and let it go (literally and figuratively).

June 9: How This Badass Yogi is Teaching Women to Love Their Bodies - "I always tell people (especially women) to stop sending negative energy into their bodies and thoughts," she said. "That negative energy is responsible for all body unhappiness. The only person in control of your life experience is you. Find the space and love to believe in yourself if only for your own overall well-being."
My body found today particularly difficult. There was a tragic loss in the community last night, and my heart was heavy: sadness coloured my day, my mood, everything. (I'm not trying to "blame" this tragedy for my bad day or anything like that, just explaining what contributed to my overall mental state today.)

June 10: 5 Words to Heal Your Relationship with Your Body - "No one's body is perfect. Not mine, not yours. On the other hand, every positive experience you have ever had on this Earth was brought to you, one way or another, by your body."
Weird body day: feeling it, but not at the same time. Still showed up and acknowledged my body today.

June 11: At War with My Body - "...I no longer want to be at war with my body. I want to love it, in all its imperfections and limitations appreciating what it has done for me and its amazing capacity to survive in spite of my attempts to harm it and kill it. I want to embrace all the sensations that come with being in a human body, the pleasure and the pain. Finally, I want to nourish this body, learning to take care of and be "in" it, instead of constantly warring against it."
Today my body is tense and filled with took-on-someone-else's-anxiety and can't shake it. I have my first therapy appointment in two months, and for some reason, I'm nervous. Doesn't help that this somehow went from a discussion about T inquiring about his (STILL don't have 'em) benefits to him telling me prioritizing chiro appointments - my BACK - over my "mental health" is (and I quote) "fucked up." I didn't lose my shit on him like I wanted to (a. my stress is way down now that I'm not at hell job, b. my anxiety (aside from the renewed skin picking *shameface*) is under control, c. I haven't been depressed in ages, d. I've NEVER been suicidal, and e. constant, chronic back pain fucks with ALL of those things (save D)) even though that assertion is patently unfair. All that being said, it's STILL bugging me a week later. 

June 12: Accepting Your Body at Any Size"The goal is to retrain your brain how to think positively about your reflection and your body. Over time, telling yourself that you're beautiful, even if you don't believe it at first, will improve your confidence."
Today my body is still relishing the storm that thoroughly drenched me leaving therapy last night. I took my time walking to the car (s good block away), savouring the sensation of huge, warm drops and my favourite scent (petrichor!). I drove all the way home with the window down, rain pounding along with the music. I was so giddy when I got home, I splashed in the puddles up the walk, disregarding my white skirt or what the neighbours might think: I was having FUN, dammit! It was fanfreakingtastic.

June 13: This is Me - "You - yes, you, the one reading this right now - you are enough. You are valuable. you are visible. You are beautiful. Your size and weight do not define you; they do not determine your character or future. You deserve to be celebrated." 
Today was painful. The dull tooth throb that has plagued me all week rose to a crescendo, waking me at 3am. I was fortunate to get in to the dentist this afternoon, but she wasn't able to give me a definitive answer (could be cracked root and/or cavity under the crown of a tooth that had a root canal 5 years ago). Unfortunately, all the poking, prodding, and tapping she did left me in even more pain that I haven't been able to shake. Hoping to Ceiling Cat the T3's do their job so I can sleep tonight.

June 14: 10 Reasons I Take My Shirt Off in Yoga Class -  "It's a reminder to myself that I am greater than my body."
Taking it easy today. Tooth is still very sore.

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Week 1: 30 Day Challenge Round-Up

June 1: Ashley Graham's Ted Talk is a Lesson in Body Acceptance - "I'm not plus-size. I'm me size."

I introduced my #thisismybodytoday "campaign" in an effort to bear witness to my body exactly as it is in that precise moment. A beloved friend has even joined me - I'm so excited and grateful for you, Joules! I'd love to see more people pick up this hash tag.

June 2: Suggestions for Your Next "Holy Fuck This Sucks So Hard" Bad Body Day from The Militant Baker - "You love her too. The one who hates her body, love her too." – Sonya Renee Taylor

I struggled with #thisismybodytoday because my face is a mess. I was doing so very well with the picking, but this last month, it's been out of control. Not sure if it's the stress of a new job or what, but I haven't been able to keep my hands off my face - I actually got out of bed this night and cut my fingernails right down.

June 3: Laverne Cox Spills on Self-Acceptance, Finding Love & Battling the Patriarchy - "A lot of my work is to stay grounded, is to stay spiritual. It is to disconnect from what other people say about me, but also to try and be connected to the joy and the love."

Today I set my phone up and used the timer to snap a picture mid-yoga. I felt strong in that pose, but exposed in the picture.

June 4: The Weight of this Body -  "The belief that we don’t deserve to take up space in the public sphere if we don’t look a specific way is truly a mental sickness."

It was shrouded in shadow, but I took a picture of my body as close to naked as I'm comfortable with right now. Again, difficult, but almost liberating - an act of defiance - to post a picture of my imperfect body.

June 5: I'm a plus-sized woman. I never want to hear 'I'm proud of you' for exercising - "Just because a fat person does something with their body in public doesn't mean we want your feedback... bodies are not public property. If you have thoughts about someone else's body and what you believe their motivations are, check yourself."
 Photo from The Hilda Gallery,

I was feeling my outfit on Friday in what is quickly becoming my favourite sweater (it has a cute little v-shaped cut-out on the back under the collar) until a coworker commented that I looked "nice... very casual..." on Casual Friday. While it stung a little, I took it with a grain of salt, taking into context who said it (someone who seems extremely unhappy all around, all the time) and reassuring myself I was well within the dress code constraints. I continued to rock that feeling of feeling myself with a figurative thumb-nosing at said coworker.

June 6: Why I will always choose to be a little bit fat - "I read something beautiful awhile ago, about how we shouldn't change our bodies so we can love them. Instead, we should create change in the way we treat ourselves because we love our bodies. Ultimately this is about focusing on health: the physical health of our bodies and the emotional health of how see and relate to our bodies."

Hoo, Nelly! I went out in a sleeveless shirt. I quieted feelings of shame and thoughts that I had no business in a tank top with feelings of... rebellion, almost and thoughts of "fuck those judgy assholes."

June 7: This Woman Wants to Change How All of Us See Our Bodies - "It's taken a lot of effort, time and energy but I can tell you there is nothing better than a.) loving your body wholeheartedly, lumps and bumps and all and b.) telling society where they can shove their ideals of beauty."

I haven't taken today's picture yet. After recapping the week's #thisismybodytoday, I'm feeling a little vulnerable: it's far more exposing to line them all up together than looking at each picture individually.  

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