How I Stayed Body Positive While on a Restrictive Diet

CW: Diet discussion as it relates to diagnosing health conditions. A little mention of disordered eating without description. Talk of the ways I’ve learned that certain foods affect my body. 

I’ve heard a lot of people in the fat activism community talking about the struggle between wanting to find out how different foods are affecting their bodies and not wanting to fall back into a diet/ weight loss hole that we’ve worked so hard to get out of. This is something that I’d been wondering about, too.

So let me fill you in on my experience. Please understand that this is not advice or anything like this, it’s just a telling of what this experience was like from my perspective.

Continue reading “How I Stayed Body Positive While on a Restrictive Diet”

Sweet Things on Sunday

August is for peaches. Specifically Colorado peaches that are shipped across our border in the back of an enormous truck that sets up in the parking lot of La Fiesta in McPherson Kansas. You can buy an entire case if you want to. You want to.

Peaches are my most favorite food. When people ask me what I would like my last meal to be, here is my answer:
Four slices of toast: one on homemade bread with salty butter, one on whole grain bread with cherry preserves, one on sourdough with smashed avocado and lots of good salt, and one on wonder bread with mayonnaise and home-grown tomatoes. And for dessert, a Colorado peach in August with homemade whipped cream.

Here are a list of things that I want to do to peaches in August but probably won’t because, instead, I’ll just stand outside and eat them fresh from my grubby little hands because nothing’s better than that.

This Peach Galette with Baklava Filling from A Cozy Kitchen.

This Spicy Ginger Miso Slaw with Peaches from Love and Lemons (I really do intend to make this one).

This Peach Ricotta Layer Cake from Half-Baked Harvest. Will I make a layer cake? Absolutely not. Do I desperately want to taste this? Uh huh. I love adding ricotta to baked goods.

That’s just a few sweet things on this Sunday.


Photo by Charles Deluvio 🇵🇭🇨🇦 on Unsplash

July Things

Here’s a list of some of the things at the front of my mind for the past month. What have you been reading, thinking about, buying, enjoying??

Kansas Friends: the Primary Election is in one week! Who are you voting for? Here’s a link to a sample ballot so that you can research everyone before you hit the voting booth!

So, I made a declaration that as a Fat Activist, I don’t want to spend my money at or advertise for clothing stores that don’t serve sizes larger than what I wear. Because what good is this work if I’m only here to help myself? Anyway, after I made that announcement on Instagram I was really nervous that I just limited all my clothing options even further than they already are. And I did but it’s okay.
THE NEXT DAY Soncy launched!! It feels like a dream come true, really. There’s a new kid on the plus sized retailer block that I’m very excited about. Let me show you the things I want so badly!
This dress.
This jacket (for my pin collection!).
And I love this sweater. I bet it will be really fun for those cozy, work from home winter days.
Quality plus size clothing isn’t cheap and fall and winter are a comin’ so if you feel so led, feel free to make a donation to that paypal. 😉

Oh, other clothing that’s good for the fats? FGF Basics. I think one of each of the raglan t’s and perfect t’s will carry me through the changing seasons quite nicely.

I was so psyched to get to see the whole #planebae saga going down in real time on Instagram Stories. I was that kid ferociously refreshing Rosey’s Instagram feed and quickly searching for a place to charge my phone.
Yeah, it does bring up issues of ethics and privacy and there’s certainly room for those conversations. I know I, for one, would not like to have my flight experience documented and posted to the internet. So, if you completely remove the humanity of those involved, it’s a very sweet story.

Another thing that I would love for the world to let me have: these cookies. As an act of self-care, I decided that I should make these cookies because I knew that I had a lot of sprinkles in my kitchen. Things that, it turns out, I did not have: eggs, butter, milk, sugar, or flour. So I just put on a face mask and watched Johnathan Van Ness’ Instagram account.

Troye Sivan and Ariana Grande’s song Dance To This has been my favorite in July! But you know what’s better than that song and music video? The music video that was recreated with lil baby kids!! AH!

Speaking of music, Ryan surprised me with tickets to see Band of Horses last weekend! We don’t really have a song but we definitely have a band. That fateful day that Ryan came to my house to ask me to be his girlfriend, I was listening to Infinite Arms and Cease to Begin on repeat. We probably listened to those albums at least twice each during the course of our conversation and ensuing make-out session.

Anyway, here’s a pic of me and Ryan with his brother Joshua and our friend Karley at the show!

Image description: Libby is in charge of taking a selfie that gets four people in the frame. It’s dark and grainy but it’s happy!

I got this lip gloss from Winky Lux in my last Birchbox. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do! I see myself ordering a lot more from Winky Lux in the future [affiliate links].

Oh yeah, and if you want to sign up for Birchbox, here, use my link! (Make sure that when you sign up for goods and services, check with your friends to see if they have a referral code. It blesses everyone!)

A friend sent me a copy of Landwhale and even though I’ve been in a reading slump, I devoured it in two days. It felt really good and got me back into reading just in time to get into Homegoing for our August book club pick!

Other places I could be found on the internet in July:

I was interviewed for Paper Magazine about the new Netflix original, Insatiable. I’m really excited that people are actually talking about this and I was also really excited to be counted among such hard working people in the Fat Activism community!

My friend J has the best little YouTube channel called Comfy Fat and Ryan and I are featured in their vlog! Go check us out. It was soooooo fun to get to spend time with J and Corissa and I can not WAIT to hang out again. Go follow J on YouTube and Instagram.

Things I’ve Learned in the Past Week

Glennon reminds us not to write from our wounds but from our scars and what I wrote last week definitely came from a wounded place.

It’s frustrating to live my life in the body that I have and continuously bear witness to the dehumanization of my community over and over again and then be expected to behave or articulate civilly. Luckily, none of you asked that of me. I got more “thank yous” than I ever expected, frankly. I wish I could have said what I wanted to thoughtfully and not from a place of pain but, I don’t know, there’s a time and a place for that and there’s a time and a place for mess. And that was some mess. I’m just grateful that you have so much grace for me in my mess place. And I’m okay with it. I’m apologetic but I also don’t regret any of it… I’m holding both those things in the same hand.

Writing about my disappointment in my allies really opened my eyes to the way that I’ve failed as an ally to others. It wasn’t until I was broken and feeling so alone by the pain that affects me, specifically that I realized that I’ve done that to other people. And not just once or twice. I’ve done that over and over and over again when people that I claim to stand for have needed me to speak up and I respond to them with, “you can do it!” Last week I wasn’t asking for encouragement, I was asking for actual, tangible help and I felt deserted.

I’ve done that, though. I do that.

Nia Wilson is an 18 year old black woman who was murdered this week by a white man in broad daylight. Latifa, Nia’s older sister, also injured in the attack, held her as she died. Latifa saw her attacker standing off to the side, calmly wiping the blood from his knife.

To say that race had nothing to do with this attack is, frankly, utterly ignorant. To say this man was a maniac or that this attack was random is to ignore the very real white supremacist system that not only built this entire nation but empowered a person like him while devaluing people like Nia and her sister. Plain and simple, whether her murderer was a part of a white supremacist group or not, he murdered her because he did not see her life as of value. This was a racially and gender-motivated attack. It was far from random or unplanned–the man changed his clothes following the murder. It was a power move.

In my quest to be a “good ally”, I follow a lot of different people of color–primarily black women and femmes on Instagram and Facebook. Following Nia’s death, the mourning in that community was unavoidable and heartbreaking. I didn’t say anything because I felt like it wasn’t my place and because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use my platform to talk about a heavy subject twice in the same week and a lot of other reasons that I only now recognize as very specific versions white privilege.

Then I happened upon a post by Rachel Cargle wherein she asked for people to tag their favorite white feminists who hadn’t posted anything about Nia’s death on their platforms. It was a Call In, asking for help in speaking out about this event that was grieving the community. Simply asking, “would you please tell this story while we mourn?”

Basically the same question I asked of my friends a week ago–only under far less dire circumstances.

It was when I saw that post that I was brought face to face with my own hypocrisy–and I understood something that I didn’t understand when I asked my allies to stand up for me. Because here I was not standing up for the people I claimed to fight for. Waiting for a literal invitation to do so. And how dare I have the audacity to write a whiney-ass blog post voicing my frustration about their silence when here I was remaining silent over an actual life-and-death-matter.

There’s a whole other secondary mess brought on by Rachel Cargle’s post involving an, apparently, very popular woman that I’d never heard of before called Alison Brettschneider who responded so violently to being called in by the people in her community. I was shocked at the extent to which Allison took her retaliation (calling black women “roaches”, doxxing people who didn’t agree with her, obsessively posting on Instagram) but I wasn’t surprised by the energy behind it. I’ve felt similar pain at being called out in the past–I’m just not the type of person who wants to hit back in public. That’s not my personality and I don’t have an audience near as big, so it’s nothing more than “there but by the grace of god go I” situation.

Some things I’ve learned in the past week:

-I don’t get to label myself an “ally”. That’s not a title you get to just apply to yourself.

-The White Supremacy isn’t some extremist organization–it’s the foundation of this very society that I live in and benefit from every single day.

-I needed to be humbled. There’s so much about race that I had intellectualized and compartmentalized into columns of “this is what a good person does” and “this is what a bad person does”. And as long as I saw myself as “one of the good ones” I was doing it right. This past week has taught me a lot about my feelings of superiority that I thought I didn’t have. I’ve been so smug.

-I’ve made it about me and my feelings and it has nothing to do with me. Even when I thought I was “doing it right”, any work I was doing was still centered on me.

It disappoints me that it took a tragedy of this magnitude to introduce me to myself (especially considering the tragedies that have been happening–I should have seen this years ago). It frustrates me that, even now, I’m talking about myself in the wake of Nia’s death. I could so easily just not publish this… but the point is that I’m a shit ally and I’m not going to pretend that I’m better or “more woke” than I really am. It felt inauthentic and a continuation of my superiority complex to quietly do more work without letting you in on where my mind has been.

I’m ready to learn about the ways that I’m complicit in and benefit from the marginalization of others the same way that I would hope that the people who claim to champion for me would do.

I just want to say that I want to continue to be humbled. I want to continue to learn.


A Letter to my Allies

A Free Writing Exercise turned into… honestly, just begging. I just needed to get this all out. It’s not perfect. Thank you for listening to me.

I haven’t posted on my blog in over two weeks and it’s hard to call yourself a blogger when something like that happens. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say—it’s more like I have so much to say that I can’t organize it. Like when I was in therapy and I would get stuck and find myself completely muted by all that was swirling around in my mind.

Like that prank where your roommate sticks raisins in your tube of toothpaste. It’s in there and it can come out if you squeeze hard enough but are you going to be able to deal with the mess when it all comes out at once?

What did she tell me to do in times like these? I can’t remember.

Sit down. Breathe. Relax. Let it trickle out. Don’t force it.

I often feel like the parakeet in the mine except that no one can tell that I stopped singing.

I’m so tender and I want to tell my people that I need special treatment right now but I don’t know how to say it or ask for what I need. Just that, like, I can hardly handle any pressure without feeling like I’m going to bruise. At the very least. I’m like a peach.

But, like, those ones are the most delicious.

So maybe rather than trying to fight or give up through this season, what I need to be doing is making jam out of this fruit. But god, the energy that requires.

Sometimes, it felt easier to just hate myself like the world wanted me to do. I really, really do wish I could go back to that time. Back when I was apologizing for being fat or pretending I wasn’t queer or thinking I knew all the answers. At least then everyone knew what to do with me. At least then, when people put out TV shows with characters in fat-suits, I could use my own shame as a shield against the hurt.

Like, when it was my job alone to deal with my fatness there was so much armor. There was no way to hurt me. I was a fortress. More insulated than I even knew. Even still, I’m finding walls that built themselves while I wasn’t looking. Dishonesty growing up, sharp and hard like coral that cuts my feet when I start swimming around in the deep end of who I am. I couldn’t see it before but now ignoring it isn’t an option.

But I’m softening.

And it’s worth it. Don’t misunderstand me.

But it’s fucking hard. And scary.

And when you need something. When you ask for something. When you see everyone who’s cheering you on are also the ones passing the buck rather than stretching out the hand you’re begging for—that’s when I wish I could crawl back into my shell but my shell is gone. It’s… there’s no going back. It’s been obliterated and I’m making a new home for myself but I want my home to be soft. But I’m wondering if I can live in a soft place without getting harpooned over and over again.

I’m trying to figure out how to explain “the personal is political” to someone who refuses to believe it. “No, politics are political” is what they say to me. And my heart just breaks because there’s raisins in my toothpaste and I can’t say what I need to say. I can’t just say, “why won’t you go to bat for me?”

How can “the personal is not political” be true when every day that I’m alive, in the world, and not apologizing feels like a fucking protest? I come home exhausted from a day of being alive.

It’s not hard to be a fat person. It’s not hard to be a queer person. It’s not hard to be a woman. It’s hard to be these things—and all these things at once—in a world that is relentless in its pursuit to remind you that it doesn’t want you here. When it goes to extreme measures to get you out.

-When the doctor wants you to lose weight before they’ll agree to treat your cancer.
-When your religious friends truly believe they’re so kind and progressive by telling you—about you—that they “love the sinner, hate the sin.”
-When you have to politely and apologetically maneuver your way out of an encounter that you didn’t even ask for in the first place because you don’t know if this is the kind of person who will kill you for declining his advances.
-When a thin girl in an unconvincing fat suit is the only way studio executives can even comprehend telling a story about a woman of size.
-When “I’m sorry, we didn’t realize you were gay before we asked you to come speak at our event” is, I’m not kidding, considered a reasonable explanation for dismissal.
-When you’re at the grocery store and someone follows you to your car, demanding “show me your tits” before he’ll leave you alone.

I’m trying to explain how and why your opting out of hard conversations and opting out of voting hurts me and reminds me that I’m always going to need to be the one in my corner, fighting for my rights and the rights of others like me. I’m the only one I know I can count on for these fights. When even the people who love me the very most and understand my struggles more than anyone else choose to stay silent when the world gives them an opportunity to have a voice.

The other day I begged my friends with thin-privilege to please start a conversation and speak out about why this new show, Insatiable on Netflix is so hurtful. Because I have been too sad and tired and angry to be able to do it myself. I got a lot of commiseration in the comments but so far I haven’t seen one person who isn’t fat start a conversation about it. Not a single one.

People who ARE talking about this (all fat BTW):
Dani’s Instagram stories.
J’s post on Comfy Fat.
Ravishly’s take.

And let me just tell you honestly that fucking sucks.
That really, really fucking sucks. I don’t know if it’s that you’re afraid to get it wrong?
I don’t know if you don’t see what’s actually wrong with it?
I don’t know if you just assume that I’ve got an overabundance of energy to discuss it?

Well, I don’t. I don’t have any energy to discuss it. I’ve been crying for going on three days. Because I’m so broken and beaten down from being reminded time and time and time again that I shouldn’t be here.

You know what would provide some wind beneath these wings? If I wasn’t expected to carry this all alone. If the people who come into my comments and DM’s after I post this, instead of saying, “you go girl!” or “you are so strong!” would go into their own spaces and fucking say something. (OMG I just thought about how I might respond if a not-fat, white man started talking about this and my mind went blank because I just don’t have that kind of imagination.)

Vote for policies and leaders who care about the humanity of the people around you. Just because something feels like a political issue to you doesn’t mean it’s not a deeply personal issue to someone else. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a life or death issue for someone else. If that’s not personal, I don’t know what is. If that’s not political, I don’t know what is.

And stop asking for a pat on the head every time you did a good for someone else. I don’t have the energy to get in the shower this week and I can’t have you coming over to me and asking for me to tell you that you’re “one of the good ones”. If you really were one of the good ones, the knowledge that you’re doing your best would be enough.

I know… I know this just sounds angry but it’s literally all I can muster. You say you like me because I’m honest. I hope you’re okay with what you’re getting into with those sorts of positive affirmations. I don’t have the energy to melt it down into something moldable and palatable—sweet and darling sharable content. I don’t have it in me for that. I barely have what it takes to say this right now but it’s important enough to dig deep and beg for help (and then take a nap).

And look—I’m only speaking here from my perspective. Even my perspective has a hell of a lot of privilege all over it. I’m a woman but I’m a white woman. I’m queer but I’m cis-gender and in what appears to be a heterosexual relationship. I’m fat but I still have access to clothes and I happen to have a doctor who treats me as a human. That’s a rarity and a privilege. I don’t have a lot of money but I’m not living in poverty.

I’m bummed to have only come to this realization in the past week or so but people who don’t have these sorts of privileges have been asking for people like me to speak up on their behalf for years. And I’ve always been that person who says, “I support you!” But doesn’t really do much when it comes to making actual change–when it comes to having impossible conversations.

I wish it didn’t come down to me being actively harmed by the silence and violence of people I love and count on in order to see the ways that I’ve been complicit but… it is what it is. I’m sorry and I’m here now.

I don’t know how to end this just like I didn’t know how to start it.