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Archive for June, 2011

I have worked as a barista in a cafe setting for two years now.  We sell all kinds of delicious and high-fat pastries.

I am fat and well into plus-sizes.  Because of this I was timid, at first, to say anything of a body acceptance nature as a fat woman.  I feared judgement that I was just trying to make thin women like me** or that I was just trying to justify my fatness*** or something along those lines.   It has been a good long time (over a year at the very least) since I made the decision to speak out when I felt like it and I am happy to say that it has all gone very well.

 

My worry surfaced again when I hired onto a cafe in a more thin-obsessed atmosphere, but again it has worked out okay.  In fact, women face with the smothering atmosphere of thin-focused fatness (my cafe is in a famous department store) they seem very much ready to have their body-hate challenge.  Sometimes they even seem to give me large tips for it.****  I sure didn’t expect that given the height of fat-hating panic in this country.  I suspect that most women already think some of the ideas that the fatosphere promotes in the back of their minds, but are afraid to let it surface in the face of all the fat-hate and body-hate in our worlds.  But, hearing someone say it, even if it is fat me, seems to help them let go a bit.

 

I wish more people could speak-up so that more people might let go…  But, thank you to those of you who do fearlessly speak-up.  You are awesome.

 

–AngryGrayRainbows

 

 

*For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “advice animals” meme (ie: the picture heading this post), this is Courage Wolf.  He wants you to love yourself.

**I don’t think I can make thin people fat anymore than I think I can make fat people thin.  Weight has high genetic correlation.

***I just like to spread the body-love message.

****The women who do get into conversation with me after I have challenge some body-hating or diet statement tend to give me the nicest tips.

 

 

 

 

 

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That picture pretty much sums it up.  That is me pretty much all the time.  Nearly every day. 

Since I was in junior high, I have had all sorts of tests to find out what the heck is wrong with me.  (Heart tests, swallowing scopes to explore my digestive system TWICE, upper GI tests, blood tests, etc.)  Since I was a pre-teen, I have been told that there is nothing wrong with me (except depression).  Every few years, I get frustrated enough to go to yet another doctor and try some new tests.  In recent years, they have started to suggest IBS to me.  The diagnosis of exclusion. 

It is likely enough.  Depression, chronic anxiety and chronic fatigue (all of which I have) are highly correlated with IBS.  But, I have ignored all suggestions of this diagnosis for years now.  Perhaps it is time I attend to reality…

But, I had my reasons.  Everything I’ve ever seen on IBS management is mostly diet based and it’s a diet that I cannot imagine following:

  • No/Low Caffeine
  • No/Low Alcohol
  • No/Low Chocolate
  • No/Low Sugar
  • No/Low Dairy

Well, WTF… that is just about everything I eat. 

I am a vegetarian, because I love animals.  I will eat a minimal amount of fish, so I’m not “pure” vegetarian, but there it is.  I avoid meat and only eat fish a few times a month at most.  I only eat what little fish that I do eat for the sake of my health.  I feel a lot better if I eat it.   

Many (well, most) fruits and vegetables make me sick.  Yup, they actually trigger my IBS symptoms.  I can handle some vegetables if they are boiled beyond recognition, but I am no cook and have had a lot of trouble finding places that will serve me this kind of food.   Anyway, it is generally better to avoid fiber all together as I suffer from daily diarrhea that only gets better or worse and never ever truly goes away.  I could live on cheese and my digestive system still behaves as if I’m abusing laxatives (I’ve never taken a laxative in my life!).

Thanks to lifelong depression, I am a pretty low energy person.  Caffeine is crucial.  While my ADHD meds help both my fatigue and my ADHD symptoms, it is not enough on its own.  I need my caffeine.  I am not sure how I would achieve anything without it, even though I admit it very much triggers my IBS symptoms.

Sometimes sugar is just about all my stomach can handle.  Sometimes anything else in my stomach makes me feel like my stomach is never going to empty and I end up spending a day or two nauseas and wishing I could just vomit.  It is far more productive to just eat the sugar (candy, pastries, whatever) and deal with the sugar crashes and feelings of malnourishment than to spend a full day or two trying to push through nausea and the extra fatigue that comes with feeling that sick. 

While I am lactose intolerant, I can tolerate some small amounts of dairy and those small amounts are crucial considering how limited my diet already is. 

In previous years, I have been too diet fatigued and not strong enough in my eating disorder recovery to mess around with food journals and the like, but I am feeling like I might be able to do this now.  Maybe… but I’m not sure that it’s worth it.  I fear working with a professional to help me limit triggers might just take away the few things that help me right now.  My frustration over all this is enough to throw me into tears any time I think about it seriously.

I can normally handle a fat-hating doctor pretty well, but add to the scenario my already very emotional frustration with this (likely) IBS and I’m not sure I’ll have the fortitude to fight for myself the way I need to. 

So.  F*ing.  Frustrating. 

I don’t know what to do, but I feel the need to do something.  Maybe I will just try food journaling on my own for bit.  But, just about everything makes me sick, so I don’t really see the point.  Gah. 

So here you go fat-hating trolls.  Here is a fat person who doesn’t like eating.  I don’t ever remember really liking eating.  If I could get all the nourishment I needed in a pill, I would take it and avoid all this digestive drama.  I am so sick of being sick.

I think I’ll go cry now.

–AngryGrayRainbows

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I’ve decided it is time for another random post.  Surprisingly, people were actually still commenting on my poor neglected blog (your comments have now been approved).  Thank you to all who still lurk. 

I am still practicing and growing with HAES.  I am no paragon, but I am growing stronger every day and my latest challenge inspired me to come back to AGR to post. 

I have a new job.  The place where I used to tend cafe and make lattes has gone out of business and I was lucky enough to find a very similar job before the final day of my old job.  So, here I am again, a barista in a small corner of a retail store. 

Had I known what I was getting into I probably wouldn’t have taken the job.  In terms of body acceptance, I am now working in a very toxic environment.  There are a myriad of other problems most of them cartoonish in their ridiculousness, but I will stick to the body hate for the purposes of this post. 

My supervisor is a happy member of the food police and the store where I work is generally full of women on diets and who want to talk about their diets all the time.  At first (I started end of April) I was very intimidated and angry.  I feared that I would be dragged back into diet hell… or even worse: eating disorder hell.  I was very angry and very defensive.

But, I have overcome and I was stronger than I realized. 

I have seen women get upset that their favorite food item had 10 calories more than a food item they didn’t really like, but buy the less favored item anyway for the sake of 10 freakin’ calories.  I have seen my supervisor who admits that an extremely important goal right now is to build sales at our cafe barely restrain herself from chastising teenagers who dared to buy both a sugary drink with a chocolate chip cookie (“DON’T YOU KNOW HOW UNHEALTHY THAT IS???!!!”)  I have several coworkers (and I generally see more than one of them every day I work) who are dieting right now and are deep in the obsession of weight loss, food rules and self-hate… and, boy, do they like to talk about it too.  One of these dieting people makes sure never to work on Wednesday nights so she can watch (and obsess over) “The Biggest Loser” (a ridiculous body-hating monstrosity of a show). 

But, I am doing okay. 

I am able to more calmly challenge (when I choose to) my food policing supervisor.  I have learned that I am able to just mentally roll my eyes and move on with life when I hear more diet tripe.  I’m not fighting every possible battle.  It is too exhausting and isn’t going to win any wars for me anyway, but I am not keeping quiet either.  I am learning balance in my resistance. 

Maybe this situation has made me stronger, but I think that mostly it has just revealed to me that I was already a lot stronger than I knew.  It feels really good.  I’m starting to more intuitively understand the connection between challenges and personal growth and am starting to appreciate challenges a lot more (I always understood this rationally, but could never quite convince myself of the logic regardless…).  Life just feels better and I feel more secure in my body-acceptance in this world full of body-hate and diet-talk.  It feels pretty darn good. 

It will be interesting to see how these work relationships turn out with all my agitating for body-acceptance.  Perhaps they will be the inspiration of more blog posts, but I’m sure those posts will be spaced out in time kind of randomly.  😉

And yeah, I know the mermaid picture* doesn’t really jive with the topic of my post.  I just love the picture… and so there she is.  Enjoy!

–AngryGrayRainbows

*Link to awesome mermaid picture:  http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=§ion=&q=fat+acceptance#/dt8hpu

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