Category Archives: People

Something is changing in how others see me…

Back in November I made a decision.  It was one that has changed my life in a lot of ways – in some ways I’m still uncovering.  The biggest unexpected change was the weightloss, and I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that.

I have had a long battle with both my physical and mental health.  With Fibromyalgia and it’s host of associated issues (IBS, TMJ, and others) my body has rarely allowed me the freedom I crave.  But it had gotten to the point where I had to do something.  It hurt to move, it still hurts to move…  but it hurt laboriously so.  I couldn’t keep up with my daughter, and I had far more bad moments than good.

Now!  It’s important to note, that while my body may not have FELT good physically, I loved my absolutely FLABulous self.  I loved my curves, my bends, my plump, fantastically round self.  I was glorious in my fatness. 

This was not about losing weight.  This was not about fitting into societies view of what can be considered PURDY.  In fact, my desire to do better for myself had NOTHING to do with how I looked.  In all honesty I was shocked when my clothes stopped fitting.

I don’t know what I expected…  honestly.  I mean.  I knew my body would change somewhat.  I figured my clothes would fit better and that I’d lose some weight.  But I figured I’d probably drop from my 188 lbs to about 160 and that things would just fit nicer.  The end. 

I was working out daily for 45 minutes to about an hour for several months and tracking what I was eating, making healthier choices.  I never cut out any foods.  If I wanted it I ate it (and still do).  But I don’t need to eat an entire bar of chocolate to get that marvelous high that comes from allowing a perfect square of chocolate to melt away in your mouth, it’s gooeyness spreading through every crevice filling your senses with it’s delectable self.  In fact, I eat between one and three squares of chocolate a day.  LOL  I love it – especially when it has something salty in it too, like a peanut or pretzel or popcorn.  Mmmmm….  so I’m not about to deny myself that pleasure.

Even now that I’ve moved into what I consider “maintenance” mode, I am still losing weight.  And I truly am not sure how I feel about it.  Like I mentioned.  I LOVED my fat self.  Fat is beautiful.  This body of mine now seems strange and odd, and I’m not entirely sure it’s mine or how to embrace it the way I did before.  I’m sure I’ll get there…  but I haven’t yet.

It’s an odd thing.  Being secure in yourself.  Loving yourself…  and then changing so much.  I’m still FLABulous on the inside – but people look at me differently now.  In the span of the 20 minutes it took me to drop the girl off at the library for book club until I walked home and started blogging I was checked out by two people.  And, okay…  I got checked out before too.  And it was the nice subtle “yeah she looks hot” nod I’d get, respectful, but with a little hint of the good kinda bad.  I got one of those today.  I like those, I think most people do.  But today I got checked out in the creepy way that makes you want to rush home, lock your door, and have a searing hot shower to wash the scary grossness away.

I didn’t worry for my safety or care how others saw me when I was bigger.  Now, someone like the guy in his classic car today…  who stops close enough to the curb that he could have hit you, and then drools over you, memorizing your body and the way it moves as you cross the street in front of him, locking you away in his horrifying spank bank?  Now people like that make me feel fear.  And that is SOOO not okay.

In a quest to get healthier, to keep up with my seven year old (yeah, she turned seven this July… mind-blowing, right?), to play and run, to go on hikes, and carry arms full of treasures, and backs full of growing girl…  and to do it all at the same time.  Somewhere in these awesome wonderful goals I have also opened myself up to those who leer, ogle, and make one feel small and afraid.  It’s a pretty shitty thing to realize about our society.  And I knew it all along.  I had just figured that things were getting better, but they aren’t.  They really aren’t.  They aren’t better at all.

So here I am, 45 pounds less of a person than I was before, feeling things I don’t remember how to feel.  And it’s time to walk back to the library to pick up my daughter from her book club.  I need time to process, but I’m a Mom… time to process is one thing I don’t have.  I’ll continue.  Because that’s what I do.  And I may not be as FLABulous as I once was, and people may have started looking at me differently, devaluing my personhood pushing me into a little spank-bank in their brain, but I’m still the same fabulous me.  I just need to learn how to live within this new body and appreciate her for what she is… because who she is hasn’t changed.

Advertisements

The last day of school…

It’s the last day of school before the holiday break, and so the whole school is having a pajama day.  Everyone looked super cute, and as we were waiting in the class for the bell to ring, the teachers and administration gathered in the hall to sing carols.  It was so much fun.  I’ll admit, quite openly, that while I am excited for the break I am sad to know we are losing one of our two fabulous teachers.  Miss Begg is an intern, and is finished her time with us.

Unlike many interns, who find themselves overwhelmed, and stumble through their internship Miss Begg came in already ready to teach.  She so clearly has found her place with these kids, and has been such a wonderful addition to their class.  We were already super excited to have Ms. Jackson – who is one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever known – but then to have added Miss Begg to the team?  It’s been absolutely fabulous, and I’ll be sad to see her go (as will the kids).  I’m also excited for her too, as I know wherever this journey takes her she is going to touch so many little lives.

Anyway…

Because tomorrow is Yule, we brought gifts for both Ms Jackson and Miss Begg today.  Normally it’s about a month before Yule and we start to plan.  We’ve made scrapbook pages, blown up pictures, given plants the girl propagated herself (wrote “thanks for helping me grow” on the planter)…  but only a few weeks into this year Lily-Ann told me she wanted me to make tutus for her teachers.  So that’s what I did.

The tutus I’ve made for Rhonda get borrowed and passed around between all the teachers.  They all just adore them.  And I’m thrilled to report that the two newest tutus were equally well received.  Lily-Ann and I both got big hugs, and I’m so glad to have made Ms. Jackson’s and Miss. Begg’s day.  The put them on immediately and began showing them off to the rest of the staff.  LOL  Lily-Ann was just tickled (as was I).

After putting on a Disney Christmas movie for the class to watch, the four of us headed into the hallway to snap a quick picture.  Everyone in their PJ’s (and tutus) next to the tree:

No-one in a kerchief, none in their cap,  but tutus and smiles, and my iPhoto app.

None in a kerchief,

none in their cap,

but tutus and smiles,

and my iPhoto app.

And because this is during the 30 Days of Disney…  Lily-Ann is wearing her velveteen Cinderella PJs.  😉

The new Disability Access program at WDW and the MSEP

A couple of weeks ago I had emailed the good folks at Walt Disney World with a bit of a query.  On our last trip, in spite of the fact that members of our group have several disabilities, we avoided using the Access program.  I believe one should do what they can to avoid any misuse of equal access programs, and while we certainly qualified to use it, if we could do without, it’s what I’d prefer.  I don’t want my daughter or much younger sister growing up thinking they deserve special privileges simply because they face different challenges than others.  And with the old program, anyone with an access card skips to the front of the line – which is clearly not about equality but about special privileges (which is why it was so abused).  Anyway…

I had emailed the people at WDW to ask about seating for the Main Street Electrical Parade.  This was one time when I desperately wished we had requested assistance on our last trip.  The wait resulted in a lot of anxiety for two members of our party, a melt down for one, and a whole lot of pain for two.  Sitting on the concrete for over an hour trying to hold a spot was not good for any of us.  I was hoping there would be some kind of reserved seating available.  Turns out not… they only have special seating for those guests who are non-ambulatory.  She did give me some tips for the parade though, so hopefully that will help.  Because in spite of the pain (both physical and mental) the MSEP remains on our must do list.

So while that wasn’t great news, she did fill me on on the NEW Disability Access program at Disney World – and that is something I’m excited about.  She encouraged me to participate on our upcoming trip, because the new program addresses the concerns I had with the old program.  Now, instead of ushering people to the front of the line, offering special privileges and inviting misuse, it now works more like the old Fast Passes.

Individuals with special needs request a special card, and instead of hoping into line, get it stamped at the entry to the queue.  It is stamped with the time they are to return, so they are waiting for the same amount of time as everyone else in the line.  But instead of having to stand there (and cause anxiety or pain flare-ups or what-have-you) they can then go sit down, eat, run in circles, meditate, draw, go pee… whatever they need to do to mitigate their symptoms, returning for the time on their card.  At which point they rejoin the queue at the place they would have been standing when their card was stamped.  Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t have to stand in line at all, but it does reduce the time in the line without removing the wait.

I love this new accessibility program.  It ensures those with special needs are able to have equal access to the rides, shows, character meetings, etc without granting an advantage and inviting misuse or program abuse.  And I do think this is a much better idea, and is a change I’m looking forward to experiencing.  Granted it doesn’t help with the MSEP, but hopefully by lessening the stress throughout the day (both physically and emotionally) it will be a little easier too…  because it really cannot be missed!  😉

My Daughter Didn’t Dance

Today, my daughter didn’t dance, and it broke my heart.

 

Lily-Ann celebrated her sixth birthday almost a week ago.  On July 20th we had friends and a few family members over to the house to help her celebrate.  She’d decided on a Goddess Girls theme this year.  We all dressed in chitons, played games I created based on the characters in the books, ate ambrosia cake and drank nectar punch, and everyone wore the winged sandals we made as our party favours.  After her party, she told me that all her birthday dreams and wishes had come true.  It was an awesome day.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

Click the photo to see the rest of her party pictures.

 

The two weeks leading up to her sixth birthday, the girl had been going through some rather big developmental changes.  It was clear she was becoming a “big kid” and leaving the “baby” behind.  I was so excited for her.  She was growing in leaps and bounds right before my eyes.  I was proud of the conscious choices she was making, and happy for those things that were changing even without her awareness.  As much as I loved my baby, my toddler, and my little girl, I love the big kid she was becoming even more (if that’s possible).

My little girl loved going to the movies.  She loves the stories, the action, the music, the popcorn…  cuddling up in the dark theater.  More than any of that though, she loved to dance.  Ever since that first movie we went to, we’d let her run up to the front as soon as the credits started, and we’d watch her dance.

Those first few times, she’d wipe out…  a lot.  We’d hold back though, and just wait.  Then, with even more resolve, determination, and grit she would dust herself off and dance her heart out.  Sometimes spinning all the way from one side of the theater to the other, arms held wide, face to the sky, feeling the entire world whorl around her.  And she would take my heart along for the ride.

It was secretly my favourite part of the movie too.

There were times, when others would get caught up in her passion too.  When individuals, couples, and families would stay to watch her dance.  Some would clap for her.  Others would tell us how amazing they thought she was.  And there were those who would simply smile, their eyes full of gratitude.

I think her dancing reminded people of joy.  We so easily forget how much of it there is in this world.  We get so caught up in things that really don’t matter and we forget how to be swept up in it.  Joy can fill the heart with rapture and our lives with light.  Lily-Ann gave that back to people, even if it was just for a while.

Today, when the movie ended, and she got up to dance, my heart soared – like it always did.  She got up to the front, and she stood there.  I watched her posture change, and watched that joy melt away.  Then I watched her walk back to her seat.  She sat back down and said “I’m not going to dance today.  Maybe a different day, but not today.”  And I started to bawl.  I wasn’t loud, but I couldn’t stop the tears.  They poured down my face.

Lily wasn’t sad.  She was happy.  But that pure innocent joy, without a care about what anyone could think, was gone.  She really is a big kid, and with that comes both good and bad.  I look forward to what this next stage has in store for us, but I desperately mourn for my baby – who was here with me only weeks ago.

A Woman’s Razor, a Tool of Oppression?

When I was young, I shaved my legs every day; EVERY day.  Spring, Summer, Autumn, AND Winter; every day.  The media told me that having smooth, moisturized, soft legs was an important part of being pretty – and as a teenager and young person I bought into it.  I believed the myth of beauty society fed me.

As I came into adulthood, I still shaved – though not with the same frequency.  I spent a great deal of my time as a young adult sick and in pain… pretty just wasn’t as important when you hurt so bad that you can’t get up and down stairs without dissolving into tears.  But I still shaved and moisturized.  It was part of being a girl.  We couldn’t have people thinking I actually grew hair on my legs.

Then I became a Mom.  And yes, even then I shaved my legs.  By then it was just one of those chores you do.  Going swimming?  Better shave.  Wearing shorts or a skirt?  Better shave.  Just part of the self-grooming routine.  Something I didn’t think about.  Something I did in a rather robotic fashion, another member of the trained masses.

I want my daughter to grow up knowing these things are choices – even if we don’t always feel they are.  Not all Women shave.  In some parts of the world it would seem odd to do so.  My daughter believed this until she was three.  Then one day she laughed, astonished, at the ridiculous notion that a Woman could choose not to shave.  That was the day I stopped shaving my legs.

Lily-Ann has other Women in her life who are non-shavers, my sister for one.  But clearly this was something she needed to see with more frequency.  It may seem like a small thing, but I needed her to know that we have a choice.  We don’t have to shave.  We don’t have to buy into the view of beauty that the media is selling, we can choose something different.

I may be the odd Woman out here in North America, sporting hairy legs all year long – without shame and, quite frankly, with a little pride.  And yes, it may seem like a strange thing to take a stand on…  but I couldn’t let my daughter grow up thinking she has no choice, that she has to go along with whatever ideals society sets before her.

She has options and choices.  We all do.

Sure, I could have kept on shaving – but she shocked me out of it.  Sometimes, that’s what we need.  Something to shock us out of that robotic state we get lulled into.  Something to bring us back into personhood.  A sudden splash of cold water, a bucketfull dumped on us while we lay half asleep, lounging in the sun.  Something to remind us we’re alive, and we have the right to make these seemingly small, seemingly insignificant, choices for ourselves.  And sometimes, those small choices end up being some of the biggest.

my hairy leg out in the sun

Out working in the yard, clearing away the Winter ick. My hairy leg enjoying the Spring sunshine.

The Power of SHe on FB

As of yesterday afternoon, my Power of SHe project has made it’s way onto facebook.  This?  This is your official invitation.  🙂

For those of you who’ve been following this blog for some time know all about the Power of SHe, for those who don’t, here’s the press bio for my little art instillation:  The Power of SHe is about how we, as self-identified Women, define ourselves in light of how society and the media seek to define and confine us.

I’ve been working on the Power of SHe for some time now.  It’s been exhibited twice, and continues to grow.  I believe it is a very important body of work, and something we desperately need.  So I hope you’ll join us as the journey continues.  The more the merrier.  Let’s force a shift from art project to movement.  We can make change happen!

http://facebook.com/PowerofSHe

Picture Perfect Playdate

The girl had a playdate today with her bestie Parker.  They played with Zhu Zhu Pets, had monster pancakes for lunch, played with the Light Bright, made things with the Fazoodles, played with My Little Ponies, got dressed up as royals, played Skylanders, and had just started to play Littlest Pet Shop when his Mom came by to pick him up.  It was a great afternoon.

Oh!  And I can’t forget…  they made some plans for their future too.  You see, they plan to get married, and they have now decided that they should have 100 swimming pools and 100 horses.  Important things for any couple to have.  😉

The Art of Drag – TNG

I’ve posted before about the glorious art form that is DRAG, so consider this post The Art of Drag – The Next Generation.

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of being the official photographer at a rather phenomenal event here in Saskatoon.  It was the True Colours Drag Show hosted by the Avenue Community Center.  All sorts of performers, from current Drag Superstars to those who are the future of the art, all performing together in a grand spectacle.  It really was a brilliant night, and I am so thrilled to have played a part – even just a small one.  So here are a few names to remember:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Back to Business as Usual.

I’ll admit, I’m still torn as to whether I should keep on blogging about Walt Disney World or go back to life as we used to know it here at TD365.  So what I’m thinking is this;  I’ll write about what I feel like writing about.  Cause, well…  that’s what I’ve done for the last few years here.  LOL  Why change it now.  😉  That doesn’t mean I’m done writing about Disney, it just means I’m going back to writing however my muse pulls me.  Sound good?

Now, I think I’m going to cuddle my sleeping girl for a bit.  Watch a little streaming TV with her Daddy.  Then tuck myself into bed for the night.  I’m missing Bran tonight.  He would have commented on my last post…  and written to me on FB today.  I have a feeling my one FB post would have prompted a good laugh between the two of us.  Losing a much loved friend really freakin’ sucks.  😦

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The last of the four Walt Disney World parks is Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and I realize it’s cliched to say it, but while it’s the last it’s not the least.  Hollywood Studios is AMAZING!  I’ve already shared the photos from the girl’s Jedi Training School experience, which was totally incredible and jealousy inducing, but that was just one small part of our day.

There are just a TON of character meets at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the lines were minimal compared to many of the other parks.  There’s a bunch to do, yet this park doesn’t feel quite as overwhelming as the others (of course, by this point we had our system pretty much perfected – which really helps).  And it’s not totally kid-centric either, which was great.  This park definitely had the broadest appeal, with everything from Star Wars to the Muppets to Phineas and Ferb to Pixar’s greatest hits to classic Disney as well.  We loved everything about this one.  It was fabulous!

%d bloggers like this: