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.
Last night we took our daughter to see the new Disney animated movie, Frozen. I had heard very little about it besides being an adaptation of The Snow Queen and having been heavily inspired by Norway. The Snow Queen was never one of my favourites (so I’m happy to report it’s a VERY loose adaptation), but the idea of Norwegian princesses??? I was beyond excited for. Damon’s family and mine both, coincidentally, hail from Norway… and I very desperately want to make a pilgrimage there some day. So this was a movie I knew we’d be seeing shortly after it came out. Knowing what I know of both Disney AND it’s princesses? Well… I was nervous. They don’t exactly have a history of strong female leads.
While Frozen has it’s issues, one cannot argue the absolute joy I found in both Anna and Elsa’s characters. Both completely unique, strong, believable, awesome female roll models. These are princesses I would be happy to have Lily-Ann look up to. They are truly wonderful, and they are NEVER overshadowed by the male characters who are very much there to support their story vs take it over. In fact, one of my favourite moments, that made the feminist me shout out with a WOOT, was when the romantic male lead actually ASKS if he can kiss Anna. He doesn’t assume that his advance would be welcome, he doesn’t just put himself into her space, he is worried and concerned and ASKS – allowing her character to take the reins and remain an autonomous individual. It looks to me like Disney may finally be listening and realizing that Women are vastly different from one another and we all have different goals and dreams… but that we ALL deserve to be respected for those very things.
And yeah! The girl is now absolutely tickled when I call her my little Norwegian princess. 😀 Because while she’s a princess who has enjoyed excavators, lego, and swordplay… she really has always been a fancy dress-up playing princess who happened to be Norwegian.
Not all of us are lucky enough to be born into a body that matches our gender. We all bare our battle scars. Growing up is tough. Growing up transgendered is even more so. And sometimes – thanks to the ignorance and brutality of others – it is actually impossible.
Today is the 13th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. Today, I ask you to do ONE THING. Regardless of your beliefs, regardless of your feelings, regardless of who you are or who you know or who you want to be. Take a few minutes and read through the list of people at this web page: http://www.transgenderdor.org/?page_id=1663
The people listed there are all individuals who have suffered and died at the hands of others for being born different and having the strength to live honestly. 23 people who have suffered horrendously because they had the courage to be who they were. 23 people who lost their lives because of bigotry and hate. 23 people, this year alone, their lives stolen, savagely, all for the crime of living a genuine life.
I’m not asking you to change. I’m not asking you to weep. I’m not asking you to speak out. I’m just asking you to read their names, read how they died, and remember that they were people once.
Today has been super busy. Spent the morning with my wee girlie. The early afternoon answering emails and phone calls. A photo shoot in the late afternoon. Supper with my husband and girlie, followed by another shoot. Read a few chapters to the girl, put her to bed… and am now here – with you. Because today was so busy, there are lots of things I could blog about… but more important than anything I did, is something YOU can do.
With the looming general election, there’s a chance that Bill C-389 may end up being scrapped. If it’s not passed soon, it’s done… and all the work that has been done already will be for nothing. Everything will have to start from scratch.
To it’s discredit, Bill C-389 has become known as the “bathroom bill”. But it really has very little to do with public washroom facilities (gendered washrooms vs ungendered ones) and everything to do with human rights. Some folks, particularly the “Christian Right” have been using fear-mongering tactics… claiming it would mean the end of “family values”. And honestly? What a load of bunk.
This bill is about human rights on a VERY basic level. Equality for all people. It simply asks for the words “gender identity, gender expression” to be added to both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This would give protection to transgendered people, who currently face an appalling amount of discrimination, recrimination, and fear every day… for nothing more than BEING.
You can read the text of the bill itself at: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Parl=40&Ses=3&Mode=1&Pub=Bill&Doc=C-389_1&File=27#1
In an effort to promote fear, prejudice, and incite hatred some are attempting to thwart this bill saying that it would mean that we would need to start teaching trans 101 in pre-school. Quite honestly, these folks are completely out of touch with reality… but, seriously, this is the “worst case scenario” they came up with. The worst possible thing to come out of this legislation would be to teach equality to children? Wow. How is it we haven’t passed this bill already???
We teach equality regardless of sex, equality regardless of race, equality regardless of religion, equality regardless of wealth, equality regardless of creed… why are we not teaching our young children equality regardless of gender?
Bill C-389 is about safety, security, and the right to personhood. Transgendered individuals deserve the same protection under the law that every other person is already guaranteed. It is disgusting that we haven’t already ensured legislation like this is in place.
So, what can you do?
There is a draft letter available at: http://egale.ca/index.asp?lang=&menu=1&item=1451 So if you aren’t confident drafting your own, please feel free to copy and paste the one available there. That is, after all, the whole reason it is there.
If you are in Saskatchewan here are the email addresses for your Senators:
Share this Blog Post!
Share this link on facebook, twitter, or any of the dozens of social networking sites out there. Make people aware of this important bill. Do NOT let it die.
Talk to the Local Media!
Got a favourite news team or news show? Find their website. Chances are they will have contact information listed. Email them, phone them! Make them aware of what is going on. Get them talking!
Tell Your Friends!
Seriously, talk to your friends and family. I bet most of the people you know don’t even know about this bill. Did you?
It is an atrocity that in this day and age there are still people in Canada without basic human rights. Without the right to be free from discrimination, without the right to be free from fear. Bathroom legislation? What a slap in the face. This isn’t about public washrooms. This is about being HUMAN.
Speak up! Get heard! Make change!