birthday blessings

by MrsFatass on September 26, 2016


I celebrated my birthday last week.

Now, I have had some pretty wonderful birthdays. When I turned 9 I was completely gobsmacked when my parents gave me a piano. How does one move a beautiful upright piano into a house completely unnoticed? Well, THEY did and I was blown away. When I turned 20, my best friend organized a party of people so near and dear to me to gather at my favorite bistro that I cried my mascara off within minutes. Twenty one? Car keys in a box. Turning 25 was shared with another September 22 baby who gave me a button to wear that said “Kiss Me, It’s My Birthday” and it kicked off a whole year of throwing ridiculously cool theme birthday parties for each person in my circle of friends. My mom, husband and best friend conspired to throw me a surprise party when I turned 30, which was THE thing to help me feel like I was getting my groove back after having had my son earlier that year. Thirty Nine was spent in Baltimore with several hundred of my favorite bloggers, teaching a Zumba master class, wearing a hat that said “It’s My F$*%ING Birthday”, and truly believing that we were able to get #effbomb38 to trend on Twitter, if only for a moment. Forty was equally epic, having a glow-party BASH at the studio, raising money for rescue dogs. And when I turned 41, Trophy Husband surprised me again by coordinating with friends from back home who drove all night long, showed up on my front porch and yelled HAPPY BIRTHDAY while I blinked and cried in disbelief.

Every year, big celebration or small, I am always sure that THAT particular birthday was the best one yet.

2016 has brought its challenges. There have been times that I’ve felt pain, unease, sadness or sorrow. While I haven’t stayed stuck in any of the low moments, I still acknowledge they happened. It’s important, I think, to hold on to hard times for a while. To be still with them, and learn. Like LEARN learn – not the lesson “they” think you need, people, or gawkers or haters – but the lesson that comes from a place bigger than man. For me, that place is God, but for others it could be anything. The Universe.

That’s why I would argue that this year has actually been pretty great. Character building, yes. But great.  Because for every craptastical situation that has happened, true GOOD that has emerged. REAL good. Adult, grown up good. Like knowing that when something bad happens, my family comes TOGETHER and rallies, regardless of past grudges or hurts or disagreements. Like sitting down face to face with somebody I wronged, and being given the opportunity to apologize. Or like seeing my daughter being carefree, confidently playing with friends without stress or worry.

Sometimes the people we love do unlovable things. Sometimes WE do unlovable things. When it happens, we will either be who we always were and act like we’ve always acted, or we will take the opportunity to learn, change and grow.

My 42nd year has taught me some big lessons. Some may just be human lessons, but I think some are GOD lessons. Like, MEME worthy lessons about people and loyalty and trust and family.

I’ve learned that true wisdom does not boast; if someone is telling you how wise they are, they are making an attempt to manipulate you. It’s up to you whether or not you fall for it.

I’ve learned that the act of making a mistake isn’t the big deal; it’s the response to the mistake that matters.

I’ve learned that BEING a good or positive person has nothing to do with SAYING you’re a good or positive person.  

I think those lessons are some pretty wonderful gifts. Happy Birthday to me!

I had a spectacular birthday this year. Colorful bags full of carefully chosen gifts, thoughtful notes written in heartfelt hilarious cards, crepe paper streamers, dinner dates, surprise texts, phone calls, and more hugs and Happy Birthdays then I can even count. The celebration spilled over into a few days, but the ACTUAL one I quietly enjoyed with my husband, holding hands and sitting on the same side of the booth at lunch, and with my children, who skipped the traditional birthday cards and wrote me letters instead.

It was the best one yet.

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Did we just eat that out loud?

by MrsFatass on September 20, 2016

We’ve teased. Alluded. Mentioned. Vaguebooked.

It’s time for an announcement already, isn’t it yall?

Okay. Here goes. I am super excited to present to you a collaboration that brings about great social change  espouses deep provocative thoughts   presents life changing information  provides lighthearted entertainment while you are in the gym getting your cardio!

Yes, Nacho Mama and MrsFatass present for your listening and laughing pleasure

Did I just Eat That Out Loud?
the podcast
available on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher

Yes, this used to be the name of my blog, but times they did change. For one, it was too long a title! For Pete’s sake, it took up all kinds of room on my business cards and there is a whole lot of room for a typo in there. So as my blog evolved, so did the name of it. However, the IDEA still hung in the air that the title could be used for something because, darnit, its GOOD. Quite possibly my cleverist quip. Evah.

Even so, five years ago THIS WEEK I relaunched the Did I Just Eat That Out Loud blog and unveiled the new MrsFatass, which I think has held up pretty well. It no longer has that new-blog smell, but neither do I. So. Anyway, the title was put on the shelf for a while.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when Margo messaged me with a question. Or more like an invitation to brainstorm, really, on helping her find someone who would be interested in helping her create a podcast that would be rooted in health/wellness/weight loss, but would do it in a different way then it was currently being done. Because the current well was dry. Airquote Like there isn’t enough Astroglide in the world kind of dry Airquote.

She said she was looking for someone who was funny, irreverent, identifiable, unconventional, spontaneous, effing SMART, and a professional in the field of wellness.

I said I didn’t know a soul, but if she picked me, we could use the title. Hence the birth of Did I Just Eat That Out Loud? The Podcast!

So here’s the thing. We wanted to create something that would touch on pretty much any healthy living topic our feisty little brains could come up with, but not really for the purpose of HELPING PEOPLE. I mean, come ON. Really, we just wanted a place to be OURSELVES talking about topics interesting to those involved in the health and fitness hustle. We don’t discuss topics beforehand, we don’t rehearse, it’s pretty spontaneous just like a conversation with your sisterfriends would be, because really we’ve all BEEN THERE and DONE THAT. We keep you relaxed while you do your THANG. We are your support system while you nervously make your way to the weight rack or the stair mill or the smoothie bar. We are your partners in crime. Your frans.

Plus, Margo’s funny.

So, please check out our podcast! We are on the web here! You can get us on iTunes, Google Play Music, and Stitcher. You can also find us YouTube , Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Much like political ads and pumpkin spice, we are EVERYWHERE, and are working to get more Funny! Irreverant! Effing Smart! content up as we speak. And if you listen and like, email us! Because certainly there must be SOMETHING  you think we should mention or be aware of, so send a message to didijusteatthatoutloud@gmail.com. Haters can reach us there as well! *wink*

And if you aren’t already familiar with the lovely and amazing Margo Porras, you SHOULD be! So be a ‘subbie’ on her YouTube channel, find her on IG and Twitter, check out her blog, or run into her at a taco truck!

Also, if you’re wondering who is eating it all out loud in our artwork, please meet our cover girl Thea here.

Not going to lie, I’m SUPER excited to hear what you think!

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taking it personally

by MrsFatass on September 18, 2016

To my sweet Thing Two;

Last week we celebrated your ninth birthday. NINE! It’s so hard for me to believe, mostly because, as time was whizzing by, you were leaping into one adventure after another, and all of a sudden I stepped back to see that you are about as worldly as they come. I’m not sure if it is that you are brave, or if you are truly fearless, but you have a confidence and a presence that is more poised than many adults. You threw yourself into being elected class president. You tried out for TWO plays, singing and dancing your heart out, and loving every second of your onstage debut as a guppy in The Little Mermaid. You played basketball on a team and for the very first time it was your brother in the stands cheering for you. You love learning about space and you still talk about the day you spent at the Kennedy Space Center, and you’re pretty sure when you grow up you’ll either be a star on Nickelodeon or an astronaut.

You are mature and confident and dependable, and it’s easy to think that you’re older than 9. Yet, at the same time, you are entirely comfortable being a little girl, and really aren’t (YET) interested in things that are beyond your years.

There are so many things that I want to remember about you at this age; your laugh and your femininity and the way you love to make people happy. You are responsible; you do your chores and take care of the dogs and finish your homework with very little complaint. At school your teachers always tell me that you are bright, and you are thorough, and you stay on task. But all this is not to say that you never cut loose, because you sure do. You love the idea of playing a prank, and I enjoy seeing your eyes turn mischievous as you execute your plan. And when it works (or when it “works”), there is no better sound than your laugh, the laugh so hard you gasp for air and snort a little bit laugh, and we all can’t help but join in.

For your birthday this year, WE pranked YOU and it was fabulous! There were only a few things you asked for in celebrating your big day. You wanted family dinner and conversation, you wanted me to come to school to have lunch with you, you wanted to decorate your own cake, and you wanted a set of Russian nesting dolls.

You ALSO wanted a phone. Your friends have phones, your brother has a phone, everyone has phones, and you wanted one too. But our ‘rule’ has been to wait until you are 10. So even though you wanted one, it didn’t make the list because you knew our rule and you accepted it.

Except that we broke the rule. In a BIG way. Even your brother was in on it and was excited to surprise you. You weren’t asking for a phone because you were dying to talk with your friends or to take it to school and show it off, you wanted a phone so that you could text with your grandparents, first and foremost. How could we say no to that? I wrapped up the phone and hid it behind a chair, and after you opened all of your presents, you began excitedly taking apart your dolls to see how tiny the littlest one was. And then your brother called your phone. So you heard it ring. And you had to go looking for it.

When you opened it, I thought you would explode with joy.It was full of texts from your most favorite people, and you read each message out loud, and returned every single one. Within minutes you were calling your Papoo. And my favorite photo from the evening is the one of you playing with the dolls, holding the phone to your ear as you spoke with him.

That’s just like you. You are happy. You are content. Your love for gifts has no price tag.

You have had many many ups this year, but you have also had a couple of downs.

After being cast in the first show you ever tried out for, you received your first rejection when you tried out for the second. While you have as much stage presence as anyone else, you were auditioning with other girls who have been in many shows, who have had advanced vocal training beyond just the singing you do in the bathtub and the car, and who have auditioned many more times than you, who have kind of paid their dues. But you? You had no idea. You marched in there with spunk and sass and had a great time learning the song and the dance. You ENJOYED yourself. And when the call didn’t come, you were quiet for a few minutes. You took some time to process your disappointment. And then, in all of your 8 year old wisdom, you said “I’m not going to be sad mommy. I’m going to be happy for my friends who got parts. Can we go see it when it starts?”

That made me as proud as if you were cast in the lead.

Your social circle has changed quite a bit, too. For so long, YOUR friends have basically been the children of OUR friends, and our activities kind of just matched up. But you’re older now, and more discerning, and have begun to experience the cliquishness that seems to come along with being a little girl. You’ve been picked on a little bit, and you’re beginning to experience your first peer pressure. So far, you remain self-assured. You don’t really care who is “popular”, you care about who is kind, and you simply play with who you like, regardless of what others may think. You have also decided that there are some you DON’T want to play with, which is also a good thing. You are not obligated to give yourself to people, my sweet bear. Even at the ripe old age of 9, you have the power to say NO – to play dates or sleepovers or sitting together on the bus. You don’t have to give your phone number to someone just because they ask for it. You don’t have to be pressured on the playground to play mermaids instead of basketball. While there will be many situations in your life where you don’t get to choose who you work or study or interact with, you ALWAYS have a choice about who you let in to your inner circle. And beginning to practice that skill at nine just may save you a lot of irritation or even heartache down the road.

As much as you prefer to be happy, you are a person who feels LOTS of emotions and you feel them strongly. It’s interesting to watch this grow in you, because it’s not as simple as saying you’re moody or emotional. That’s not exactly it. You’re direct. You’re honest. You tell it like it is. When something irritates you, you say so. When something feels off to you, you ask why. When something seems unjust, you call it out. You express your feelings and you expect others to do the same.

The thing is, most people are NOT that way. More often, people avoid confronting an issue or a problem, and instead they are more comfortable talking ABOUT you then they are talking right TO you. And as much as I’d like to offer you words of comfort about how that changes as you get older, I can’t. Because it doesn’t. And already, at 9, you have experienced the hurt feelings and frustration that comes along with being let down by a friend, and being told “you really shouldn’t take things so personally.” Which, to you, is an impossible task. 

Here is what I want you to hear from me, my beautiful girl. Do not let the world make you feel bad for being who you are. Because who you are is pretty spectacular. You are positive, and happy, and loyal, and smart, and strong, and girly, and feminine, and resilient, and emotional, and sensitive, and content. You have such a strong connection to your family; yes you are a daddy’s girl, and you love me and your brother. But your love for your grandparents and your cousins and your aunts and uncles and your history and your TRIBE is something that I’ve never really seen in such a young person. And there is no better friend than you. 

You take EVERYTHING personally, the good with the bad, and I’m pretty sure that THAT is the quality that is going to help you change the world. I am amazed by all of the wonderful and interesting parts of you that emerge as you grow and mature, my sweet angel. You are truly one of a kind. 

I love you, Care Bear. I’m so glad you had a happy birthday.

Mama

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train the trainer

by MrsFatass on August 21, 2016


It’s no secret I have had kind of a challenging year.

For about seven months I have been living with varying degrees of near-constant pain in my ass. And not the figurative my husband and kids are driving me nuts kind of pain in my ass, I mean literal honest to goodness I can’t sit I can’t stand I can’t think straight pain. In my ass.

If you’ve been reading here a while then you know that butt problems are kind of a fact of life for me. The beauty of pregnancy and childbirth has resulted not only in two amazing children, but also a whole group of visitors back there who make themselves known every now and again, usually leading up to some important trip or race or vacation or even just a long weekend where I am secretly in agony but can’t really share much about it because believe it or not, in real life there ARE topics that even I don’t bring up in most social situations. And having those issues treated here in this small town means that very often I’m lying on the examining table having my buttcheek lifted by somebody who will later turn up in a Zumba class, or answering two hundred and fifty seven questions about my poop that are being asked by someone I have partied with at an Ugly Prom. For real.

So, the bottom line is this: I had symptoms return, snowball, and eventually take over my life, make me frustrated, weepy and bleak. Even though I was going to work and taking care of my kids and getting them through basketball and play rehearsal and the end of school, even though I was walking the dogs and getting the laundry done and doing all of the things that I normally do, underneath it all I was in pain. A lot of pain.  And while I should have called the doctor, because I have had so many symptoms so many times, I did what many of us do when we have a recurring health issue, I pulled out the last bit of medicine that was prescribed the last time, and tried to handle things myself.

But it got worse.

And worse.

And one day I was crying and Googling and I found an article about butt problems, and in scanning the comments I realized that these? These were my people. Talking about the constant pain and the around the clock obsession with it, the fear of eating, the hours spent in the bathtub, the frustration with trying to make your spouse understand. And I realized that I wasn’t dealing with what I had dealt with before. Nope. The journey of my butt problems had progressed from THROMBOSED HEMMHOROID to FISSURE.

Yeah, I put that all in all caps.

A fissure is a tear in there where the poop comes out and basically if you eat, then you will eventually have to poop, and if you have to poop and you have a fissure then every time it passes through it basically scrapes across that tear and can make it worse, and your body wants to tense up because OH MY GOSH IT HURTS, and THAT can make it worse, and also once you have finally gotten through the actual going to the bathroom part, you also can experience this kind of spasm for hours afterward that is kind of like your whole colon flipping you a big giant bird for making it go through that whole painful pooping process in the first place, and it is just this never ending process of the before pain, the during pain, and the after pain. PLUS your bathroom ends up looking like a crime scene.

Can you see why people don’t talk about this?

Well. Once I realized that what was happening this time was different than what has happened in the past, I hightailed it to the doctor for yet another embarrassing appointment where I knew not one, but TWO of the nurses asking me questions about my poop and assisting with the examination. But whatever. By that point all I wanted was a cure. And that cure came in the form of a cream that helps increase the blood flow to the area (ummmm, REALLY? THAT’S how we cure this thing? MORE blood flow??) but I took it, and I also became the model patient in terms of hydration, fiber intake, and avoiding that which would make me constipated.

Oy.

And it took a few tries and the better part of the summer, but finally after many long months and many sitz baths, I have healed. Thank you jesus. As confirmed by a colonoscopy, the fissure has mended and though there is a referral to the surgeon for a consult on the other guys, my colon is healthy and happier than it has been in a very long time.

Now, if you can believe it, that whole saga was just exposition. This post? Is about yoga. Because, while it was the medicine that healed my body, my spirit got pretty banged up through all of this. I mean, I know that there are many people that go through way worse, but for me, this was the worst physical pain I have ever felt in my life, and somehow that got compounded by the fact that it was all about my booty. I guess because it seemed kind of taboo to talk about it, or because it carried some kind of shame, or maybe because it was constant and it made it hard for me to want to do pretty much anything, it really just made me depressed.

But I couldn’t just curl up in a sitz bath ball and hide away from life like I wanted to. I had to work. I had to move. I had to be positive and motivating and encouraging and happy.

And then I’d come home and be exhausted and moody and sad.

It was hard to want to work out and eat right and do all the things I coach others to do. I cancelled on two races I had trained for. I was short with my family. I got into a pretty negative headspace. And even as my body slowly began to feel better, I just wasn’t myself.

Then one morning at the park as I was picking up after a training group, one of my clients mentioned doing yoga with her husband the day before.  The words rolled around in my brain for an hour afterward.

It was like the sun coming out from behind the clouds.

By the end of the day I was a gym member once again.

In a few weeks, it will be the 8 year anniversary of moving to this town. I pouted for a good year once we got here; I didn’t want to pack up and leave my family and friends back home. It took a while to even want to open up and meet people, and once I did, it took a while to find the right people. One day something inside me steered my car into the parking lot of the Y, and in the packet of information I collected was a group fitness calendar.  Even before I did Zumba or Spin or any of the classes that led to where I am today as a trainer, I practiced yoga, first in college, later in a trendy Hot Yoga studio near my hometown, and then at this little family YMCA. Several years ago, attending these classes helped redefine my outlook. I could love it for being a fantastic workout, for the flexibility and endorphins, and because my practice was my own. I could make it as challenging or as gentle as I needed on any given day. It felt good.

Yoga gave me my smile back.

So I went back to that gym to get signed up again, and to grab a new calendar. There were some butterflies walking back in, after having worked there for a while, and then leaving to open Trio. But they flew away quickly. Within minutes I was greeted with a warm hug from a former coworker, and as we talked, several others came by to say hello and to catch up. Before I knew it, a half an hour had passed, full of laughs and talking with the folks who trained me long before I got up in front of a class myself. As we chatted, I shared a little bit about why I was back; that I had gone through some heath things that had basically stolen my personal motivation, and that if I was going to keep working both for myself AND for my clients, I needed to get my  happy back.

There wasn’t one person in the group who didn’t understand that in some way. It felt good to have that connection with others who do what I do, who could relate to feeling discouraged to do for themselves what they were paid to do for others.

Since that first day, I’ve gone in several times for class or to work out, and I am usually asked by someone if I’m going to teach Zumba again, or if the Y will let me bring BodyFlow or RIPPED or KNOCKOUT. While I appreciate the sentiment, my answer is always the same: my purpose for being back here is my own. I want to take some time to be the member, to be taught and trained, and to do things that will replenish the excitement and passion that became so depleted over the last few months.

It’s been a good thing, reconnecting. While there may be those who might not love that I’m working out there again, it’s okay. Everyone can choose their own experience, and mine has been wonderful. It has given me a lot of joy to catch up with people I used to see every day, to be invited to various classes, and to sweat and swear and try not to die alongside of folks who are happy to share their enthusiasm with me. We can let our personal challenges stifle us, or we can evolve, the choice is ours. I choose transformation.

At Trio, I would occasionally end a fitcamp session with a class called Train the Trainer; basically the clients would lead, and I’d be the one to DO it all. They enjoyed seeing me get my butt kicked, and I’d enjoy just getting to be the student again.

I am enjoying being the student again.

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our ordinary summer

by MrsFatass on August 8, 2016

To my precious Thing One and Thing Two,

It’s been a while since I’ve written you two a letter. I’ve missed some birthdays and some sweet conversations and there are so many moments of ours that I’ve wanted to preserve here and I just haven’t.

I haven’t taken the time. I haven’t made it a priority.

I’m sitting at my desk right now while you two are both laying on the couch with the dogs, sniffling and coughing your way through a cold. It’s a Diary of a Wimpy Kid, popcicle, oils in the diffuser, pajamas on all day kind of day and the two of you are players on the same team, enjoying the laziness and the freedom from any chores or responsibilities and the fact that I let you both eat ice cream out of the carton for breakfast on a Monday.

I’m not sure if you’ll remember this summer break being different than any others, or where it will rank on the list of favorite memories, but for me, this has been the best one yet. Not because of anything fancy, really. Quite the opposite. Life this summer has been ordinary. We needed some ordinary. I needed to reclaim ordinary of family life, without distraction, without always being on the receiving end of somebody else’s issues, without feeling like I was making it through each day but just barely. I was leaving too many things up to other people, to chance, to The Universe, to I don’t know who, too many things I was overlooking or justifying because I just couldn’t figure out how to get more hours out of the day, more clients through the door, more money in the bank, more whatever we needed more of.
And you two? Kind of paid the price.

I’d love to say I got off of my own rollercoaster, and that the lesson I learned about my priorities was my own, but it wasn’t. I was kind of forced into our ordinary summer. Getting fired didn’t take my WORK away, it didn’t take away my clients or my income. But it took a certain kind of pressure away. Getting fired gave me autonomy I didn’t have even when I owned the studio, because of overhead and payroll and partners and budgets. I was let go, and all of a sudden I knew I’d been given a chance that not many people are given; it was like I won the lottery and I wasn’t going to squander a moment of it. Getting fired gave me a shot at ordinary.

So. First? First, I took my family back.

It started with cable. We shut it off, turned in our boxes, and reclaimed control over what you both were watching. Between channel flipping, commercials, seeing things in other people’s homes that were inappropriate for your ages, we just felt the need for a media detox. This summer we have watched more family movies and played more games of checkers than it is even possible to count.


We also put you on lock down from summer camps. Our annual trip to Florida was not planned around Thing One’s basketball camp; rather all four of us went down together and had lazy days at the beach, played with cousins, went to the water park, and spent time with your grandparents. And our time back home was just that – our time. We took day trips to parks and went hiking, we filled the van full of kids and went to the movies, we read books and played pick up sticks and we ran our own basketball conditioning camp in the driveway. We went tubing on a lazy river, we stayed up late, waiting for it to cool off enough to walk the dogs, and we bought fireworks at the grocery store and had our own show in the driveway. I kept the two of you busy together. I have three big brothers and none of us are particularly close – but we also aren’t anywhere close in age and I didn’t have the same years and years of living in the same house with them that the two of you do. You two have five years left before one of you leaves for college; I want the two of you to have TOGETHER memories, and the foundation of a friendship that will last you well into adulthood.

I also gave you both lots of chores this summer. I took the excruciating time to teach you how to fold clothes and wash dishes and clean the bathroom. You know how to change over the laundry and start the machines. You know what kind of cleaner to use on the tub and in the toilet. You know when it’s time to feed the dogs and you know what day we put the bins to the curb. Thing One, you know how to install a door knob. Thing Two, you know how to make toast and sandwiches. Together we have caught up on many of the odds and ends, replacing light bulbs and changing drawer pulls and finally getting a coat of paint on things. You went through your own toys and clothes and put together bags of things to donate. Together, we took care of our home.

And your dad and I reclaimed the power of No. Sometimes to you (No, you may not have a phone Thing Two). (Thing One, if you won’t wear a helmet than you can’t have a bike) and sometimes to other parents (Thing One isn’t available to spend the weekend) (Thing Two isn’t allowed to go out of town without us just yet). I decided to stop worrying about what other moms might think and remember that I am the one who knows best how to parent you. I know that you, Thing Two, are emotional and sensitive, and telling you not to take something personally is like telling you not to be who you are. I know that there is someone that you miss, but I love that you are able to articulate why the friendship didn’t fit you anymore. I respect that you aren’t (yet) in any hurry to grow up, that you prefer the company of girls who, for the moment, are still content to be young, and silly, and innocent.

And you, Thing One, I know that you are ready for a little more independence. You have proven that you are responsible and that you make friends who are also good people. I always know you are safe and loved when you are across the street, but I have also gotten to know more of the basketball moms, and the pack of boys you roam the neighborhood with know that I’m going to tell them all to watch for cars and text their moms and to get home before dark. I know you love that I’ve taught you how to back the cars up in the driveway when you want to play ball, and I know that you love that I have taken you to an empty parking lot and begun teaching you to drive. Which is like our hilarious inside joke.


And I also know you liked it when I spent a week volunteering at your school, even though we kept things chill and played it cool when we saw each other in the hallway.

Maybe I am romanticizing an ordinary summer that, to you, was nothing special. But to me, it’s been everything. I don’t know how long it will last. One day it will be winter and my freedom will change and I may get busy and distracted again. There is a second whole bullet point to this post, and it’s that I also took control of the way I work, and it is entirely possible that very soon I’ll have to go back to something more ‘traditional.’ But my first thought when I wake up in the morning is to be thankful for the blessings. I have so many.

Thank you, Things, for a most wonderful, ordinary summer.


Love,
Mama

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by any other name

by MrsFatass on March 14, 2016

We had our first meeting at the gym, me, the Fitness Director, and the owner, and I made it through with minimal flopsweat. It was fun, actually, talking through my resume and hearing about somebody else’s business plans and vision. And I managed not to use the word fatass even once, not even when we were all acknowledging how potential clients choose their trainers for a variety of reasons, including that trainer’s appearance. My curves were not the elephant in the room as I initially feared. They, too, understood that my ass was an asset.

So a first interview led to a second, outside of the gym, where it was more of a getting to know the bigger picture about each other, sharing life experiences and pieces of our faith journeys and this time I was super nervous about eating in front of them because eating on a first date is always nerve wracking. Are they analyzing what I order? Can I drink diet soda? Do I talk with my mouth sort of full and risk spitting food? Do I have spinach in my teeth?

But once again I was put at ease when we said grace before our meal. Yep. Right there in Panera we prayed together and I’m a pray-er every single day, even though I don’t always do it before a meal in public, but so what, because this time? This time in that restaurant our grace put me at ease because they were showing me who they were in inviting me to be a part of it and it felt really good to be included in that moment.

I don’t know. It just did.

And we talked for an hour and I managed not to choke even once.

As we were wrapping up the conversation they shared with me the two “rules” they had that anyone who came to work in this gym needed to be aware of and willing to live by.

Number One: No drama. What? Really? No interpersonal issues or gossip or bitching or badmouthing? Just grown up people who care about their jobs coming together in a positive place to help people? Is that the hallelujah chorus I hear playing in the background? SIGN ME UP!

Number Two: No profanity.

Blink. Blink blink.

Well, damn. Cue the flopsweat.

So we shook on it and planned some more conversations and I excitedly got a Victory Fitness tee shirt and shaker bottle and began making plans for my drama free, profanity free journey across town.
It’s been a wonderful move. Even without the colorful language. I feel so thankful that these folks have trusted me to join this team of – as promised – grown ups who act like grown ups, who are smart and knowledgeable and who do their jobs in an environment that is absent of drama and negativity. And to appreciate that isn’t to say my previous workplace WAS filled with drama and negativity, but it’s to say that I am old enough and experienced enough to understand that this is a special thing that is to be protected. You know? And that type of mature and positive attitude, coupled with a facility that is bright and clean and state of the art pretty much means that I feel like I won the lottery.

Now, profanity jokes aside, I never felt like I HAD to change myself to fit into Victory. But I do feel like my move there is part of an evolution. I wasn’t going back to being an employee in the gyms I worked in before, but I also knew I wasn’t Trio anymore. And while in my heart I am always MrsFatass, I knew that I couldn’t have a business card on the Victory front desk with the word ass all over it. Even if I wanted to, it wasn’t respectful of the rule, and it just didn’t feel like the right move on my part either.

So, after playing around with a few word choices, I settled on FullFigureFit.

In the short term it was my new email address and the name of the Facebook group for clients, and then quietly late last week I transitioned my Instagram and Twitter, and today on my Facebook profile. It just makes sense to make this change across the board, right?

But as for the blog, for now it is still MrsFatass dot com. Partly because I wouldn’t even begin to know how to change it, and partly because I never really know exactly what to do with it anymore. I love having it here when I have the desire to write, but like with lots of you, I find it easier to have meaningful interactions in other places. So we’ll see.

For now, I invite you to follow FullFigureFit on Instagram or Twitter, and to ask to join our Facebook group FullFigureFit if you’re interested in what I’m up to as a trainer and diet coach.

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thirtyfive inches

by MrsFatass on February 26, 2016

ashley_graham-sports_illustratedBack in 2014, when I had to do a driveby spent 18 glorious hours in Savannah with my Fitbloggin’ family, I had the honor of cohosting a conversation with Steve titled “Fitblogger Tough Love”. We tackled the idea that the very thing that makes our tribe so awesome – our supportiveness, understanding, and positivity- could also be the thing that holds us back from accomplishing some of our health, weight or fitness goals. Because we know that no matter how many times we stumble and fall, we always have a place in this group to get back on the horse and start again. Where is the line between accountability and enabling? You know?

Well, that notion continues to roll around and evolve in my mind even two years later. I’m a weight loss blogger with no weight loss success story, but I’m also a health seeker with an ever growing list of badass accomplishments. I’m a diet coach/personal trainer who is also for all intents and purposes fat.  But I run and jump and box and lift and tri.

Well, this week the hot topic of conversation has been both about the “rookie bombshell” and Sports Illustrated plus size covergirl Ashley Graham’s bikini cover photo (general consensus: BOOM! You GO Ashley and Sports Illustrated), and the reaction of former minus-sized model Cheryl Tiegs, who says SI is glamorizing an unhealthy waist size physique (general consensus: BONK! You are what’s wrong with America, woman!)

And here’s the deal. I think Sports Illustrated did a pretty ballsy and cool thing with their approach to the swimsuit covers this year, featuring three women with very different body types and bringing light to the notion that beauty is widely defined and complex and shouldn’t be boiled down to a number.

I also wonder if Cheryl Tiegs is only half wrong.

Say WHAT? Um, MrsFatass, Cheryl Tiegs quoted Dr. Oz as the source to stick with on this matter. She sad SI was ‘glamorizing’ full figured models like that was a BAD thing. And she said that thing about having such a pretty face. Fat girls HATE that saying. Have you bumped your head? Why are you not ripping her a new one?

I know. I KNOW! She certainly said some stupid, misguided things. And I could spend the next hour writing about how many thin models smoke and drink diet coke and over train to stay skinny, and look up some statistics about models and eating disorders, and really it wouldn’t be hard to decimate her and lots of folks are out there are doing just that. And also I tend to think that maybe from a psychological point of view, on the inside she might be feeling some kind of way about the things SHE had to do in order to stay on top as a model back then, and the acceptance of a more REAL physique today could just stirring up something emotional in her. I don’t know. Maybe she really is just an idiot.

But…is there room in this conversation to recognize the fact that while there are many of us who are living a healthy life, even at our full figured size, there are many of us who are using this Beauty At Any Size as an excuse to be/stay/remain unhealthy?

That’s where it gets a little dicey.

I guess the first thing we would have to agree on is what defines healthy. Weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, thyroid – do we define health based on what a doctor tells us? Does the way we eat figure into that? Do we have to work out to be considered healthy? Be moderately active? Is it possible to be healthy and sedentary?

I know people who are thin who have horrible problems with blood pressure and cholesterol, and who cant walk up a flight of stairs. But according to Cheryl, their waist size would qualify them to be glamorized on the cover of a magazine. I know big people who can run circles around me. I know people who have great bloodwork results but whose diet is comprised of a steady stream of 350 calorie coffee drinks, vending machine chips and Girl Scout Cookies. And I know me.

I have gone to doctors for help because it truly seems like the more healthy behaviors I acquire, the more weight I gain. I don’t eat sweets. No sugar in my coffee, no donut, no Girl Scout Cookie time. I have eliminated countless foods that inflame or bloat. I manage my macros and I also count my calories and I am about 75% successful in eating whole, non-processed foods. I work out almost daily and my leisure time activities include ridiculous things like triathlon training. So I’m not sure how it’s possible that I am 30 pounds heavier today than I was in 2010 but I am, and the best I can get from a doctor is a prescription for Phentermine.

Yeah, no thanks.

And then, what makes somebody beautiful?

I don’t have an answer but I do know this: I wake up every day and wonder how I can get out of having to work out that day (I can’t. I actually WORK at a gym so there is absolutely no way to get out of it). I wake up every day and choose to whole unprocessed food because it makes me FEEL strong an energetic (and not just use my daily calorie allotment in just egg rolls and cheesecake if I’m going to be fat anyway). And I also know that my self-confidence does occasionally make me want to be lazy because lets face it – I’m hot – and at this point I don’t have bad knees or constant sciatica or a litany of “conditions” that many of my fellow women of stature have. So even at this size I can be happy and active and do basically anything I want to do so it’s up to me to actually go out and DO it. In my humble opinion, hustle is hot, laziness is not. (hashtag I can rhyme like Johnny Cochran).

Finally, we need to agree that while it is possible to be beautiful at any size, the opposite also holds true.

When we wrapped our conversation in Savanna it was on a very positive and encouraging note, suggesting the ways we could support one another and hold each other accountable, but nicely. And while I wasn’t looking to dismantle the love and support that is kind of the Fitbloggin’ hallmark, I’m still not quite sure we really had the tough conversation. And the reality is that there are people who will always find the reason not to follow through. There are people who will soak up the love and support of their fellow health seeking warriors, even as they drive past the gym in order to get home in time to meet the pizza delivery guy at the door. Because hey, tomorrow is another day, and today was long and I’m tired and work sucked and I don’t have time to work out…

Even so, I think it is awesome and amazing that Sports Illustrated is helping to highlight the fact that you don’t have to be a size zero to be beautiful. This air of acceptance of curves is a positive thing. And even if there are some who use this as a reason to be fat or unhealthy, let us not forget that there already IS a segment of our population who is unhealthy, overweight, and out of shape. Maybe? Some of those folks will feel more empowered and confident about doing something to impact their health if they feel less judged by their size, shape or physique right out of the gate. Maybe people who have a more positive self-image are more apt to do more positive things than someone who feels ugly.

And Cheryl may have a 35 inch waist (or smaller), but it does not make her beautiful.

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February 8, 2016

love and like

To my Doodlebug, It’s time to sit down and acknowledge another year. And once again, the first words that come to mind are simply “I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by.” You’re a teenager now. And I can’t. I just can’t believe how fast it’s gone by. Even though I still see glimpses of […]

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January 4, 2016

Confident and Consistent

So if it’s true what they say, that what you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll do all year, then I’ll be spending the year being super bad ass with really amazing women who are ALSO being super bad ass. Okay, so on the ACTUAL New Year’s Day I was eating nachos and […]

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December 15, 2015

life after

So, like any self-respecting obsessed business owner, making the decision to close the studio left a big hole in both my heart and identity. If I wasn’t half of trio (math!), who was I going to be? I didn’t have the luxury of a long period of soul searching. I didn’t get to go away […]

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