January 2012

#ashamed

by MrsFatass on January 27, 2012

I know I’m not supposed to like this ad.

I’m not supposed to like it for a many reasons. Google “Georgia Childhood Obesity Ad Campaign” and you’ll be able to click for an hour through articles and posts that will explain that this ad exploits children. Potentially sets overweight kids up for more ridicule or even bullying from peers who see these billboards every day. And lots and lots of talk about how this campaign covers these children in shame.

I agree that shame is no motivator.

But the biggest reason why I don’t like this ad campaign? Is because it just isn’t a very good ad campaign.

This is part of some greater effort called “Stop Sugarcoating it, Georgia” designed to shock parents into realizing that childhood obesity is indeed a problem (there is some statistic they are using about the enormous percentage of parents who just don’t realize this fact). Okay. I can get behind a lack of sugarcoating. I mean, not only am I a frequent user of words like ‘fat’ and ‘diet’, I call myself MrsFatass for frick’s sake. But SHOCK is only half of the equation; there also has to have VALUE to be meaningful. And I don’t see the value in this. This campaign has alienated its target. And in making the point, put children in the crossfire.

Kids are never acceptable collateral damage. And if even one child looks at that billboard and is made to feel ashamed of themselves, even if one child references those images while teasing another, well, I think that’s too much. Don’t you?

And really, this issue doesn’t really belong to the kids, it belongs to the people feeding them. So, ask yourself if this campagin reaches those people. If a person said something to me about the size of my kid while we were standing in a buffet line (to loosely reference one of the messages), learning about better nutritional options wouldn’t be what I’d be wondering about – I’d be trying to decide whether to punch you in the nose or punch you in the junk. I mean, right? Insults are conversation ENDERS not conversation STARTERS.

So where’s the value in hurling an insult at a demographic you say you want to engage?

I find this campaign to be devoid of any compassion, and one thing I know for a fact is that obesity – be it in children or adults – is an emotionally charged issue that demands it. The organization that created these pieces has stated that this is the first phase of a multi-layered rollout. And basically, the compassion comes in later phases. But they already lost me. And I know I’m not the only one.

If this speaks to you at all, then go read this post and click through the links. And should you be moved to act, let your opinion be heard. Take to your Twitter and your Facebook and let the creators know what you think. And join us Friday night for a Twitter chat from 9-10 PM EST using the hashtag #ashamed.

{ 30 comments }

writers block

by MrsFatass on January 24, 2012

I have a terrible case of it right now. Lots of things simmering, but nothing coming to fruition yet. When I get like this I usually try to find some prompt to get me writing about something, just to get things moving again. I saw a couple of bloggers playing 20 questions, so here goes.

1. Mac or PC? Both.

2. Do you paint your own nails? I do. And sometimes I get them done. I love having nice, manicured nails and waxed eyebrows. I also do my own pedicures because I am painfully ticklish and don’t really let anyone touch my feet. I think these little details are important and sexist as it sounds, I truly believe a girl always ought to look her best.

3. Beach or mountains? No question, beach. Looking out over the endless ocean, salty skin, that feeling like the waves are still hitting you even after you come out of the water, the smell of suntan oil mixed with sweat, heat on your face, and of COURSE wearing a bikini. Heaven on earth.

4. What’s the title of the book you’re currently reading? Blindness by Jose Saramago. It’s a translation from Portuguese. You can tell it’s a translation and I like the mechanics of that. I also like the way the dialogue is all braided into the action. No quotes. And it’s a dark little story that really fits my mood.

5. Do you dance? Of course. Zumba, yes. But also Fonzie like slow dances with whispersinging in my ear. And I dance at work all the time to the music that is piped in. I love to move, and more than an endorphin addiction, I love it when people who say they are NONdancers come to my class. I’m good at helping them dance their ass off and totally love it when they end up remembering that they are indeed sexy as hell.

6. CNN or Fox News? Yes please. I watch them all. I ingest cable news (and ESPN) the way Garfield ingests lasagna. I used to love flipping back and forth between all of them on Sunday morning best. While I read the newspaper cover to cover. I don’t do that much anymore, but I do love the news.

7. Do you ride a bicycle? Nope. I don’t even do spin class anymore. I’ve wanted a beach cruiser for a long time but haven’t gotten around to getting one.

8. Do you get a yearly flu shot? Nope. I always say I should. But I never do.

9. Best movie you’ve seen in 2012? Another thing I don’t do as often as I used to is watch movies. In 2012 I have watched an entire season of Dexter in a day and For Colored Girls. The first I enjoyed because Dexter kicks ass. The second I enjoyed because I needed a good cry, but the play is far better than the film.

10. Do you prefer to workout at home or at the gym? Always the gym. Except that working in one becomes the kiss of death because I never want to stick around and exercise. If I wasn’t teaching Zumba, I probably never would.

11. Last airport you were in? I don’t know. The last one I was at was in DC dropping somebody off.

12. iPhone or Android? Android. Sidekick named Buck (or, full name “what the f%#$ Buck) that I love, but drives me crazy. It has all these little quirks, like I’ll think I’m sending a text to one person, but it will actually go to another. I’ve embarrassed myself more than once with this.

13. Do you prefer to be in pictures or taking pictures? Both. But mostly I like combing pictures for details. Body language. Information. Whose hands are on each other. Who keeps theirs folded away or hidden in pockets. Who leans in, who pulls back. I love to study a photo and write the backstory.

14. Favorite brand of sneakers? New Balance, baby. For running, for walking, for Zumba. My latest pair of New Balance cross trainers are about done and I MUST. GET. MORE.

15. Do you like snow? I like the idea of snow. I like pictures of it in tree branches. I like the kind of snow we get here that lasts for a day or two then disappears. I like the quiet, early morning snow when it’s still dark out and you’re the only one awake drinking coffee and reading. I like big fat flakes falling gently. But I don’t like the gray dirty snow of a place that has hard long winters. I’d rather miss it than live in it.

16. Do you have/want to have kids? I have children. I wanted more. But I’m done.

17. Summer or Winter? Summer. Heat and sweat and tan lines and bare feet and bikinis. I love opening the car door and feeling the heat pour out. Having to touch the steering wheel with just your fingertips until the AC cools it down. I love feeling the sweat pool in the small of my back while I’m messing around in the garden. I love the feel of my cheeks when they get a little bit pink. I love that it stays light until bedtime. I love being on the beach all day, turning my chair every few hours to follow the sun, then watching it fade into dusk.

18. Do you know how to swim? I do. But I prefer just to float. Or stand. Or get pelted by the waves.

19. Do you prefer to shop in store or online? Online. I hate shopping in a store.

20. Why do you blog? Because, after almost 3 years, I don’t know how not to.

{ 6 comments }

flipping the bird

by MrsFatass on January 19, 2012

I read something yesterday that I just can’t shake.

I’ve read her blog for probably five years or so. She’s been writing it for more than ten. I’ve read every word. She’s got a lot of fans, and she’s got a fair number of haters. I’m not a hater. I personally think taking a little event like getting fired for blogging nasty things about the company you work for and launching it into a blog that a gazillion people read, whose adspace pays the mortgage on your big fancy new house and allows you and your husband to work from home, that has lead to book deals and a show on HGTV is pretty damn cool.

Some people say, though, that her popularity comes basically from pimping out her family. Her kids and her parents and her husband and her struggle with depression and such. (Seriously, sounds like MY blog. WHERE’S MY BOOK DEAL?) and over and over she is asked to explain why she feels good about publishing such personal details. And what will her kids think one day? And what kind of a toll is this taking on her relationships? And her marriage?

She wrote yesterday about her separation from her husband, kind of announcing it in her own way, and I realized then she’d been alluding to it for a while. She wrote about her pain with such beauty. And I was moved.

Sometimes that kind of openness makes people uncomfortable. I know I’ve experienced that here. Whether it be about being in the ER with butt problems, or being so completely depressed that I ended up on the floah with people around me afraid that I wouldn’t get up, I know that people have had to avert their eyes from my blog from time to time. I know there are people who think I should stick to the funny stuff. I know there are people who think I share too much.

And I know there are people who think I don’t say enough.

I know that for the last three months I’ve written in allusions. I’ve thrown out some puzzle pieces here and there, and some of them fit while others don’t. I’ve got my own collection of comments or emails of the “what the eff? I thought this was a funny weight loss blog! Stop the pity party!” variety. And at the same time I’ve gotten a lot of support. And love. And appreciation for making others feel not so alone or ashamed.

I don’t know what my point is supposed to be, except to say that I’m sad about the separation of Heather and Jon. Stories like this affect me differently than they would have a few months ago, and even though I’ve been no more than a lurker on her blog, I’ve still laughed and cried and related to her for a long time. And I get why she writes the way she does, and it has something to do with why I write the way I do. Without having all of the words to explain it, something in my heart understands the need to put fingertips to keyboard, knowing the whole time I’m going to hit publish and send my personal life out into the blogosphere. Something about being so imperfect and so flawed and so fucked up sometimes, but not feeling the need to mask it from the world. Doing it for myself, yes, but also on behalf of people who can’t. Like flipping a collective, giant bird to that part of all of us that tries to make us ashamed of who we are or what we’ve done.

That’s why. I guess I did have the words.

{ 13 comments }

my bum bum

by MrsFatass on January 18, 2012

Super busy this week. Like, super. But I have had time to induldge in one of my favorite pastimes – watching infomercials. Happened to catch the one on Brazil Butt Lift. In the past few days I’ve had more conversations about this set of DVDs than I’ve had about the fact that Fitbloggin tickets went on sale. So I finally watched the infomercial. One of the best infomercials ever, in my opinion, and LOTS of before and after shots of peoples booties. But the best part is the Leandro’s accent. He says “poosh, poosh. That’s zeh secret to a sexy boom boom.”

I’m so ordering it. Anyone else making over their boom boom with this video?

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love letter

by MrsFatass on January 15, 2012

You know I write more openly than I speak; that in real life I am wound up tight, but with a keyboard I am brave. Able to be who I feel like on the inside. And I know you come here to read that which we cannot say.

There have been so many times that I have joyfully hidden little things here and there on this blog for you. A word or turn of phrase that belongs to us. A reference. Something for you to come here and recognize. So you know that even here, in this place that is mine, you are with me. Now and always.

Other times I haven’t been so subtle. I’ve written things here that I’m sure you wish I hadn’t. Even though you have never asked me to edit myself, or take something down, I know that you are more private than I am. And I’m sure it’s been hard for you to come here and read my pain and guilt and turmoil.

But one reason why I can share so much of us here is because I am not ashamed. The A Side of love is warm and schmoopy and fun, and the B Side can be hard and painful and sometimes downright ugly. But both sides are real, and I refuse to be ashamed of any of it. My love is worth something. And so is yours. Not just when it’s easy and we’re lost in the fog of it all. But also when it’s hard. Especially then. All we’ve enjoyed as well as all we’ve endured, well, it hasn’t always been pleasant, but it has always been ours. And I love us. And so I want to share it.

Do you know how many times we’ve talked about forever? How many times we daydreamed about growing old together? How many times we imagined the gifts we’d give each other if we won the lottery? Do you know how many times we promised to hold on to one another? To figure things out together, because we’re a we? Do you know how many times we promised to love each other always? Do you know how many?

Neither do I. But I do know that each and every time I told you I loved you, that I’d never leave you, that I belonged to you, I meant it. Every time I held on to you, every time I put my hand to your head, every time I tried to make you laugh when you were low, every time I looked right into your eyes, I meant it. Sitting in that tattoo artist’s chair, world falling down around us, I meant it. I said I would love you forever, and I mean it. I do. And I will.

So here you go, baby. This is a post you don’t have to decipher, because I’m saying it right out loud to you and the whole wide world. I won’t let go. I won’t give up. Every promise I’ve made to you was real. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. Now and always, your beloved.

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13

by MrsFatass on January 11, 2012

No matter how glued my head may be to my pillow, there are some things in my life that I absolutely must get out of bed for, no matter what. And, as I am sure you know, for me, teaching Zumba is one of them.

I got to class at the dance school last night with faked enthusiasm and an internal countdown ticking down the minutes until I was back in my pjs watching Bravo. And then you know what? The room started to fill up. It. Was. Packed. As packed as any class I’ve ever taught there. Each one of those women an angel sent to lift my spirits and energize me. Every single class brings out something special, but last night was like a Zumba Army coming to battle the pajamas away. There were smiles and laughter. Hooting and yee-hawing. Woo hoos and a couple Holy Crapballs (both from me, you understand). Once again, the Zumba delivered me from Bravo.

Every morning as I’m looking at myself in the mirror primping getting ready for work, I channel my inner Stuart Smalley tell myself that I am going to be true to who I am no matter what situation I face that day. Whether I’m surrounded by angels, like last night, or surrounded by asshats challenges, I’m going to be me. I’m going to be the person that looks for the good in the people around me. I’m going to have the heart of a servant. I’m going to smile. I’m going to let things roll of my back. I’m going to keep doing my thing until I can’t do it anymore.

And every day I get some dose of reality that tries to dissolve all of that.

I’m finding myself surrounded by scrutiny. And, as Thing One used to say as a toddler when I tried to feed him green peppers…I can’t wike it. It’s impossible to flourish when the people around you are looking for you to screw up. Because eventually you are going to screw up. Even if you do 127gazillion things right first. Always being under suspicion? Not a motivator. Just saying.

I just don’t know that any amount of optimism or patience will change this situation.

In the meantime, thank God my New Year’s Resolution last year was to do more cardio. I mean, as fond as I am of the Xanax, I think sweat and endorphins is a better way to handle stress BEFORE it actually turns into anxiety. You think?

Anyway, 13 more to go. 13 more endorphin rushes to help center me, so whether I’m surrounded by angels or asshats challenges, either way, I’ll be able to just be me.

{ 8 comments }

the hypothetical baby

by MrsFatass on January 9, 2012

TH: I’ve really been struggling with something this week. I need to tell you what.

ME: Okay. What is it?

You do realize that every time you say something like this, you shave another few years off of my life. We’ve had so many Big Talks lately. I wish you were about to talk to me about a basketball score or something.

TH: I read something. Something you wrote.

ME: What something?

What did I write? What did I write? What did I write?

TH: A story. It was something you wrote last summer. The Hypothetical Baby or something like that.

ME: Oh.

The Hypothetical Baby. I kind of remember. A couple. An issue between them. A decision that one of them probably isn’t going to get something she wants. What are the details though? Why was it upsetting?

TH: You know, a year ago had I read something like that you wrote, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

ME: Oh no?

Because a year ago, our relationship was very different.

TH: But now when I read something like that, it really affects me.

ME: Why? Why now?

Because it’s good?

TH: Because it’s so real. Now I read something like that and I put us inside of it.

ME: Oh my gosh, please don’t do that. It will make you nuts. I’ll stop writing stories if you’re going to put yourself inside of each one.

I understand you doing that though. Anyone would. I’ve thought a lot about that with other writing projects – who is going to think they see themselves, what will their reaction be, stuff like that. But the reason why you do that now isn’t because the stories I write are factual. You do that because they are honest. There’s a difference. The emotion that ignites a story, that’s what you’re latching on to. You’re remembering what we felt like last summer. You are thinking about what feeling made me write a story like that.

TH: I don’t want you to do that. I don’t want you to stop writing. It’s just hard sometimes. Your words are very powerful.

ME: Truth is, TH, that I have a hundred stories just like that one. I hear a song or overhear a conversation or see something in a movie that sticks with me, and I write it out. There is inspiration everywhere. And once something sparks, I start typing.

But I totally get what you are saying. I wrote a story full of yearning and desire to make a big change just before our lives blew up.

Just remember, I am a creative writer, not a journalist. Please don’t look to a file full of made up stories to try to decipher something about me or us. It will make you crazy. Lets remember that one blessing of the last 3 months is you and me learning to communicate honestly.

TH: Okay. I’m sorry if I made you mad. Reading your stuff.

ME: I’m not mad. I’m sorry you’ve felt bad about it. I don’t even remember all of the details of that story to know what it is that affected you. But I’m glad you told me.

We’ll figure it out. We’ll be okay.

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January 4, 2012

19

The first two work days of the new year are already kicking my tail. There was a lot of talk around the gym between members and staff alike about what January would be like. You know, being ‘Resolution Season’ and all. Some general moaning and groaning by the regulars who will have to deal with […]

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January 2, 2012

21

Seems I’m barely even going to have time to notice it’s the first month of the new year. Between Thing One’s basketball schedule, Thing Two’s gymnastics, the fact that I’m working and also teaching 21 times, plus all of the regular day to day stuff, I’m going to be one busy fatass. So you can […]

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