10 Things Worse Than Getting Fatter

10 things worse than getting fatter

I’m living in Italy right now. Nobody goes to Italy and thinks, “This is the perfect time to cash in on my New Year’s Resolution and lose 10 pounds.”

You eat in Italy.

You eat bread in all sorts of forms. Croissants, loaves, pasta, pastries, pizza. You eat cheese in sorts of forms. Melted. Sliced. Shaved. Gooey. You drink wine in one form: plenty.

I have never had a metabolism that allows me to eat all I want without gaining weight. I have never had washboard abs. Sure, I’ve never been highly overweight, but I have also never been without a little extra flesh – even at my leanest. (If you don’t believe me, know I am in control of every photo I put on social media.)

For many years, I equated shame with weight. If I lean over and my jeans created a crease where my belly flopped out a bit, that equaled unloveable. If my arm was close to my side and the flesh spread out a bit, that equaled unworthy.

Through practicing the art of self-love, self-care, and good health, I have managed to overcome these negative thought patterns… for the most part.

13466305_10154259090943210_4805106703890094943_n

Enter Italy. Italy is a gluten-free powerhouse with homemade and handmade GF pastas, breads, pastries, and deliciousness for my Celiac-y self. Everything tastes like an orgasm. I close my eyes and moan when the gluten-free bruschetta touches my taste buds, people. It’s food magic.

I eat in Italy, but I also walk and walk and walk, so I wasn’t concerned at first. Until one morning I woke up and realized, “I could get fatter in the two months here.” Then those shame gremlins (as Brené Brown calls them) started creeping up saying, “If you get fatter, you will be unloveable.”

You know what? That’s a load of shit.

things worse than getting fatter

I am in Italy. I am going to eat Italian food. Not just eat it – enjoy it. I’m over the idea that pleasures are inherently guilty and my worth as a woman is found in how well I can deny myself.

I’m gonna eat the gluten-free pizza with buffalo mozzarella and proscuitto. I’m having gelato for breakfast. You know why? There are worse things.

10 Things Worse Than Getting Fatter

1. Spending lots of money to live in Italy for 2 months, but choosing the side salad instead.

2. Allowing shame to dictate my whole entire freaking life.

3. Being grumpy because the hot man across from me (AKA The Boyfriend) is eating his 6th slice of Napoli pizza while I’m gnawing on some lettuce. (For what it’s worth, I ate the whole damn gluten-free handmade Napoli pizza myself. Except for one slice that I ate for breakfast the next morning.)

4. Letting the patriarchy determine what women should look like in order to be good enough, sexual, or successful.

5. War. War is definitely worse than getting fatter.

6. Wondering if my tummy is popping out instead of wondering how Michelangelo managed to carve David’s large… torso.

7. Not enjoying the taste of wine as it is supposed to be tasted, the Italian way: with an extra glass.

8. Getting small. And I don’t mean on the outside in pounds and fat. I mean small on the inside. Shrinking my soul into a concave wisp of unworthiness that believes I’m not strong or powerful enough to occupy space simply because I licked on a cone of gelato.

9. Being so self-involved that I think the citizens of this globe notice when I go up 4.2 pounds.

10. Missing out. On the wild, electric, mystical, transcendental pleasures of life. Missing out all all the joyous flavors life offers. Missing out on the wholeness of the human experience – including good food. Missing out on ENJOYING.

10 things worse than getting fatter

I’m not advocating obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. I’m not talking about binging or numbing through overeating. I believe in moderation, vegetables, and exercise. I want to be healthy, so I can live a long, interesting, and full life.

But.

I’m over worrying about whether or not I should pee before weighing myself. I’m actually over weighing myself.

I’m over drawing a connection between my carbohydrate intake and my lovability.

I’m over denying myself the pleasure of enjoying good food because heaven forbid I don’t adhere to the ideal weight number for 365 days x 70 years.

In case I didn’t say clearly enough that there are many things worse than getting fatter, allow Eat, Pray, Love to do it for you. This is my Italian motto:

Eat well, my friends, and love yourself.

Tay

Rape, Injustice, and Gender Inequality Didn’t Start Monday

woman

I got drunk on my birthday. Really drunk. Drunker than I will ever be again. A bunch of girls went out with me to celebrate in Costa Rica. It happened to be free champagne night. Plus I wore an obnoxiously tall celebratory birthday hat, which brought even more free champagne.

The wine with dinner followed by mimosa-type drinks followed by more bottles of champagne than I can remember and maybe a few shots left me intoxicatingly drunk. It was the best of times.

I threw up until 2pm the next day. It was the worst of times.

I wonder, though – if a man had raped me that night, would they say it’s my fault? Would they give him 6 months because they wouldn’t want prison to be too severe?

gender inequality

I’m sick and tired of people telling me, “Taylor, leave this whole women’s equality thing alone. There aren’t any more problems in America.” “You’re searching for problems where there are none.”

Last year, I wrote a blog arguing that rape culture is proof that gender inequality is still a problem in this country, the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Countless women I have met know the effects of rape culture intimately. Yet we are supposed to smile pretty and stay ladylike. Don’t mention that there’s a problem or otherwise we’re “Feminazis.”

I’m over ladylike. I’m mad.

I’m glad other people are mad right now too. When a young man gets 6 months in prison for raping a woman, that’s not the land of the free and the home of the brave. That’s the land of the abusive chauvinist and the home of the cowardly.

But this injustice problem didn’t start a couple days ago with one bad judge, a rapist, a shitty father, a brave victim, and two heroic reporters. This is a problem happening every day. 

Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled to see people getting involved and speaking out all over social media. But I’m afraid this outrage is one in a long line of internet frenzies that fizzle out in a week. Like Starbucks Christmas cups and gorillas at a zoo.

I fear this fizzling out because injustice did not only happen to The Standford Victim, it happens to you. It happens to your sister. Your friend. Your niece. It happened yesterday. It will happen tomorrow.

This particular act of sexual violence and the subsequent lack of justice is not an isolated anomaly. It’s a common symptom of our culture. Worldwide and in the United States.

gender inequality

Go ahead and tell me that feminism isn’t necessary. Go ahead and tell me we don’t have a problem. Keep your head blissfully in the sand.

Let me remind you, this isn’t about man-bashing. It was two men, after all, who took the time to stop and investigate when they saw Brock Turner raping his victim. They tackled him and kept him until the police came. These men are heroes. They should be respected and celebrated. Just like all good men.

When people try to silence feminism’s work to bring justice to women worldwide because they think men are getting too much of a beating from it, they start sounding like that judge. The judge who gives a rapist 6 months because he’s worried about the “severe impact” jail time will have on him.

Wake up.

Wake up women and demand your personhood be acknowledged by our legal system, government, media, churches, and society. Speak your truth. Tell your stories.

Wake up men and stand together with the other half of humankind. Because right now they live in a world where too many drinks doesn’t just mean a hangover like it does for you, it could mean rape.

Here are a few proactive steps you can take:

Read

>> The brave victim’s powerful letter. It breeds compassion and understanding.

>> My post of resources helping you to stay informed on women’s issues.

Watch & Share

>> This video on consent.

Sign

>> This petition to get the judge who sentenced the rapist to 6 months taken off the bench.

Donate

>> RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network) gives 93 cents of every dollar to helping toward helping survivors.

You do your thing. I’ll do my thing. MMkay? : A Pizza Lesson

pizza-711662_960_720

I’m a foodie who will try absolutely everything, but I hate olives.

I know, I know, what did olives ever do to me? But I cannot stand them. It’s the one food I don’t like. Hand me the octopus; you keep the olives.

While living in Rome, I’ve been eating too much a bit of pizza. If you and I were to go out to pizza together, I won’t order olives on my pizza. I probably will order prosciutto and mushrooms because I really love each of those things so much I am drooling in my mouth a tad as I write this.

But you just might order olives.

In no way will I think that you ordering olives is offensive or judgmental. After all, you love olives and my dislike has nothing to do with your love. In fact, I’m glad you’re ordering olives. God made them for a reason, so they should probably be eaten. Please eat olives if you love them.

Simply because I do not like something, does not mean you should not do that something. 

And when I take a bite into my olive-less pizza, in no way should you assume that I’m saying my pizza is better than yours. You shouldn’t take offense or assume I’m judging your olives. I’m sure each pizza is equally delicious in the eyes of the pizza gods. I just happen like the way pizza tastes without olives.

Simply because I do something one way, does not mean that I think you shouldn’t do that something in a different way.

In other words, my lady friends (but this applies to you too guys!):

… if you think motherhood is heavenly, or if you think being childless is blessed…

… if you’re a boss lady who climbs the corporate ladder, or if you would rather stay home…

… if you like girls, or if you like boys (or if you like both)…

… if you got married to outwardly show your devotion, or if you just loved your partner so much without a ring….

… if you like to travel, or if like to stay home …

… if you like to go out all the time and visit with many people, or if you like to stay inside and hibernate with Netflix …

… if you find God in a church, or if you find God in any other way (or if you like to think of God as love) …

… if you are super easy going and let things happen, or if you regiment yourself down the second …

… if you see the world though the eyes of an artist, or if you see the world through the eyes of a scientist …

…Just do you. And I’ll do me.

Pizza toppings are these sort of decisions that do not hurt anyone else. Typically, none of these them even affect anybody else whatsoever. They are the little extra decisions we make to enjoy our pizza… I mean, life.

Now, I’m not talking about poison – hate, abuse, inequality, injustice, greed – these things hurt each other need to be dealt with. I’m talking about olives. Personal preferences. Likes vs. dislikes. Innocent pleasures. We should not judge each other based on our pizza toppings, nor should we ever feel threatened because we don’t all like the same ones.

Pizza would be terribly boring if it had a particular 2-topping requirement. Diversity is the spice of life.

We all simply have different tastes. Yours may taste more olivey and mine may taste more mushroomy. Let’s just embrace it and sit down at the table and order one more slice (and another glass of wine, because WINE!!!).

At the end of the day, no matter the toppings, we are all just pizza.

And pizza is f**king awesome.

Why This Feminist Loves Female UFC Fighters

Why This Feminist Loves Female UFC Fighters

I don’t like violence. I’m a liberal-leaning moderate and a pacifist.  And I don’t even really like sports.

But I love UFC.  I just do, okay?  There’s something about the determined physical preparation, sportsmanship, and mutual acceptance of “we’re gonna beat the crap out of each other” that feels entirely different than any form of senseless violence or cruelty.

But you know what I really like? Female UFC fighters.

I watched Saturday night’s fight from a local sports bar in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  The place was packed. As I drank my 5th mojito of the night, I cheered wildly for the final two fights – both done by the ladies.

Yes, WOMEN were the main event on Saturday night.

You see, I looked up at these female UFC fighters and acknowledged that we couldn’t be any more different – their bodies are monuments to the fact that physical strength is not monopolized by men, they can throw punches and kick like nobody’s business, and they’re famous sport stars.

I’m more of a yoga girl.  Sun salutations are my jam.  And I really really don’t want to get punched or even do the punching.  I like hugging.

But, we’re a lot a like too (I won’t be posting any pictures as evidence, because my muscles are nowhere to be found. Doctors tell me I have them, so I just believe them). We are women. Sometimes we cry when we are disappointed; sometimes the tears just flow because we are so happy. Sometimes we do badass things; sometimes we paint our nails.

Mostly – we are each fiercely chasing after the lives we want to live.

And that, right there, is feminism. Feminism is not that all women should be alike; feminism means each and every woman should be able to do whatever the hell she wants.

  • To some women, that looks like having lots of kids and staying home to raise them.
  • To some women, that looks like being the CEO of a company.
  • To some women, that means traveling the world being a freelance writer.
  • To some women, that looks like being in the main event at a UFC championship.

Like Amy Poehler says, “Good for her, not for me.”  We don’t have to have the same talent sets of other women in order to be excited for their achievements and victories. We don’t need to have the same passions as other women to realize we are all in this together.

You see, women don’t do so well when they’re put in a box. We are too unique, too complex, too interesting, too talented for that crap.  (Unless, of course, that box is octagon in the UFC.)  But when we not only have the full spectrum of rights and opportunities to do what we want AND the support of others cheering us on, there’s no limit.

I grew up in a sports loving family, so I know that the multitudes gather around sports that typically only have men. Saturday college football, Sunday, Monday, and Thursday NFL. Baseball season. Basketball season. Sure, there’s women’s basketball, golf, and other sports, but women still don’t get primetime sports viewership.

But on Saturday night, in a PACKED bar in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, I saw men and women go CRAZY over a UFC fight – fought by female UFC fighters. I got a glimpse into what it must be like to be a little boy with eyes glistening at the sight of a really cool sports hero. I’m 24 and realize my chance at a sports career has always been zilch, but I got to look at these strong, passionate women and say, “Wow – SHE is my sports hero!” – not because we are identical (we aren’t at all), but because she is a fellow woman being awesome, doing what she loves, and owning her own individual story.

And that, folks, is why this feminist loves female UFC fighters.

10 Ways to Get and Stay Educated on Women’s Issues

Do we really know what’s actually happening in the lives of women across the globe? On our street? In our home?

The movie The Suffragettes came out recently.  I haven’t been able to see it since movie theaters aren’t super available here in beautiful Costa Rica.  BUT the team behind the movie did release this short video about women’s issues.  Please watch it!

It’s a great reminder that we can easily look at the world from our comfortable seats and forget injustice is still happening all around the globe – and even next door.  In fact, statistically, it’s happening to many of you too.

We must not forget about the condition of women across the globe (and in our own homes), or falsely believe all those awful things happened at least a century ago.  It is vitally important to get and stay educated and aware.  If we don’t talk about it and bring it to light, we cannot change it.

But how do we do that?  Here are 10 fabulous resources to help you out whether you’re already interested in women’s issues or want to start learning!

10 Ways to Get and Stay Educated on Women’s Issues

1. Half The Sky

If you haven’t watched the Half the Sky documentary or read the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, start there! These are phenomenal resources for looking at what’s really going on in the lives of women around the world.  Topics include poverty, sex slavery, trafficking, maternal mortality, etc.  Their website is also a great resource of information with practical ways to help.  The Half The Sky movement really values women being the heroes of their story by bringing light into the darkness by “turning oppression into opportunity.”

Ways to Stay Educated on Women's Issues

2. Equality Now.

Equality Now is an organization that focuses on four massive issues: law discrimination, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, and trafficking.  They are a powerhouse of information on women’s issues and have options for anyone to take action by signing petitions and sending letters.

3. “We Should All Be Feminists” TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Chimamanda is incredible.  She’s entertaining and BRILLIANT.  This TED Talk is an easy step into understanding the basic concepts of positive feminism, especially from a global perspective.  If you want an intro into feminism and women’s issues in modern day – look no further!

4. Miss Representation

This is one of the most powerful documentaries I’ve ever watched.  Miss Representation goes into the dark side of the media, how they represent women, and how that representation causes real harm to girls and women.  It’s also available to stream on Netflix.

Ways to Get and Stay Educated on Women's Issues

5. The Girl Project

There is no question about it: not only women, but the world benefits when females are educated.  The Girl Project by Glamour is helping women across the globe receive the basic education that they need to provide for themselves, gain confidence, and have bright hope for the future.  Donate even small amounts to help girls across the world finish school.

6. The Invisible War

I would be remiss to leave out the sexual assault horrors that women are facing in the military.  The Invisible War is a disturbing, but powerful discussion of rape culture in the military.  The documentary’s website also links to fantastic resources on advocacy for this topic.

Ways to Get and Stay Educated on Women's Issues

7. A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband ‘Master’

When it comes to women and the church, Rachel Held Evans did a masterful and clever job at looking at discrimination women still face within the Evangelical Christian community at large (of course, there are always exceptions).  Check out her blog too!

Ways to Stay Educated on Women's Issues

8. Podcasts: #Girlboss and Women of the Hour

Both of these podcasts are brand new and doing a great job at highlighting modern famous women and digging into the issues they face and how they’ve overcome (or how they’re still working on it).  Instead of only interviewing celebrities to talk about clothes and gossip, each of these podcasts gets into the real stuff of the everyday life of kickass women.

9. Rape Culture Proves There’s Still More To Go For Women

I wrote an article not too long ago about rape culture in the everyday lives of everyday women.  I included some infographics, videos, and helpful links for my readers – bringing home the fact that rape culture is terrifying, and yet very much alive.

10. Talk to women in your life

The simplest way to get and stay informed on women’s issues is to talk to, well, women!  Not the fluffy – “How are you?” “Fine.” “You?” “Fine.” – type of conversations.  The real, honest, raw, brave conversations that lead to awareness through personal stories.  It doesn’t take very long to see the problems that are still happening in our modern world when we actually talk to one another.

Please comment with more resources, organizations, books, videos, documentaries, etc. that you feel do a great job of educating people on women’s issues!!

*Affiliate disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links. This means if you buy a product I suggest through a link, I may receive a commission at no cost to you.  As ALWAYS, I only discuss or recommend things I believe in or use myself.  Nothing that I am not totally crazy about will ever be promoted on this blog. I feel grateful to pay bills by sharing my interests and loves with the world. *