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.

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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

An Open Letter To My Teenage Female Cousins

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Lovely young ladies,

I’m older than you.  But I’m not too old.  Old enough to know a few things, young enough for you to still think I’m cool (you do think I’m cool, right?  Say yes).  So let me tell you a few important things about life:

  1. Mirrors are made of liquid metal and glass.  That’s it.  Don’t give them any power. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think “Oh no, I look fat!” or “Why can’t my hair look like her hair?” or “Damn you, large pimple!” But that’s giving the mirror way too much credit. The mirror can’t see that I’m really funny or smart or kind. Don’t let a mirror convince you that you’re not amazing, because you totally are.
  1. Boys must be good. Boys are weird, but you probably already know that because you each have brothers and fathers, and I personally know they’re weird. But they’re also pretty amazing, right? I know your dads and brothers love you like precious treasures. Not every boy will love you like that. Don’t give those boys the time of day! If they make you feel small or stupid or worthless, they are not allowed in your life.
  1. Be brave. Life takes guts. You’re gonna need to put on some courage each day. Being brave doesn’t mean you can’t show your emotions or have bad days or get scared. Being brave means doing the right thing even when you have a bad day or you are scared. Many people will tell you to be hard and toughen up, I think you should stay soft and lovely and open-hearted. But do all of these things while being brave.   Stand up for what’s right, stand up for yourself, and do it with kindness.  Always.
  1. Learn how to say NO. If somebody asks you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, say “no.” If somebody pressures you to do something that will not serve you, say “no.” If a guy wants you to do things that you don’t want to do, say “no.” If a girlfriend encourages you to be mean to somebody else in order to be cool, say “no.” You are a strong human being, and you have the right to say NO!
  1. Do what you love. Be the type of person who does awesome things. Don’t turn down opportunities to do the things you love, and never feel like the things you love to do are stupid. You only get one life, and I know it feels like you have SO MUCH TIME. And, in a way, you do. But in another way, it goes by so quickly. Don’t waste that time.  Fill up your days with things that make you smile on your face and in your heart.
  1. Interesting is better than cool; in fact, interesting is the real cool When I was a teenager, I thought being like everybody else was cool. Listening to the music everyone liked, dressing how everyone else dressed, buying things just because other people buy those things. I wanted to be cool. But if everyone else is doing it, it’s really not all that interesting, is it? It’s the same ol’ story. Be an original instead of a copy.
  1. No matter what, I love you. You are going to screw up.  You are going to fail.   You’ll probably fall in love with somebody who is all wrong for you. You’ll say rude things you don’t mean, and you’ll say rude things you do mean.  You’re a person, and nobody can do it perfectly. But you will always have a friend in me. I will always love you no matter what.  Luckily for all of us, we have a family that will always love us too. Not everybody else has family like that. So be that same source of love for other people.

With hugs and love,

Your big cousin xo


An Open Letter is part of a series to share positive, uplifting letters to the people of this world.  Open letters on blogs have a reputation for being biting and judgmental.  An Open Letter strives to bring hope and life and kindness back to the art of writing letters.

An Open Letter to My Little Brother on His 19th Birthday

An Open Letter to Millennials from a Gen Xer

Why Women Should Be Rocking Their Bikinis

Why Women Should Be Rocking Their Bikinis

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Bikinis are powerful little pieces of fabric aren’t they?  They’re supposed to be tools, a quick-drying outfit to swim in, covering as little skin as possible so the sun and water and summertime can soak into every pore.  But they’re so much more than that.

For women across the board, bikinis are scary reminders that our bodies are not perfect. Clothing helps cover up our fears day-to-day.  Push-up bras and Spanx even enhance them.  But then we take it all off at the end of the day and remember that our bodies don’t match up to the ideal we have in our heads.  When you put on a bikini, suddenly all those insecurities aren’t hidden under fabric; they are exposed for the world to see.

Women so often dread bathing suit shopping.  They stare at the models in magazines and compare belly to belly, thigh to thigh, boobs to boobs.  Then you try to find the bikini that makes you look like them, the airbrushed models, and not one bikini is magical enough to do so.

If that weren’t enough, it goes deeper than that for some.  For some like me.  Those of us who grew up learning that women’s bodies were “stumbling blocks” for boys and men.  The good Christian girls who sacrificed style and comfort for their brothers in Christ by covering up their bodies.   Modesty was a god.  The “worldly” girls wore bikinis and tempted men.  The rest of us either put on a cover up, a one-piece or simply didn’t go swimming.  Apparently, boys were unable to look at a woman’s body any way other than sexually.  And apparently, that was the girl’s problem.

Bikinis are radioactive little shame-reminders for so many women.

It’s funny that these problem bikinis are made to go in the water, one of the most enjoyable life experiences humans have.  Life offers us this simple pleasure of cool water on a hot day – whether that be in a pool, on a beach, washing a car, or running through sprinklers.  Humans love water.  We love lounging by it, we love floating on it – we just love it. And that love coincides with shame for so many women, because it coincides with bikinis.

I say enough.  No more.  Not happening.

Why Women Should Be Rocking Their Bikinis

Let’s begin with body image issues.  The media shoves images of highly photoshopped women in our faces daily.  We cannot ever live up to those standards, because not even those women live up to those standards.  Look around at the women you know.  Ask them what they are insecure about.  They will all have an answer, I promise.  Want mine?  I’m insecure about belly fat, acne scarring, knocked knees, uneven skin pigment that leads to uneven tanning, and my lack of thigh gap.  What are you insecure about?  List it, face it head on.  And then move on.  Get over it.  Life is way way way too short to spend it hiding from your insecurities.  You can hide because you hate a part of your body.  Or you can say: screw it!  I have one life and it’s going to be fabulous.  Because I am fabulous.

To those women struggling with body image issues, wear that freaking bikini with pride.  The people who judge you are idiots and not worth your time. Enjoy your life.  Let your skin enjoy the water and the sunshine.

Now to the modesty issues.  Your body is not a problem.  Your body is not sinful.  Your body is not responsible for anybody else.  Your body is your body.  If a man looks at you and thinks sexual things, welcome to humanity!  We are sexual creatures; that’s how we are wired.  Your job is not to hide for a man.  We do not live in a man’s world where women are the pawns in the game.  Not anymore.  We live in a shared world.  If men cannot control themselves, they can look away.  They are not weak, they are strong.  Just like us, ladies.  Skin is not shameful.  Bodies are more than sexual, they are used for swimming and running and laying down to relax.  P.S. a man can look at a fully clothed woman and think lustful thoughts too.

To those women struggling with modesty shaming issues, wear that freaking bikini with pride.  The people who judge you are idiots and not worth your time.  Enjoy your life.  Let your skin enjoy the water and sunshine.

Now to those women who truly just don’t like bikinis, simply don’t want to wear one, or feel comfortable rocking another type of suit, you most certainly don’t have to wear a bikini!  But for anybody who wants to and feels insecure for one reason or another – embrace it.  Allow yourself room to enjoy every bit of your life, every bit of precious summertime.  Soak up the sun, sisters, ride those waves.   Rock your bikini.

The Interesting Project