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

Taking a Gratitude Chill Pill

Taking a Gratitude Chill Pill

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I was full of worry today.  All the “What if”s any new business-owner, traveller, woman, or human could imagine began floating through my over-analyzing brain.  I did this all worrying while listening to a back episode of the wonderfully inspiring “The Lively Show” podcast.  Right in the midst of my “What if” panic attack, Jess Lively said “let your ego totally get a chill pill.” Is that not the best?!

She reminded her listeners that one moment is not necessarily any better than another moment, but right now it is the only moment we have.  This one is good enough.

My ego’s best chill pill is gratitude.

I was flooded with gratitude for this moment I’m living in.  I don’t need to be the best.  I don’t even need to be one of the best.  My ego tells me that I do.  But it’s wrong, and it needs to chill.  All I need is to be fully awake in this moment.  The rest is just details.  Maybe I’ll never be a massively successful anything, but I will have been grateful for and aware of the beauty life kept handing me.

My friends, my cup overflows.  I’m bursting with thankfulness this Thanksgiving for everything this year has given me.

— I graduated with my beloved English degree this year! I wanted that degree since I was a young teen. It took me a while and some twists and turns, but I did it.  gratitude

— I went to New York City for the first (but definitely not last) time.Times_Square

— I co-hosted a local event for young women to inspire creativity and embrace our worthiness.

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— I went on a Mexican cruise with my family.

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— I started a career as a freelance writer and editor.  People pay me to write and edit things for them. Whoa!

— I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.

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— I moved to Costa Rica right next to the beach.  Enough said!

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— I took so many lovely yoga classes.

— I’ve read books that opened my mind and books that entertained me.

— I’ve started new friendships and deepened others.

— I fell more madly in love with The Boyfriend – and by moving to a foreign country together, grew and strengthened our relationship. He’s just marvelous.

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So my ego needs to chill a bit.  Instead of a panicked “What if…?!?!?!” – I’m flipping the script and saying, “Look at what life has already offered me!”

Have you been there – when your ego freaks you out and convinces you that you have to do everything and be everyone in order to have a full life? Does your ego need a gratitude chill pill too?  Welcome to the club :)

The truth is, doing everything and being everyone will only get you into a harried mess. We need to drown our ego with gratitude for everything we already have and who we already are in this very moment.  Let’s practice.  Just leave a short (or long!) list of gratitude in the comments!!  Let’s fill up the comment section with a gratitude overflow.

Happy Thanksgiving, reader friends.

Tay xo

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.

When You Run Out of Gas, You Need a Person

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This is me and my friend Bethany. Bethany is an amazing photographer and beloved friend. We went to the Yellow Conference in Cali earlier this year. The road-tripping was just as fun as the conference.

That is until we started running out of gas on our way home.  *see picture*

Apparently when two women get chatting while listening to the lovely Sam Hunt sing to us on the radio, they can sometimes forget that cars need gas. A simple blip in memory that could happen to anybody, really!

We found ourselves in between Baker, California and Primm, Nevada. If anybody has driven this route, you know it’s desolate desert of over 50 miles between both spots.  We noticed the lack of gas half way in between each town. 25 miles one way, 25 miles the other way. Bethany’s car is fancy with a gas gauge that tells you how far you have on your tank of gas and what gas milage you’re getting.

We had about 30 miles of gas left to go.

Either way, we’d cut it close. So we decided to move forward! We had 30 miles of gas and only 25 miles to drive? We’d be FINE, I kept reminding my sweet driver friend. (It’s possible I reminded her SO much it sounded more like personal reassurance than a statement of truth. *see picture*)

A few minutes in, we realized the gas tank’s “miles to go before you die in the desert” gauge was plummeting MORE QUICKLY than the miles we had actually driven. Before we knew it, we had the SAME number of miles to drive as miles of available gas.

We freaked out, ok. Just picture two 20-something girls in this situation. That, my friends, is exactly what it looked like. We may have been slightly dramatic. *see picture* I was trying to figure out the exact MPH that made us the most gas efficient according to the gauge, so I was screaming, “Go slower!” “No wait! TOO SLOW! Speed up!” “No, slower, we need it slower!” We turned off the music and A/C and saved our water bottle for our inevitable demise.

Then, miraculously, as if God himself decided we both should live long and prosper for another day, we saw an old gas station out in the far distance. If we had decided to turn back instead, we would have never made it. But we were saved. Saved by the rickety old gas station not found on a GPS.

We laughed about it later like, “yeah, we totally knew we’d be fine the whole time.”

You see, sometimes in our lives, we run out of gas. Not car gas, but emotional stamina.  These are the moments brought on by hardship when our energy and willpower are totally depleted. We’re stuck smack dab in the middle of a desert and we don’t know whether to turn back or keep moving forward.

All we know is we’re hot and dry and screwed.

But let me tell you this: when you run out of gas, you need a person.

If I had been driving home alone that day, the fear and irrational thoughts would have been out of control. I probably would have turned back and gotten stuck in the desert heat with little water. I needed my friend to get through it together.

When we run out of gas in our lives, we need a person in the car with us. We cannot face our own demons, make hard decisions, survive heartbreak, or even make it back to safety completely on our own.   When we are at the end of ourselves, we need somebody to pick us back up. We need somebody shouting crazily “Go faster! Now slower!! FASTER!”

We need a person.  Or a few.

A good friend we can trust and be vulnerable with.  

Don’t try to do it alone.  

Be brave and reach out to people.  

Make car-driving friendships that can stand the test of running out of gas.  

The kind of friendships that encourage you to keep moving forward.

Invest in your friendships, search out the good ones.

It’s not that we are weak; we just become so much stronger when two or more strong people join forces.

Eventually, you will make your way to your own blessed “gas station,” because life is full of highs and lows, goods and bads. Then you will realize you’re going to be just fine (which you will be!).

You and your person can look at each other, laugh, and say –

“Yeah, we totally knew we’d be fine the whole time.”

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. *