Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fat Activism -- #myfatwashere

So the past week has been very fat-filled.  People get so uncomfortable when you use the word "fat."  Oooh, that's such a negative word.  Or like you're fishing for a compliment (noo, YOU aren't fat!  You're just big-boned!).  (Side note: my bones aren't big...I have tiny ankles and wrists and I only wear a size 8-1/2 shoe...all while being six feet tall.)  Well, fat doesn't mean anything different than when you call me large, curvy or voluptuous.  And it's short.  Three little letters.  So it's easier to just say fat.  I'm fat.  Even when I was thinner, I was fat.  I'm okay with being fat.  (Not really, but those are my own mental issues I'm trying to deal with.) 

Anyway, this week, Golda Poretsky's Ted Talk was posted on YouTube (Golda runs Body Love Wellness).  The title is:  Why It's Okay To Be Fat (you can view it HERE).  Oh man, did that cause the trolls to come out.  Look, I don't think fat talk causes trolls to come out.  I think some people just have way too much time on their hands and I have watched so many different topics become fights because people looooove to sit behind the anonymity of their computers and spew hatred.  It doesn't matter what the topic is.  Happens in the BART Idiot Hall of Fame Group on Facebook twenty times a day.  Anyway, I engaged a couple of trolls in defense of being fat.  I think it's a waste of time.  Mostly because they aren't going to change their minds.  And I'm not going to change mine.  But it was very sad.  Sad to see how other humans treat each other.  Anyone who says "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is lying.  But you have to put on a double re-enforced pair of big girl panties if you are going to put yourself in the public eye.  Granted, if you do put yourself out there, you probably know the trolls will come out.   And I have also been very lucky in my plus-sized adventures as I have not been directly attacked -- not anything like my online pals, Ragen of Dances with Fat or Lulu (the pole dancer from America's Got Talent) have dealt with.  I really admire Golda for putting herself out there.  I'm sure she knew a lot of shit was going to be flung her way and she was still brave enough to do it.  I had to stop reading the comments on the YouTube video after awhile.  I can recognize that these are just hateful people trying to get a reaction but it makes me want to drive to each of their houses and punch them in the face.  I have enough stress in my life so I couldn't keep reading those comments. 

Yesterday, I received an e-mail.  It was one of those, wow this is an awesome opportunity type of e-mails.  I, however, KNOW I need to get my work-outs in.  (It happens every time, I say to myself, THIS WEEK I will go to the gym EVERY DAY...then I twist an ankle or get a cold.)  I had gone to cycle class yesterday morning and was scheduled to do yoga at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco after work (Yoga on the's awesome).  The e-mail was from Huffington Post.  They were looking for plus-sized dancers to do a video interview that evening at 6:30 PM.  Right in the middle of yoga.  It was one of those things where I wasn't sure what to do.  Yes, it would be cool.  But sometimes I'm not super well-spoken in person, especially if I get riled up.  I had hoped it would be a respectful piece (and figured I was safe since Ragen was going to be the main guest), but I worried.  I worried that I wouldn't come off sounding knowledgeable enough.  Or that I'm not steady enough in my beliefs that being fat is okay (sure, it's okay for everyone else but not for meeeeee).  Anyway, long story short, yoga won out and I gave them the information for Roz the Diva.  I adore Roz.  She truly is a badass pole dancer and instructor.  She's also very well-spoken.  Super confident.  And I knew she'd be a good choice.  HERE is the interview (and you can read Ragen's comments on her blog HERE).  Roz's part is somewhere around 11:30.  Hey, in hindsight, I think I would have done fine in the interview.  But I still think Roz was a great person for the job.  I just wish they had spent a little more time chatting with her.

Anyway, I'm still coming to terms with being okay with my fatness.  It is what it is.  I am focusing on being healthy.  Eating better and exercising more.  I can't worry about the scale.  I have enough anxiety in my life.  Last night at yoga, Yolanda and I were taking pictures.  A yoga site had started a contest called #mymatwashere.  You were supposed to take photos of you doing yoga in cool places and then Tweet the pictures to them.  We though yoga at Grace Cathedral was pretty cool.  As I was scrolling through the pictures and whining about my fat rolls, I said, we should do #myfatwashere:  taking photos of our fat selves doing cool stuff.  So, I started using Instagram and Twitter (I'm lolorashel at both places) to promote #myfatwashere.  If you have some pictures of you doing cool stuff around the world, please tweet (or Instagram) me and use that hashtag.  I may be fat but I'm not dead.  I love adventures and am excited to take my fat with me wherever I go (not that I have a choice). 

So let's get this started.  Here's the photo I hashtagged on both Instagram and Twitter.  I did have some photos where my fat was smoothed out but that's not really how I look so I chose the photo where you can see my rolls.  Where have you taken your fat?

Yoga on the Labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco

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