Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fat Tuesday: Does my sexiness upset you?

Last year (and by "last year" I mean "last school year" because my beginnings always come at the end of August)...

Where was I?

Oh, yes. Last year, I had a bit of an epiphany. Part of this is related to last week's Fat Tuesday post. My epiphany was this:

Even though I am fat, I can still look good.

I don't have to dress in jeans and sweaters and comfy tees all the time. I don't have to wear sensible slacks and blouses and cardigans to work. I am allowed to dress well. Even trendy. Even *gasp!* wear heels! 

(But not at work. However, if you know some heels that are easy to wear and comfortable and can be worn all day on your feet, please feel free to let me know). 

Anyway. I started dressing better. Cuter. And I felt better about myself. So much better!

 One day, when it was cold and I went to put on a sweater I'd been wearing just months before, I looked at myself in the  mirror and thought, I can't go to work like this! I look so...slouchy. And I quickly pulled out something I looked much better in. 

I had this new-found confidence that came just from changing what I wore. And people were noticing. I got compliments from students and others at work. And it was kind of nice.

Until I started realizing that some of those compliments from people I worked with didn't sound like compliments at all. They sounded more like, "Why do you get to have all of these new clothes? Who do you think you are? Fatso."

Maybe that's not really what was being said behind their kind words. Maybe I was imagining things, born out of my old insecurities which weren't really gone, but just hovering in the background, waiting to take over again. 

I tried to not let it bother me, but it did. My inner fashion critic was having a hay day with it.

Until one morning as I was getting out of my car, ready to walk into work, and the words of Maya Angelou came from somewhere in my brain to lodge itself in my heart:

"Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?"

And I realized: That's it. Those people who I felt like were giving me backhanded compliments were threatened that a girl who was fat dared to look good! 

I upset the entire social order! Fat people should wear baggy clothes and thin people should show off their curves and that's it!


A couple of weeks ago, I was wearing a striped pencil skirt (my new favorite wardrobe must-have!) with an orange tank and matching cardi, and one of those people saw me and commented on my new outfit ("Oh, just so cute!"). And the words she said didn't smart like they had before. Perhaps I really HAD been imagining it. Or perhaps the words didn't have the power of me they had before because, honey, I knew it! I just said, "Yes," smiled, and sauntered on down the hall. 

So, I hope--oh, I really, really do--that my little story has inspired you, to ditch the "comfy" clothes and wear something fun and maybe a little va-va-va-voom! for a day. Or maybe just an evening. Try it. See how it feels. And then share it! With a friend (I'm always taking pics of myself in the bathroom at work and sending them to my cousin so she can tell me how awesome I look). With Twitter. On Facebook. Maybe even on your blog and with a link to it in a comment below? :)

Show the world that your size doesn't mean that you can't look AMAZING. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I Tried It From Pinterest! Maple Granola

This is actually the third time I've made this granola, but each time I make add something different to it. I am not embarrassed to say that I'm a little addicted to it.

Granola: All the ingredients in a row

Ingredients Gathered 
(Sadly, you can't see the maple syrup well. It's in the brown jug in the back and is Vermont Grade A Medium Amber from Bragg Farm Sugarhouse in Montpelier, VT.)

Granola: Pretty mixture of yummy dry ingredients
All the dry ingredients ready to go!
This time I used pumpkin seeds and mixed dried fruit. Yummy!

Granola: Super sticky and ready for the oven
The granola is now super sticky and laid out on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Ready for the oven!

Granola: Warm and Toasty
25 minutes later and I have this beautifully toasted mixture of amazingness.

Ready to eat my granola
Usually, I eat the granola on top of Greek yogurt, but today I just wanted to taste
 the pure awesomeness of the granola with unsweetened Almond Coconut milk.
In a Vermont College of Fine Arts mug!

This is so easy to make that I know I'll be doing it for a long, long time. 

What are your favorite recipes you've found from Pinterest? Or anywhere else online?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fat Tuesday: You can be fat AND beautiful!

For, oh, about forever, I believed that these two things were true:

Thin = Beautiful


Fat = Ugly

Really. It was basic mathematics, or whatever you may call it (I majored in English and only had to take one math class in college, so I really don't know).

In order to be beautiful, one also had to be thin.

The funny thing is, that I didn't really believe this about OTHER people. There are so many women in this world who are not of an "acceptable weight" who I've never looked at and thought, Oh, she would be so much prettier if she were thin!

For example:

Queen Latifah. She is GORGEOUS! I mean, I just can't explain how beautiful I think she is. And I'm a writer! I should be able to put words to it. But I can't. She's just so many perfect elements put together and she's been beautiful at every weight.

Jennifer Hudson. Before she did the WW, I was horribly confused as to why people were calling her "fat." She was (and still is) this lovely, talented woman and everyone was focusing on her weight? Egads! AND she was much to thin (and young) to play Rosaleen in The Secret Life of Bees. I still can't believe they did that. Craziness.

Rebel Wilson. She's lovely and funny and has the world's most amazing smile!

Adele. I've never been able to figure out why she is considered "fat" as well. She looks perfect to me. And her voice is incredible! And I love her.


...they didn't make me see myself any differently in my mirror. Or how I thought I looked to other people.

I was (and am) fat


I was not beautiful.

Did it matter that my husband would tell me that I was beautiful? Nope.

This past year--as I've lost some weight and then gained it back--I've come to realize that I am not not beautiful. This is a process, and I'm still learning to love me as I am, but it has changed me. A lot.

I have much more confidence in myself than I have had for a long time (probably since the first time I was doing the WW), I'm not beating myself up for my food choices all the time, and I'm happier in general.

But I'm still trying to remember that fat doesn't mean ugly and thin doesn't necessarily mean beautiful.

What about you? What body image "triumphs" have you had this week? (Any tips are greatly appreciated.)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

I tried it from Pinterest! Apple Chips

I saw this lovely--and easy looking--recipe on making apple chips, so I thought I'd try it. At about 8 o'clock at night. On a Sunday. When I have to be up at 5 in the morning to get to work.

I, too, used a mandolin. It was the first time I've used one. It was easier than I thought it would be.

My apple slices aren't pretty because I decided to core them. Yeah. That was more work than it was worth. My second apple I didn't core. They were fine.

You put the lovely apple slices (mine aren't so lovely, remember, because they're cored) on a sheet of parchment paper on your cookie sheet and sprinkle the apple slices with sugar and cinnamon.

I guess you could mix the sugar and cinnamon together before you sprinkle it on the apples. I didn't. Because I didn't even bother to look at the recipe to begin with. I was just going by the PICTURES of the pin. 

Please DO NOT do that. Please read the recipe. Because, boy, was I surprised when I finally did.

Have you ever done this? You read the recipe (or not even the recipe but comments on the pin), and you misread the time? Yeah. I misread it. The comment said "1 hour." I thought it said 1/2 hour. So after a half hour, I opened the oven and they were very, very not cooked. That's when I finally looked at the original recipe. 

The time wasn't a 1/2 hour. 

The time wasn't 1 hour.

The time was 2 hours. 


So, I set the timer for another 1/2 hour. Flipped them. They were still floppy. Floppy flipping. (Love that alliteration!) Then I put them in for another hour and read and gave feedback on a short story my husband had written for his creative writing class. 

And here's the final product:

These weren't very pretty at all. And there may be a couple missing here. And, because I only have one cookie sheet (there may be another one out in my garage; but I haven't seen it since we moved 4 years ago) I only did one apple. 

2 hours for this many apple chips? Well, they were tasty. I know. I had them for dinner the next night. 

The next time I make them, I'll do it during the day and not when it's bedtime. And I'll use another cookie sheet as well. And I'll probably put more apple slices on a single cookie sheet. 

So I learned a lot. And hopefully you won't make the same silly mistakes I did. 

Have you tried a craft/recipe/beauty tip/anything from Pinterest recently? Please share! :)

Have an amazing weekend!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fat Tuesday: The First Blog Post

I have a confession to make:

I am not thin.

Okay. That's not quite right. A lot of people are "not thin." What I am is actually called "fat."

Well, maybe that's not quite telling the truth either. According to every website with a BMI thingy, I am not only fat, I am "obese."

Phew! I feel so much better getting that off my chest, because I would hate for you to believe you were reading the blog of a person who is in her target weight range, and then find out it was all a lie! LIES!

(This is a pretty accurate picture of my face...except I'm not really that blurry. And I tried to curl my hair, so it's a bit funkier than usual.)

So, why am I telling you this? Because I've thought about this--a lot. And I've come to this conclusion:

I am absolutely, positively, truly not my weight.

Do I want to be healthy and live a good, long life, hanging out with my kids, writing novels, and making art?


Is the only way I can have this good, long, healthy life by constantly dieting and thinking about all the foods I CAN'T have or what I CAN have or how BAD I am for eating something that I SHOULDN'T?

Oh, heavens, I hope not, because I've already lived that life. More than once, in fact. And every time I lose weight I--wait for it--gain it back.

What does this have to do with my meandering musings? Well, it's this:

I am starting to be okay with who I am in the body I have right now. And I want to have discussions with you about loving yourself as you are. I really hope you're all smarter than I am on this subject, because I could really use the help.

And I'm going to blog about this topic on Tuesdays. Hence the title "Fat Tuesday."

Did you know that Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday? So, what I want Fat Tuesdays to be is not griping about weight and diets and the fact that clothing designers think "plus-size" ladies all want to be dressed like the mother of the bride when they go to events that require formal wear (yeah, once, my husband gave me a nice big gift card to Sears so I could find an outfit for a dining out that required me to dress up. I couldn't find ANYTHING that looked my age, so I ended up buying my first iPod with it instead).
(My body to go along with my face. Check out those shoes!)

Fat Tuesday will be a celebration along with some contemplation and a large dose of self-love. I hope you'll join me for Fat Tuesdays. And I'd love for you to leave comments with topics surrounding this issue that you would be interesting in delving into more deeply.

AND if you have a plus-size fashion blog or a website dedicated to loving yourself, I'd love to know that too!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Why, yes, it has been over a year and a half since I blogged. Lots going on, you know, including earning my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts . . .

. . . and another deployment . . .
. . . and all the other things that make our lives busy, busy, busy like growing up . . .

My Boys

. . . and growing out my hair. . .

. . . and still teaching full time, but now with sophomore honors as well. (Don't ask me when I got smart enough to teach honors. I'm still pretty sure I'm not smart enough, but I'm faking it the best I can.)

But I AM back. With ideas for some weekly posts, including a very scary (for me) series on Tuesdays as well as some thoughts on the writing life, love, dreams, with the occasional "Look! I made this from Pinterest!" post. If you used to read my blog, I hope you'll come back and hang out with me a couple times a week. And if you're new, oh, boy, welcome! I wish I had some sweet treat to give you . . . oh, wait! I do!

I've been playing with making my own printables. While you can't eat this, I hope you'll still enjoy it.

This is from a picture I took in Washington State in 2011. Download it and enjoy. (PDF with 2--one for you and one to share--is available here.)

Want to share this printable with your tweeps? Click here to tweet! 

Have a lovely weekend, blog friends, old and new!