Being Fat

My perfectly imperfect, gorgeous and fat body.
Being fat is awesome; I give good hugs. I'm soft and fun to touch. I look great naked or clothed.

The only things I hate about being fat? The fact that I can't walk into more than 2 stores at my local mall and find something that fits over my head and covers my entire torso, let alone an outfit that's affordable and makes me feel pretty.

That, and the stigma. People stop me in the street and tell me I'm 'killing myself by living an obese lifestyle' (whatever that means?!?!), comment on my Instagram that I'm 'fat and ugly' and I can't get medical care without being told my BMI is off the charts and I should 'probably consider going on a diet'.

But these aren't symptoms of being fat. This is the reality of being fat in a fatphobic world.

I won't change just to fit in to a society that systematically oppresses people of my size, simply because of our size. I will stand, fat and proud, and fight for the right to exist happily, stylishly and without stigma.
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Sweater (Dress) Weather

As cooler weather approaches, there are a few things I know for sure: Fall foliage will make up 50% of my Instagram feed, salted caramel and pumpkin spice are everywhere, and sweater dresses are in again.

Sweater dresses are the perfect item for the stylish spoonie; they're comfy, often affordable, and easy to wear without effort and without looking frumpy. If you get cold easily, layer it. If you overheat, roll up the sleeves or pick a lighter fabric. Accessorize or don't. Rock colour, patterns or neutrals. It's that simple!

Here are some of my Autumn 2014 sweater dress picks:
Sweater Dress Weather

Times Are Hard. Having a Disability Is Harder.

"Times are hard," said the creditor, cutting off my explanation that I'd love to pay my debt, but can't, because my disability is so severe that I can't work. "Times are hard for us all. I know".

Don't tell me you know how hard I have it until you've stayed up all night, clutching your stomach and trying not to be sick, wondering if a tenth extra-stong painkiller will kill you-- and wondering if maybe dying would be better than this.

Don't tell me you know how hard I have it until you've been so desperate to make the pain (emotional and physical) stop that you'd consider anything, everything; therapies that make you go into debt, dangerous treatments that have a 50% chance of working, expensive prescriptions that give you viscious side effects. And when none of that works, you're ready to cut your wrists or burn your thighs or drink until you forget.

Don't tell me you know how hard I have it until you've worked as diligently as you possibly could, for as long as you possibly could, and realized that your best wasn't good enough. You fall asleep on the job because the fatigue is so overpowering. You're in excruciating pain and have to call it quits early. Maybe you can't even get a job in the first place because you're too sick.

Don't tell me you know how hard I have it until you've had to stretch your $100/month salary and sell everything you own and beg your parents or friends or the government for help so you can put food on the table. And then the creditors start calling... You fell deep into debt 'splurging' on clothing and shelter and medication, praying that your health would stop declining so you could finally hold down a real job and pay off your Visas, just for your cards to be maxed out and the sharks to start circling. How can you pay off 3 credit cards and feed yourself and pay for medical treatment on $100/month? They don't care.

Don't tell me you know how hard I have it until you've been stared at and cat called because you gained literally 150 pounds on a new medication. You lose friends because you keep having to cancel on them because you don't feel well, ever. Even your doctors don't know what to do with you. You develop clinical depression because you're so distressed about your illness and the way it affects your family, friends and career. People glare at you because you won't can't give your seat on the bus to a little old lady because your joints are aching. You go to bed in pain and wake up in pain. You go to bed tired and wake up tired. You take your meds, grab your cane or your brace or your heating pad and pray that tomorrow will be better, that people will be more understanding, that simply existing won't be this grueling.

Don't tell me you know how hard I have it. Because unless you have a disability, you don't.

You Should Definitely Break Up With Him

If you're a long-time Sparkler, you probably know I have a dreadful track record of dating the wrong people. I'm not sure if it's Borderline, bad luck, or (until relatively recently) the feeling that I didn't deserve a loving partner, in the true sense of both words, that's to blame. Probably all of the above.

I know it takes two to tango-- and we both stepped on each other's toes-- but I'm far from responsible for the emotional abuse I've endured. I could have been more patient, I could have been more understanding, I could have been less demanding, and maybe we would have lasted longer. But that doesn't excuse abusive behaviour. Nothing excuses abusive behaviour, EVER.

It doesn't matter if you remember his birthday, you iron his shirts, you pick up after yourself more often, you stop nagging him about that holiday you want to take together. It doesn't matter if you're the perfect girlfriend or you're practically a succubus; if he abuses you in any way, shape or form, dump him. You deserve better. You will find better. You are better off without him.

I'm not the poster child for finding the perfect life partner. I haven't dealt fully with the psychological damage of having been abused, obviously, since I've chosen abusive boyfriends again and again and somehow thought they'd stop hurting me and start loving me. But what I do know for sure, is I'm getting better. This relationship didn't last nearly as long as another did. I got out. And I know I deserve better.

So for now, unless the right person magically appears before me, I'm going to enjoy the single life. I'm going to focus on my career, my mental health and my platonic relationship. Sparklers, we deserve to be happy. Let's remember that.

Panic Is a Pain for Everyone It Touches

My mom had suggested we take a walk, and I was looking forward to both the company and the fresh air. 

"I'll meet you outside," she said. I smiled and replied that I'd be just a minute. I put on my shoes and grabbed my purse. Just as I was about to leave the house... Panic attack. Accompanied by physical illness.

I started hyperventilating, praying this wasn't happening, Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. I suddenly felt like I was going to fall over. All typical panic attack stuff.

Maman rushed back into the house when she heard me, held my hand and wiped my forehead. "It's okay. Just sit and relax. Have a Gravol. We'll go out another time". 

"No, I know how much you wanted to go for a walk. I'll be fine. Just give me a minute". 

"It's okay. Don't push yourself too hard. I'm not mad".

I was calmed by her words, and yet... I felt even worse than I had when I was bent over the sink. Not only are my anxiety disorders interfering with my life; they're making hers more difficult, too. And I know it's not my fault, she loves me no matter what... But sometimes I hate myself just a little bit because Panic is a pain for everyone it touches.

Do you ever feel guilty because of your anxiety disorder(s)?
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