Thursday, June 28, 2018


The ideal shape of the female form has changed a lot during my lifetime. When I was a kid in the '80s it was all about Jane Fonda's Original Workout. Thin and toned with tits, that's what we were supposed to want to look like. By the time I became a teenager in the '90s, the "supermodel" had been born. If we couldn't manage to waif our bodies into the Kate Moss prototype, we at least had the decency to shoot for the slightly more sultry, if equally hard to achieve, Linda Evangelista. Then Jennifer Lopez blew everything up with what, at the time, was considered a rather large rump. Hip hop rapped about the glory of big booties and small boobies. It was the first time I became aware of how valuable diversity in the feminine aesthetic truly is.

So much has changed since last century. Now women get implants in both their boobs and their butts. The plus-size model isn't only for the plus-size catalog anymore, if season sixteen of Project Runway was any indication. Women are lifting weights on their quest to obtain both strength and health. I know that was my impetus when I started weightlifting in 2013, and it revitalized my life. It also, inadvertently, dropped me into a size six. Although I weighed close to 150 pounds, all that muscle made me appear smaller than I'd ever been in my adult life. It was glorious. I looked great, I felt great, and my fibro was darn near in "remission." Then the grand relapse of 2015 happened. Too fatigued to even drive to the gym, let alone complete a workout, exercise was one of the first things I lost.

It was a brilliant idea to get rid of all my larger clothing when I was sliding into that six, let me tell you, because today I'm back in a size ten. My arms no longer have visible muscles, just a thin layer of cellulite. I'm wearing a Brazilian waist trainer when I go out, which does a reasonably good job of squeezing my belly fat into both my boobs and my butt. But seriously, I'm struggling. When I look in the mirror I see a woman who used to look good and, sadly, just don't no more. What's worse is I've allowed it to affect my self-esteem. Deeply. I'm trying to accept the concept that I'm supposed to love my body regardless of her size. It's hard. Ashley Graham is my spirit guide on this journey. Every time she posts a size-sixteen bikini or lingerie pic on Instagram, I study it. For a girl who grew up being told Heidi Klum was "the body," my attempt to normalize what I see is a work in progress. However, the irony isn't lost on me that I'm in awe of Ashley's radiance because it comes straight from her sense of self-confidence.

Thanks for joining,

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Write Like Nobody's Reading

Me and this blog, we have a tenuous relationship. I made a big fuss about how I was going to resume blogging and return to facebook a few months back. Like every other attempt to return to this construct, however, I quickly fizzled. Blogging went fine, except I had no clue what the point is or why I'm doing it. Finding myself purposeless, it didn't take long before I didn't know what to say. Facebook, on the other hand, was a profoundly disappointing experience. And this time it had nothing to do with the people. The people were quite wonderful, actually. But facebook himself was inhospitable. Every time I logged on he informed me in BIG, BOLD, RED letters and numbers how poorly my page was doing. I'd been gone a long time and people weren't engaging with or responding to my posts. I mean the ones facebook circulated got attention. But since I declined to pay facebook, my posts were circulated to very few people. Say 500 of the roughly 12,000 who follow, if I was lucky. For a girl whose type-A will never die, it was extremely frustrating. Eventually the negativity became too much. I filled out a scathing survey about how user un-friendly the whole experience was and stopped logging on.

Yet here I am again. At this point in my three-year relapse, I'm finally getting my illness managed. Again. I could be chronicling my journey--how hard it is to exercise when I hurt this bad, how I tapped out on my anger and have been basking in the afterglow of acceptance, how aimless and purposeless I feel trying to rebuild my life... But I'm not. Because I still haven't found my purpose. All I know is I cannot continue to write a blog where I'm defined by my illness. Fibromyalgia is not the sum of my whole; it's a part of my person. Yet it's the topic I founded this blog on, named it after, and have spent years and years ranting and raving about. Where on earth do I go from here?

There's a whole world going on around us I want to write about--not as it relates to fibromyalgia, but how it relates to me. My thoughts, perceptions, feelings, opinions, experiences, and pain. Frequently my illness comes into play, for it is a defining presence in my life, but it's not always about dealing with fibro or its impact on my day-to-day operations. Sometimes its just about me--a woman reacting to the world I live in. Yet the very concept is terrifying. Opening up my truth in an age rife with so much unfiltered, unadulterated hate seems idiotic. Giving anyone with an opinion access to judge my life and words feels like I'm begging for a kick to the teeth. I'm not. But if I don't write like nobody's reading, if I don't start telling my truth without regard for the reaction of others, I might as well put this pen down right now.

Thanks for joining,