Tag Archives: friends

Asking for help.

HELP

If I’ve learned anything this week it’s this.  Ask for help.  Ask for it sooner rather than later.  Do NOT spend time exhausting every other option on the planet first.  Just ask for help.

I think a lot of my identity is tied up with the notion that I am self sufficient.  I can handle anything.  Like I’m some sort of hybrid of Bear Grylls and Macgyver.  Just set me down with a laptop, a sharp object and a roll of duct tape and I can HANDLE it.  But this self view sometimes really gets in my way.

This week I’ve had two moments where I finally broke down (often sobbing) and asked for help about technical stuff I just didn’t understand.  And both times, the person I asked was able to help me.  And both times the helper asked me, “Why didn’t you come to me sooner?”  This is a really good question.  My stubbornness.  My need to be smart and independent and RIGHT cost me untold hours of frustration that could have been avoided.

And  I think this is part of the reason why Ragen and I have created the Body Love Obstacle Course.  I mean of course, many of us can get to a place of loving our bodies on our own.   In many ways Ragen and I did just that.  But why go it alone when you don’t have to?  Why suffer untold hours of frustration?  Why not ask for help a little sooner?

I’m proud to say we’ve released the second of our free BLOC videos here:

Click Here to check out the video!

I hope you’ll take a minute, click the button and take a look.  It’s all about being grateful for the body you have right now.  You might have to opt in.  But I hope you will.  Because we’ll all get by with a little less stubbornness and a little help from our friends.

 

Love,

Jeanette DePatie

AKA The Fat Chick

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Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones But Words Can Hurt You Forever

I was recently having lunch with a beautiful and talented young woman, one who was enrolled in a good school getting a professional degree at a good school, who had a wonderful boyfriend who adored her, who was working at a decent job to help pay her school bills and is kind.  I was somewhat surprised when I heard this woman say that she had seen a television commercial showing a lazy chubby young boy, calling his grandma on the phone to ask her to bring something to him from the other room.  Not surprised that she had something to say.  But rather surprised that she had something so vicious to say about that pudgy, fat kid.  That if she was that fatty’s parent, she would smack him.  I was surprised not only because this seemed a little out of character for her, but also because she knew very well about my work as The Fat Chick and my views on this subject.  She went on to say, she used to be thin but then this happened (pointing to her stomach) and this happened (pointing to her butt).  I told her that she was of course beautiful, and further more, she was under no obligation to look any particular way for anybody’s approval.  Then she burst into tears.  At a recent family gathering, a close family member of hers had commented about whether or not she should wear a bikini and whether or not she would keep her boyfriend in light of her current weight.  She was devastated.  She didn’t eat for the rest of the day until her worried boyfriend brought her some food and asked her please to eat something.  Apparently this same family member had given her grief some time before for not eating, for being too skinny and suspecting she had an eating disorder.

As I talked her through the pain and drama, my heart was in my throat.  It brought me right back.  I was 15 again and listening to haranguing by family friends and family members about my weight.  About how I would never find a man, or if I found one, he would cheat on me and ultimately leave me because who wants to be with a fatty.  I was listening to people constantly asking if I “needed to eat that?” if I was sure I “should wear that?” and if I knew “what I looked like?”.  I was there with the constant self doubt, the devastating and crippling crash in self confidence, the firm desire to wait until I looked the right way to pursue the life I wanted.  I remembered how many years I wasted, obsessed about the size of my weight.  And I got monumentally pissed off.

How dare people do this to aspiring young women with so much to give in the world.  How DARE they pass off their insecurities and bullying as concern for a woman’s well being.  HOW DARE THEY?  Once my little PTSD moment passed, I told my friend in no uncertain terms that if people feel the need to spread their own insecurities around this way, it is her job to tell them to stuff it.  She is the gatekeeper for her own soul.  She gets to decide who she lets in.  And perhaps, if people are going to behave in such a toxic way, they don’t get to talk to her any more.  Not until they learn how to behave.

I honestly don’t know if she will find my comments helpful.  But I sincerely hope she does.  Because the world needs bright, young, talented, kind young people.  And it would be sad to think they won’t leave their house and make their way in the world because of how somebody feels about how they look in a bikini.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Can we get a little FREAKIN’ PEACE around here?

HolidaySwing

Here in Southern California, the holidays are a special kind of stressful.  People here just sort of just plum lose connection with any sort of common sense for a few weeks.  And in the week before Christmas, the whole area vibrates with a special sort of near-nervous-breakdown energy that makes me want to stay inside and pull the covers over my head.  In the last two days, I have seen some death-defying, I gotta get the eggnog before 7 PM maneuvers that left me screaming.  On Friday, I watched a van driver flick on his emergency lights and pull over the shoulder.  I had plenty of time to observe this as the freeway was in its usual “Friday Before a Holiday Parking Lot” mode.  I thought to myself, “oh, that poor van driver person.  What a yucky day to break down on the freeway.”  I then watched as said van driver BACKED UP OVER 1/2 A FREAKIN MILE ON THE FREAKIN FREEWAY.  Why?  The driver had missed the desired ramp.  After the backing maneuver, the van bumped up over a lane divider and pulled in front of exiting traffic to exit at the desired ramp.

“SERIOUSLY?  ARE YOU EVEN KIDDING ME?” I shouted.

That is only one of many incidents of horrible driving, deeply problematic mall stampeding and grocery store aisle smackdowns I’ve witnessed in the past few days.  And I have to tell you, it’s made me slow down, stop, and think.

You know what I want for the holidays this year?  Just a little bit of peace.  Just a little bit of space to breathe and appreciate and enjoy.    And that’s my wish for you as well.  I hope this holiday season (or what’s left of it) allows you to find a little bit of peace.

I wish you peace on the road–free from people screaming, cutting you off or as my friend jokingly puts it, “using the fellowship finger”.

I wish you peace as you shop.  May the people around be considerate and kind. May they only have positive things to say about the way you act and the way you look and who you are.

I wish you peace as you eat.  May you enjoy every bite and allow it to nourish you both inside and out.  May you enjoy holiday gatherings free from food policing and body shame.

I wish you peace with your family.  May everybody around you be grateful for all you have done to make the holiday special, even if all you were able to do this year is to allow your beautiful self to take more breaths and exist on this amazing earth.

I wish you peace with your body.  May you declare a cease-fire in any war you may have waged against your good self.  May you appreciate the staggering awesomeness of the body you have right now.  May you pamper and find joy in the skin you are in.

IMG_2585

And I wish you a peaceful new year.  May you find a way to scoff at those in the world who believe the way to greet the new year is to change everything that makes you, well, YOU.  May you face the new year with courage and optimism.  May you choose for yourself a path that is strengthening, enriching, enlightening and encouraging.

Sleep in heavenly peace my friends.  Sleep in heavenly peace.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

The Red Handle, The Hot Button and Other Hair Triggers

hotbutton_intro

Recently I came across this article about Chris Christie and pulling the “red handle”.  I remember clicking on it because I didn’t know what the “red handle” was.  As I read the article, I immediately understood, in a very visceral way about the red handle and connected it to a number of recent conversations I have had with friends, family and coaching clients.

The article describes the “red handle” this way:

A lot of people have a red handle installed deep in their person, where if somebody yanks on it, it hurts.  For some people, it’s some terrible mistake they regret, and for some people, it’s something they’re always trying to get better at that hasn’t worked, or a relationship they can’t repair, or a weakness that makes them self-conscious, or a memory that’s sort of awful. I’m not any better or worse off than anybody else in having something like this in my nature/history; the only difference between mine and anybody else’s is that mine is on the outside.

I get the concept of the red handle.  Oh yes.  In my life, I always referred to it as my hot button, but I understand the idea.  The notion that, regardless of how well somebody does or doesn’t know you, they may freely assume that there is this one thing about you that is “up for grabs”.  They see a target at which they can aim.  And regardless of whether or not this is a deeply sensitive subject for you, they feel a sense of glee at being able to push your hot button or pull your red handle.

In a society that constantly hounds, harasses, embarrasses, traumatizes, cajoles and bullies people who don’t conform to an extremely narrow vision of acceptably attractive, it’s not hard to imagine body size as the red handle or hot button for many, many people.  I’m sure that’s what was behind the “attack at the Mexican restaurant” I told you about, or the many, many hateful email messages and comments I filter out of my blog, YouTube channel, website, and facebook profiles on a daily basis.  Because people are pretty sure this is my hot button/red handle.  And even though I’ve become much tougher and it doesn’t affect me nearly as much as it once did, for much of my life their guess about my hot button, my red handle would have been pretty much true.

And that sucks.  Because most of us have the ability to choose when we share our hot button with other people.  Feel insecure about your education level?  You don’t necessarily have a sign on you that says ,”I flunked calculus” that everybody in the world, including complete strangers can see.  People actually need to get to know you, get to know a little bit about you before they discover that hot button.  Your “I have abandonment issues” might not become apparent to even your closest friends or lover until your relationship deepens and becomes more meaningful.  I have often reflected on the power inherent in exposing our hot buttons, our red handles, our soft underbellies to those who love us the most.  The power that knowledge gives our loved ones to strengthen or destroy us.  To build us up and gird our loins or to wound us deeply and permanently.

But fat people don’t always get this chance.  Many of us have been bullied our entire lives about the size of our bodies and for many of us this is our hot button/red handle/soft underbelly issue.  And that means that complete strangers, can yell at us across a crowded room and wound us deeply and even permanently without having to know anything about us or even give it a second thought.

Add to this, the notion that lots and lots of people still suffer under the delusion that wounding us this way will somehow help us.  That it will shame us into “doing something about our bodies” as if we didn’t have piles and piles of proof that shaming people does not make them healthier, happier or thinner.  And what you get is fat marathoners getting eggs thrown at them, cowardly people offering unsolicited advice before they scoot off subway trains, and a whole lot of nasty aimed at our soft underbellies from people we don’t even know.

I can say that this is no longer a primary hot button or red handle for me.  And I’m not super eager to tell everybody in the world what the newer versions of those hot buttons are.  I think I’ll ask you to know me a little better before I tell you–or at least buy me a drink first.  I feel very privileged to have come to the point in my life that somebody calling me a fat cow is more likely to leave me annoyed, angry or even amused than devastated.

But it has made me more dedicated than ever to work with my amazing colleagues like Ragen Chastain and Golda Poretsky to help fat folks understand that they do not deserve to have their hot buttons pushed and their red levers pulled–and to help the world at large to understand that pushing this hot button, that pulling this red lever without permission in a complete stranger or even a friend is a form of psychological rape.   It is not justified under any circumstances, and it is never, ever okay.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie AKA The Fat Chick

P.S. Want to join my list, get free stuff and be sure not to miss out on a single bit of the awesomeness?  Click here to join.

Want to learn to face the spring holidays with more joy and less trauma?  My dear friend and colleague Golda Poretsky is offering a HAES for the Holidays course just for spring.  I am an affiliate, so if you join her class, you can support me at the same time.  Win, win WIN!

 

Stuff That Weighs More Than Me: Ship Loaded with Containers

sailing2This weekend some awesome friends of ours asked us to go out sailing with them.  And while we were having a wonderful time, I didn’t forget about YOU my dear readers.  As we passed a large ship carrying many, many containers, I was heard to say, “Quick get out your camera; I am SURE that thing weighs more than me!”

Shipping3

It’s difficult to make out exactly how many containers are on that ship.  But I’m sure there are at least 100.  Container ships can apparently carry up to 16,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).  And it’s difficult to say how heavy each container is exactly, but if we do a little “back of the envelope figuring we come up with the following stats:

20′ Container weight empty: 5,290 lb (2,400 kg)

20′ Container maximum weight full: 67,200 lb (30,480 kg)

Considering an average weight of 50,000 lb per container and a minimum of 100 containers on the ship, the container weight alone would be:

5,000,000 lbs.

Conclusion: Empty or full, that container ship weighs more than me.  Oh and sailing totally rocks!

Love,

The Fat Chick

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Stuff that Weighs More than Me: The World Peace Bell

BellIn the aftermath of all our country has experienced in the past week, I felt that I was ready to think about peace.  So today, I bring you the World Peace Bell.  It is located in Newport, Kentucky and is one of more than twenty large peace bells located throughout the world.  It was first rung at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000, and it was said that it could be heard up to 25 miles away.

The bell was first cast at a propeller factory in France.  It then underwent a 1.5 month sea journey, and arrived in port at New Orleans, Louisiana.  The bell was then transported to Newport via the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, stopping at 14 cities along the way.  Presently the bell is rung on special occasions and every day at 11:55 AM (so as not to conflict with the courthouse bell which rings precisely at noon.)

Here’s the stats:

Materials: 80% copper, 20% tin

Diameter: 12 feet

Musical Pitch: A

Yoke: 16,512 pounds (7,490 kg)

Clapper: 6,878 pounds (3,120 kg)

Total Weight: 73,381 lb (33,285 kg)

The inscription reads:

“The World Peace Bell is a Symbol of Freedom and Peace. Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present and Inspiring Our Future”.

The bell stands as a symbol for much that I am yearning for this week, and incidentally, weighs more than me.

Love,

The Fat Chick

P.S. If you’d like to learn more about making peace with your body, you might wish to consider buying one of my books or a DVD.  And if you go to my website and buy a copy for a friend, you can save $5 off the regular price! Just click HERE and enter the code “peace4_18” in the box!

Mindful Eating

mindfuleatingA friend of mine had the above picture in her facebook feed this morning and it got me thinking about mindful eating.  I gave it some thought, and I guess I’m of two minds when it comes to mindful eating.  There are many different definitions of eating mindfully.  From making sure that what you put on your plate is exactly what you crave, to setting the table with candles and linens and enjoying every bite, to eating alone and in silence to tune in to every morsel to putting your fork down between every bite to slow down the eating process.

On the one hand, I think there are some good ideas here.  I think it’s important to eat food that tastes delicious to you.  I think it’s a great idea to focus on enjoyment when you are eating and allow your body to extract pleasure from your food as well as nutrients.  I think I enjoy my food more when I am not eating in front of the television.  And I think I deserve wonderful meals with candlelight and tablecloths and even fresh flowers. In general, I think food tastes better when I am hungry and less wonderful when I am already full.

But I think mindful eating can taste a little bit like dieting when the rules become too rigid.  I think food tastes better when every bite is savored, but putting the fork down between each bite or chewing a prescribed number of times feels like restriction to me.  And sometimes I want to get together with my husband or my extended family or a group of friends and enjoy a meal together.  I think it’s important to enjoy not only the food I’m eating, but also the company I’m with.  And sometimes, I just want to eat a hotdog at a ball game or eat pizza in front of the TV.  And I think in a healthy food life, all of these things should be allowed and savored.

I think I am most in tune with those mindful eating experts who recommend spending some time learning to get in touch with your body if your relationship with food and eating has gotten really out of whack.  If you’ve never really learned to distinguish between when you are starving and stuffed, it makes sense to take some quiet time eating alone to sort that stuff out.  And there’s been a fair amount of work done that points out that distracted eating can often mean that you don’t get as much enjoyment out of food and feel less satisfied.  I believe this is true.  But I also believe that hot dogs taste better at the ball park and chips and salsa taste best at a restaurant with a few great friends and a lot of laughter.

In other words, I think mindful eating is wonderful, helpful and beautiful–in moderation.

I’d love to hear what you think!  Just drop me a note in the comments box.

Love,

The Fat Chick