Tag Archives: self love

“Fall Back” in Love with You

I’m not going to lie.  I love fall.  It’s my favorite time of year.  And one of my favorite things about fall is that in the U.S. we get to “fall back”.  We set our clocks back one hour.  As I mentioned last year, this can be a terrific time to start a morning practice that you’ve always wanted to start.  In particular, I mentioned that falling back allows you to get up at the “same time” (sort of) as you did before, while starting your day an “hour earlier” (sort of).  Naturally it’s harder to get to bed on time as well.  But spring forward is a topic for another day–several months from now.  And last year I suggested the week that we “fall back” is the best week all year to start an exercise program.

This year, I’ve learned that isn’t necessarily true.  Since I’m still recovering from illness and injury, this week would be a terrible time for me to start a new exercise program.  And thus, I have to admit, my statement last year was naive and not all that inclusive.  It’s sad that life had to literally kick me in the pants to learn that, but so be it.  I’m sorry that I made such a sweeping, ablest statement.

But I still would like to mark this special time of year, when basking in the glow of whatever Halloween candy is still left, we get to turn back time.

So this year, in honor of the RASCAL challenge, I’d like to invite you to “fall back” in love with yourself.  Maybe it would be fun for you to take a little time this Sunday to remember just what is so incredibly awesome about you.  And maybe you could reward that awesomeness with some little act of self care of kindness or love.  Maybe it could even be a RADICAL Act of Self Care And Love.  It’s too late to join the RASCAL challenge for this year, but I’d like to invite you to take a look at the list just to get inspired.  There’s a list of over 100 things on there that you can do to take care of you.  Or you could come up with something of your very own.  Or not.  Every BODY and every life is different.

This year, I’ve made a new and different commitment.  As I fall back, I will make a special effort to fall back in love with me, take me out on a date, and cherish and care for me in some special way.  I’m not entirely sure what it will be yet.  But I have a feeling, it’s gonna be awesome.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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All the Comebacks We’ll Never Say

TRIGGER WARNING: I’m going to talk about verbal abuse.

So I don’t know if you got a chance to see this, but it’s pretty awesome. Chelsea Handler lays a stupid kind of mean spirited fat joke on Andy Richter and BOOM, he comes back with an amazing zinger that not only puts Chelsea in her place, but gets Conan laughing his fool head off. If you haven’t clicked on the video click at the top of the page yet, go click it. I’ll wait.

See??? BOOM! I mean, don’t you wish you could come back like this when somebody says something mean or stupid or obliquely snide to you about the size of your body? I wish I could. Usually I do, in my head, 20 minutes later. In the moment however, I don’t often come up with something wonderful and witty to say. I guess now, even after it’s happened to me and all my friends and colleagues so many times, I am still surprised. Afterwards I’m not surprised at all. But in the moment, especially when a complete stranger decides to comment on my body, there’s often that moment of shock. I’m not talking about when people make rude comments to each other about me so I can hear them, or make obnoxious mooing sounds, or shout things across the street. I’m talking about when people confront me directly and say mean, stupid or downright horrible things. There is still a moment of shock. Still a feeling of violation. I feel it in my body like a punch to the gut. And often I’m standing there, mouth flapping open and closed like a recently caught fish wondering WHY a person who doesn’t know me, who has no reason to hate me just threw verbal poo at my head. Sometimes I am able to recover sufficiently to say something reasonably intelligent, and sometimes I just walk away shaking my head. But it’s safe to say, I’m almost never as quick on my feet as good old Andy Richter up there.

Now I am a professional speaker. I have had extensive training in speaking off the cuff. I’ve studied improvisational theater. So I often feel I should have been come up with something witty to say. And so the verbal beating I have taken from a complete stranger is often followed by me beating myself up for not handling the situation better. I find myself, after the fact, reliving the confrontation, calculating and discarding dozens of “comebacks” or “burns” I should have used and feeling battered and miserable.

I’m telling you this because I want you to know. I want to share that even though I’ve been in the space of body love and size acceptance for decades, and even though I’ve been in public debates and had speech training and have given literally hundreds of public talks, I don’t always have a witty comeback when somebody publicly attacks me. I’m telling you this because I am trying to learn to focus my anger where it belongs–not at myself for failing to “burn” somebody who is mean to me, but at the person who was being mean to me! I tell you this, because you may be one of the millions of other people in this world who do not have a witty comeback ready when somebody is mean to you. And I want you to know that’s okay. We all love the fact that Andy Richter can come back at Chelsea that way. We cheer because he does something we all wish we could do in the moment that somebody is mean to us–execute the perfect, 10-point, sustained audience laughter burn. But I want to suggest that we can appreciate Andy’s talent while at the same time relieving ourselves of the responsibility to be him.  And I want to suggest that maybe instead of beating ourselves up for not being funny in the face of cruelty, we should focus our anger outwards and self care and love inwards.  Just a thought.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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(Body) Love is Patient. (Body) Love is Kind.

As I thought further about my recent post about marrying my body, I wondered what is really the hard part of this for me?  What about the commitment to love my body do I find the most challenging.  And I remember that passage from the bible that is so often read during wedding services.  You know, the one that begins, “Love is patient.  Love is kind.”  And it occurred to me that right now, I’m doing okay with the kindness part of living in my body.  But the patient part, not so much.

It is so hard being patient with our bodies.  Especially when we are hurt or sick.  I have definitely been losing patience with my current illness.  And so one day, I thought I would just muscle through.  I would just do the stuff I did when I wasn’t sick.  I would suck it up and power through.  I did all of that.  And I paid for it.  Oh dear God I paid for it, with interest.  After two days of barely being able to move again, I thought maybe a different approach was in order.  Maybe I should, you know, do the stuff I tell other people to do all the time.  Maybe I should figure out the gentlest and most gradual way possible to go forward and do that.

Except I suck at patience.  I mean I really, REALLY suck at it.  I want to be better TODAY.  I want to be able to plow through and using will power alone be perfectly healthy right now.  The idea that I am still in pain and struggling at this point is INCONCEIVABLE!

But I am.  Why is it that I can have so much patience for helping other people with their struggles and helping them find a gentle and loving and gradual way through and be so utterly bad at it myself?  This is not my first rodeo.  I’ve dealt with chronic pain before.  I should be better at it by now.

Except it is really, really hard.  I am so very glad that we have our RASCAL challenge starting on Sunday.  I’m really looking forward to picking just one or two kind things I can do for myself each day to feel better.  I  am looking forward to making kindness and self-care my agenda and my to do list for a while.  And I am blessed beyond blessed to have a loving family and all of you great people to help me get there.

So even though I’m happily married to my body, I’m willing to admit that we are going through a bit of a rough patch.  We’re working through our troubles.  I just try to continually remind myself body love is patient, body love is kind.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Want to join the RASCAL challenge before registration closes tomorrow?  CLICK HERE!

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Love (for yourself) is in the Air

Aside from being the week of the Winter Games, here in the U.S. it’s also the week of Valentine’s Day.  It’s a week to think about love.  And I would suggest, it’s a week to start loving yourself.

Now I understand.  Yet another discussion about loving ourselves is enough to trigger a Stuart Smalley marathon viewing party.

But I have to confess that this past week, I came across an extraordinary video that once again got me thinking about what it really means to love ourselves.  I’d like  you to meet Sanah Javani, an extraordinary young woman who is coping with a disease that has caused her to lose all her hair.  In this extraordinary video, Sanah recounts a little bit about what life was like for her when she started wearing a wig and how the other kids bullied her.  She talks a little about years of agony and shame and self harming.  But out of this experience, Sanah has decided to found “Natural Day”–a day to celebrate the fact that we are beautiful just the way we are.  Why not take a look?

“I want girls to live their lives in freedom.  And I want girls to love themselves the way they are.  And I want girls to not suffer with eating disorders or cutting.  I just want them to accept themselves.  So on natural day, I am challenging girls all around the world to go without makeup and to love themselves for a day.”

Mature?  Yup.  Amazing?  She sure is!  Natural Day is the day before Valentine’s Day–February 13, 2014, and I plan to scrub my face clean and stand strong beside Sanah.  I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup anyways, but I have to admit that a day without mascara and a little bit of lip gloss has me feeling a tiny bit anxious.  But that’s an even greater reason to do it, right?

I’ve also been thinking a lot about love in general and about how difficult it can be to apply the kind of love we share with other people to ourselves.  When people we love are hurting, we care for them.  When we truly love people, we don’t berate them 24 hours per day.  We don’t keep repeating the things we don’t like about them as a mantra all day long.  We support them.  We cut them some slack.  We give them a break.

But how often do we fail to show ourselves even this simple kind of love?  How often do we berate ourselves internally, all day long, about the size of our thighs?  How often do we cut ourselves some slack?   When do you give yourself a break?  And why are we so terrified, that if people see the real us, unadorned, without control-top panty hose or self tanning lotion or hair extensions or a little bit of makeup, that they won’t like us any more?  Why does “natural day” seem like such a scary idea?  I’m not really entirely sure. But I hope to find out.  And of course, my dear readers, I’ll let you know.

Love, Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

Resolve to have Different Resolutions Next Year

Hi kids!  I know it’s a little early to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I mean at this point, I am just resolving to, please God, make it to the next year without dying or committing a homicide.  But I am bringing up New Year’s resolutions at this time for a few important reasons:

1.  I wish to forestall panic.  One problem about waiting until New Year’s day to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions is that the self-help marketing machine fires up in full force around midnight on December 25.  And this “self-help” marketing machine is fueled completely by post-holiday panic.  Your Yule dinner won’t even be digested before tons of advertising hits trying to convince you that you are a BAD PERSON for having eaten it in the first place, and that you should start to feel massive amounts of panic this very second!  I say forewarned is forearmed.  (Wow, forearmed is a really weird word when you see it written down.  Does it mean you are prepared with weaponry or simply that you have body parts between your elbows and your wrists?  But I digress…)  So I want you to think ahead of time about how you are going to cope with this marketing onslaught.  I don’t want you to be caught unprepared.

2.  You might want to plan a media diet.  By and large I don’t believe in diets.  But from time to time I do recommend a “media diet”.  I don’t usually consume a lot of television or magazines, but I am especially careful to avoid TV or glossy magazines any time between December 25 and January 31.  It seems that during this time, all any magazines and TV shows can talk about is your need to lose weight in the coming year.  I mean it’s ALL they can talk about.  It makes me crazy.  And internet ads can be equally crazy-making (although usually a little easier to ignore).  So for the month of January, I drastically cut down on my media consumption, and am careful to spit out any media that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

3.  Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me.  With apologies to the songs about St. Francis, I think that peace on earth begins within our hearts and between our own ears.  I think that a more peaceful world is an awesome plan for 2014.  But I think peace on earth becomes a lot easier when we feel peace in our own skins.  So, I’d like to suggest that we approach 2014 with a plan to take care of ourselves from a place of love not hurt and a place of peace without panic.  Which leads me to the fact that:

4.  I’ve got a cool project idea, and I’d like your help.  Last year, I posted a New Year’s resolutions video.  Here it is:

THIS year, I’d like to post a resolutions video with YOUR resolutions.  But in order to do this, I need your help.  I need you to send photos of yourself along with a resolution that I can put into this year’s video.  I’d like to post the video by January 1, so I’ll need a little lead time.  So I’m asking you to email your photo along with a very short answer (like 1 to 5 words) to fill in this blank:

“This year I resolve to _____________________________”

Send your photos and resolutions to projects@thefatchick.com.

Here’s to a 2014 filled with light, laughter and body love for all.

Love,  Jeanette DePatie, AKA The Fat Chick

Hater Plate

LicensePlateThe other day, I was waiting in the drive-thru for an iced tea to quench my thirst.  Delirious with the 100+ degree heat, I had to look twice when I saw the license plate on the car directly in front of me.  I even took a picture (see below).  I won’t give you the exact spelling or lettering on the plate, but I will tell you that the basic meaning of the letters on the plate was unmistakeably “You Are Ugly.”

plate copyI have to admit, this gave me pause.  I mean, clearly there was no reason for me to take this personally.  Everyone who gazed upon this license plate saw the same message.  Even supermodels would see the message that they are ugly.  This message was broadcast to men and women, and even children.  And I had to wonder–what kind of person orders a vanity plate that puts down everybody in the world who looks at it?

I’m sure the woman driving the car thought she was pretty cool and pretty funny behind her mirrored sunglasses.  I suppose it is possible that she was simply borrowing somebody else’s car, and was feeling humiliated.  But somehow, I don’t think that was the case here.  I imagine that she thought she was being ironic.  But I really wonder if it made her feel any better.  Did it make her feel superior?  Did it make her feel important?  Did it make her feel a little bit more pretty?

Or was she acting out of some sort of deep pain?

And I really started thinking about how many of us are sending and receiving messages like this every day?  Is putting everybody else in the world down the only way we feel able to lift ourselves up?  Are we so injured by the daily barrage of messages telling us that we are unworthy, that we feel the need to lash out at the world?  Have we been so indoctrinated by the world of haters that we feel like we need to become one of them simply to survive?

I don’t know.  I do know it put my right off my unsweetened iced-tea (xtra ice).  I felt more than a little sick to my stomach.  But in the end, I think we each have to make a choice.  We can continue the anger and dish back the hate.   Or, as Harry Belafonte put it, we can turn the world around.

So in response to the H8tr plate, I’d like to offer this:

happyplateYou and me and everyone we see, we’re ALL hot!  And speaking of hot, I’d like to remind you that the second annual Hot Flash Mob is just one week away in San Francisco.  Interested in joining the fun?  Of course you are!  So CLICK HERE!

In the meantime, don’t be a h8tr, be a “hot plater”.

Love,

TFC

 

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