Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Death Threats

*Trigger warning for discussion of heart attacks*

Last night, I had a dream.  I had a blood clot in my leg and I took some kind of medication, thinking it was something else, which caused the blood clot to move.  I woke in a panic, insisting to my husband that any second it would reach my heart and I would have a heart attack and die.

This is not the first time that I have had that dream.

Let me back up for a second.  I was never a squeamish child.  At the doctors I was always well-behaved.  Shots?  Bring 'em on!  I'd even watch them going in because I thought it was interesting.  (My brother on the other hand, was crying in the parking lot!)  Dissections in school?  Loved 'em!  Science class was always one of my favorites.  The only thing that scared me, and I mean really scared me, was discussing clogged arteries.

From the time I was a small child, I was taught that the fat I ate would end up in my arteries and kill me.  And that I needed to lose weight to stop this from happening.  Cheese was particularly demonized.  Since I was a little kid at the time and didn't really know how these things work, I would imagine the cheese actually in my arteries, coating the walls of my blood vessels.  (Even as I am writing this I have to stop and clutch my chest and take deep breaths.)

I now recognize these as the death threats that all fat people receive.  We are told that if we don't shape up, we are going to die and that's that.  I would routinely be threatened with "you're going to die of a heart attack by x age."  I think 30 was usually this magic age.  Guess I should get my affairs in order, only six more years!

I was also warned, within my family, about getting "fat around my heart."  I have never heard that expression from anyone outside my family.  What does that even mean?  It sounds kind of nice actually, like a cushion.  Protection from harm.  Also, even though I was only maybe 12 the first time I heard someone threatened with that, it seemed inherently sexist to me.  All women have fat around their heart because of breasts.  Why are manboobs the sign of an early death and womenboobs are, you know, all we're valued for?

For some reason, those particular threats have stayed with me.  Those images of clogged arteries I've seen remain burned in my mind.  I avoid hormonal birth control for fear of the "blot clot, stroke and heart attack" warnings.  I can't eat string cheese.  Ever.  And now, I have nightmares that my fate has been sealed.

When I was a kid, all the threats did was scare me.  I was afraid each slice of pizza would be my last.  I was afraid that if I helped shovel snow or ran around the block, that I would have that heart attack I had been promised.  Every gas pain was a sign I was going to die.  If someone used the expression "clogged areteries" I would have to leave the room.  All the threats did was prevent me from moving my body and enjoying my food.  And lately, all they are doing is making it so that I don't sleep through the night.  Why do people think these threats will help?  All they do is scare children into thinking they are going to die.  I can actually remember asking my health teacher how young the youngest person to ever have a heart attack was so I could figure out how much time I had left.

There is still so much healing left to do.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fat Fashion Friday 10- Party Clothes!

Dress- Forever 21+
Shoes- Ross (Born)
Necklace- Fashion Bug
Earrings- Icing by Claires

Kind of an awkward pose, no I did not have an amputation!  This dress was such a great find at Forever 21! It's hard to see in the pic but it has a beautiful lace insert over the middle of the chest.  It's a delightful, light fabric (which is great because it's been VERY hot around here.)  I like the straps because they are not sleeves, but they are wide enough to cover bra straps, in case I don't feel like dealing with strapless bras.  I also really dig the length, a little shorter than I'm used to.  Look at those fat knees!

The shoes were actually my birthday present from my husband.  I had seen, and tried them on in Ross a couple of months ago and fell in love with them!  They are the shoe holy grail to me:  Born sandals (which are super comfortable), teal and with a flower between the toes.  But I thought they were too expensive so I didn't buy them.  Mr. Sprat snuck out the next day and got them for me!  Isn't that sweet?

Anyway, I had a great birthday and I'm looking forward to some more celebrating over the weekend.  Have a great one!

~Mrs. Sprat

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Since my birthday is tomorrow and I'm in a whimsical mood, let's talk about cake!  After all, fatties love cake!

Summer birthday's have their ups and downs.  They are great because you often have off from school or work for them.  They are not so great because (at least when I was a kid) lots of my friends were away with their families or at camp, or later, looking at colleges when I wanted to have a party.  But they are great because you can do fun water-themed parties or go to amusement parks.

The thing I really didn't like about having a summer birthday was ice cream cake.

I don't care for ice cream cake.  I especially didn't like it as a kid because that was back when all they had was the vanilla-crunchies-chocolate variety.  (Now they make all those cool mint ones and all sorts of stuff I might be able to get behind.)  But every year, guess what I got?  An ice cream cake.  How hard is it to buy some damn Duncan Hines people?  Or just get a sheet cake from the supermarket.  They're cheaper than ice cream cakes, too.

But I digress.  Really, ice cream cake is the worst thing you can have in mid-July.  It's better in May or even in September or October.  In July, you have about thirty seconds to eat the cake.  "Oh my God, what's that giant brown tidal wave sweeping away all the children?"  "It's the ice cream cake, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!"

My favorite kind of cake is yellow with chocolate frosting and nonpareils, though really good vanilla frosting can be even better sometimes.  Or Funfetti, which I never had until adulthood.  I also love all things lemon, though lemon cake with lemon frosting can be a bit much, as I've learned.  I don't really like chocolate cake, I find it too rich.

Lately, I've been getting this cake from Acme that has (no not exploding birdseed!) strawberry filling in it, whipped cream on top and real strawberries and blueberries as a garnish.  I guess it's like a strawberry shortcake cake, if that makes sense.

The point is, everyone has different tastes in cake as in all food, and just because someone happens to have a summer birthday doesn't mean they want a BBQ and an ice cream cake.  What kinds of cake do y'all like?  Any suggestions for tomorrow?  I'll leave you with a picture of one of my latest ventures in cake, rainbow cake for Mr. Sprat's (winter) birthday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fat Fashion Friday 9

My first OOTD sans hair!

Tube Top- Old Navy
Bermuda Shorts- Old Navy
Cons- Marshall's
Hat- Dots
Necklace- Forever 21
Earrings- Amazon

I bought my first two tube tops ever this summer.  (I've had tube dresses before but for some reason I feel like that's different.)  This one from ON is nice because it has a band at the top and the bottom to make sure it stays in place.  Also, teal is my FAVORITE color so anything teal is okay by me.  The shorts I have been living in this summer, because they are really stretchy and comfortable and don't ride up like my short shorts do.  The hat I got at Dots, moments after I shaved my head and I think it totally works!

That's me, with all my rolls and none of my hair!  Have a great weekend!

~Mrs. Sprat

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Genetics is Not Child Abuse

I was blissfully away at the beach yesterday when the news broke about whether parents should lose custody of obese children.  Most of what needs to be said has already.

When I read things like this I can't even describe the anger I feel.  Personally, I feel scared because I am a young woman (24 in less than a week!) who is planning on having children in the next 3-4 years.  Honestly, I'm not sure I am willing to put up with this kind of stuff.  From children's lunch habits being monitored in school, to forcing them to eat school lunches so I can't give them what I want (or more importantly what they want) to threatening to take them away if they are not the "right" size.  I want to teach my kids to have a healthy relationship with food and a positive attitude towards moving their bodies, and it seems like the ENTIRE WORLD wants something else for me.  A part of me just wants to give up now and not have children at all.

Professionally, I feel that this is an incredible waste of resources.  The foster system in this country is incredibly crowded.  There are thousands of children being bumped from home to home for all kinds of legitimate reasons.  To take fat kids, who suffer enough in this crazy society to begin with, and put them in this system that so often fails is criminal.  Honestly, the parents who force their kids on diets should be the ones deemed child abusers, but nobody sees Michelle Obama's children being taken away from her do they?

Instead of all this finger-pointing, maybe we should focus on healthcare for everyone and education in this country that isn't fat-phobic and disordered-eating-inducing.  Maybe we should teach parents to teach their children to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full and eat what their body wants.  And maybe we should stop looking at physical characteristics as death sentences.  This obsession over fat children has to end, because the people who suffer the most, of course, are the children themselves.

Please check out Lesley at Two Whole Cakes and April at I AM in Shape. Round is a shape. for their takes on this nightmarish idea.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Body is My Body

It's time for the profound statement of the day.  Ready?  My body is... my body.  Simple, obvious and yet no one can seem to get it.

I have been very lucky so far on the hair front.  Almost everyone has loved it, without question.  On my real Facebook, where I am not "out" about FA to most people, tons of comments have come in supporting me.  Even at work at ON, no one has even batted an eye.  That's pretty amazing for retail. I'm there to sell a product, so I could see if they disapproved of my looking very different from their customer base.  But all my managers loved it and treated it as though it was the most normal thing ever.

That being said, I have gotten a couple of not so happy responses, from family members, isn't that always the way?  Fine.   It's a big change all at once, with no real warning (I mean I've always been saying I wanted to shave my head but I guess people thought I was joking.)  I could see where they wouldn't immediately tell me I look great.

But here's the thing that really gets me.  Right after the "so what did you do that for?" speech, came this question.  "What does your husband think about it?"

To which I've been answering that he's the one who encouraged me to do it when I started to second-guess myself AND he's the one who took all the pictures of me while I was in the chair.  But I really feel what I should have said is "it's my damn head!"

Now, I love my husband very much and I would never make a big decision without consulting him first.  But at the end of the day, it's my head.  He doesn't own my head, I am not his property.  It's such sexist bull to ask me what he thinks (in a certain way, some of my coworkers asked nicely.)  My husband who loves me and supports me no matter what is going leave me because we both have short hair and of course women cannot be attractive if they have short hair?  Will I stop loving my husband when he goes bald?  Or if he gets a "bad" haircut or decides to go for a ponytail?  Of course not.  But men are allowed to do those kinds of things.  A woman shaving her head means she doesn't love her husband.

I love my new hairdo.  It makes me happy.  And that makes my husband happy.  And, oh yeah, not that it matters, but I look pretty damn good like this so I think it actually turns Mr. Sprat on more.  And he doesn't have to worry about putting his arm around me and pulling my hair anymore.  But that's not the point.  It's my decision and if you don't like it, tell me you don't like it, don't allude to the fact that my head exists solely for my husband's pleasure by asking what he thinks.

I also love my fat, it makes me happy and it is a part of me.  And my husband married me with all that fat there already.  So step off my body, it's mine and mine alone and the people who really care about me, will love it, no matter what.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Acts of Definance; The One Where I Shaved My Head

I want to start this post by saying that I LOVE my hair.  I love the color, I love the texture, I love how recently it's been drying wavy instead of straight.  I have never dyed my hair (well once, I did dye it pink temporarily, but nothing permanent) nor shall I ever.  I don't even blow-dry it because, well 1) it's too much damn work and 2) it's bad for your hair and I LOVE MY HAIR.

That being said, I have always wanted to shave my head.  Over the years, I've had many reasons for wanting to. First of all, I'm just not a huge fan of hair, ever.  On anyone.  I like my men bald, and I've often thought that I would like to be bald too.  I've always wanted to do it for feminist reasons, to prove that my looks were not my only value, or that gender roles blow, etc.

I've also always wanted to do it because of something my grandfather said to me, one time when I got a haircut. It was pretty short for me (maybe chin length) and I was a bit nervous about showing it off to the rest of the family.  Grandpa told me it looked beautiful but that it didn't matter, I would look beautiful even if I was bald.  It was one of the nicest things anyone ever said to me, the exact kind of thing family members should say to their children and I really believe he felt that way too.  Sadly, I won't know because he passed away in 2007, but I've always wondered what I would look like.

Lately, I have been thinking about doing it for body acceptance reasons. I knew a few people in college who did it for Love Your Body day (which is in October).  I also was inspired by Fat Heffalump when she shaved her head earlier this year.  I'm attending the NAAFA conference in August and I began thinking about doing it for then.  And then yesterday, when the temperature gauge in the car read 101 when we first got in it, I decided I was going to do it right damn now!

Here's the before.  Notice all my beautiful golden locks, but my hot sweaty face.  

Here's what she hacked off of me.  It was long enough to donate, which I was super stoked about!

Here it is....

The after picture!

It's been less than 24 hours but I LOVE IT.  It feels really nice and I think I oddly look more feminine, not less, at least head-on.  The side view is a little harder to adjust to but I'm loving it so far.  Mr. Sprat has been great through all of it and I think he really likes it too.  Besides now he won't find my hair everywhere!  No more clogging up the bathtub!  

A big thank you to the whole FA community and Kath in particular for helping me finally do what I've talked about for years and years!  Ba-ba-da-ba!   I have no hair!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Food Friday

I used to think that I didn't like butter.  We always had the fake-est of fake spreads in my house growing up.  And they tasted okay.  And whenever I was exposed to real butter at restaurants, it was so hard to spread and, I thought, it didn't really taste that good anyway.

I was never a huge dieter, but there were always certain things that I didn't like and I would argue to people who would try to convince me to like them, that they just added extra calories I didn't need anyway.  The best example is my distaste for condiments (ketchup, mayo, mustard, salad dressing).  My mom would tell me to "learn salad dressing" and I would ask her why she was trying to get me to eat more calories, when in general she would try to get me to diet.

Though no one was ever trying to get me to like real butter, I think I probably told myself the same thing.  "The fake spread is good enough and it doesn't have all those calories!"  But as I started reading more Fat Acceptance literature, it became clear to me that I might just be a hypocrite for using Benecol.  So I decided to try spreadable butter with canola oil.

I can't believe I ever thought I Can't Believe It's Not Butter was good.  This butter is so creamy and salty and delicious, it's like I've never had a slice of buttered bread before.  I literally close my eyes when I eat some on a roll, it's so good.  I think I used the spreading issue as an excuse not to "waste anymore calories," and I always preferred real butter, I just told myself I didn't.  I told myself that it was good enough.

What about you guys?  What foods did you convince yourself you liked in the name of dieting?  What did you tell yourself, wasn't good, but good enough?  What foods have you discovered since?