Meaningful beauty

[Trigger warning: eating disorders]

One of my biggest challenges during my recovery hasn’t been physical. That part of the process was relatively easy. A week or so of moderate pain post-surgery but nothing too serious, and no real complications progressing my diet. SCORE. The worst part has been mental. My achalasia progressed quickly and severely and I lost around 120 pounds throughout the whole ordeal. Twenty of it was during the two months I waited for surgery. A small portion of the weight loss I can contribute to running but I’m unsure of the timeline. I started running and exhibiting early symptoms of achalasia at roughly the same time. By July, my exceptionally bony shoulders were prominent and by September, when I had surgery, my skin was paper-thin and bunched like fabric when I moved. I was severely dehydrated; it’s anguish, not being able to quench your thirst. You drink and drink and the water doesn’t stay down and you just want to not feel thirsty anymore. You can’t concentrate on anything except how badly you want to drink an entire ocean of water.

So that was my life for a few months. Now I’m better and I can eat and run and do pretty much anything I did before, except not have water at my side 24/7. But you see, my brain doesn’t have a logical way to handle the difference between restricting food because you are physically unable to eat and restricting food by choice. Because all I thought about when I couldn’t eat was FOOD and how I wanted to eat FOOD and also drink WATER, I became unhealthily obsessed with food. I worried about getting better because I worried about gaining weight. I became terrified of my body. I hated its inability but loved that if fed my disorder. It made the things I had been unable to do in the past – that is, starve myself to lose weight – possible without any of the trouble. All the benefits of bulimia with none of the judgment! It was fucked up. My psyche ran with it.

Enter today, four months post-surgery. I’ve gained 22 pounds. The saggy, thin skin and deathly pallor are gone. My face has filled out. I have energy, and I can run again. I estimated my weight before I went to the doctor on Friday and was off by quite a bit. I can’t buy clothes because I don’t know what size I am and I don’t know how much weight I’ll gain. Buying groceries is difficult; I forget that I can eat foods and I have a hard time deciding if food sounds good to eat. My stomach growls and I eat something easily available, or I get incredibly nauseated and eat and it serves the same purpose. Food and I are not relating well these days.

Which brings me to meaningful beauty. Flipping through channels this morning, I saw a commercial for a skincare line “by” Cindy Crawford called Meaningful Beauty. It’s a cleanser, a moisturizer, some beads of serum or something, and one of those battery-operated facial scrub brush. All of it returns you to “meaningful beauty” but they never once tell you what that is. I mean, we all KNOW what it is: youth. The illusion of youth. I’ve been given enough anti-aging samples and purchased enough anti-aging products to know what the “secret” ingredient is: shimmer. It might work on some women but on me, I just look really shiny. In the commercial, it made Cindy Crawford look really shiny and shimmery. Is that meaningful beauty? Can’t we just age?

I’m not sure how I’d define that, meaningful beauty. I’m inclined to say it’s your soul and all the little bits and pieces that make you a You. Objective beauty has so many shades and influences and suggestions ingrained in it. I find so many different aesthetics appealing, how can I possibly single out one as the most meaningful? Society is constructed in such a damning way for all genders.

In other not age-shaming news, BASEBALL IS COMING. February is right around the corner and that means pitcher and catcher report SOON. The Giants FanFest is a few weeks away; Sigot and I are going, as is tradition. It’s the best place to score cheap ass Giants gear; I’ve scored some great Brian Wilson gear the past few years for like, NO MONEY. This year, FanFest will be madness. It always is after a Series. And then spring training starts. Then the first game of spring training. Then the exhibition back in the Bay between Oakland and SF. Then opening day. Then opening day at AT&T Park!



Trigger warning: rape, rape culture


I just read something on Tumblr about Daniel Tosh that I wish I could erase from my consciousness. Like, seriously it made me so angry that I have indigestion. INDIGESTION. CAUSED BY DANIEL EFFING TOSH. This guy is, for a lack of a better word, a total piece of shit. You know, hahaha rape jokes are soooooooooooooooo funny, man. I still haven’t figured out WHY they’re funny, just that a lot of people (A LOT OF PEOPLE) find them SUPER HILARIOUS.

And you know what’s the absolute killer thing about Daniel Tosh’s unending rape joke schtick? Statistically, he knows women who have been raped. And to stand on stage and make money JOKING about it? Are you effing KIDDING ME? What could you possibly be accomplishing with that aside from adding to your piles of money and teaching other people that it is TOTALLY fine to mock and laugh at rape and rape victims? Someone said he was probably satirizing rape. Um. Satire only works if you’re good at using it, douchebag. And if that’s your idea of satire, lord help us all.

Seriously though, Daniel Tosh cannot fade into obscurity quickly enough. And sadly enough, I doubt that’s going to happen because too many people find abusive, mean, and wildly inappropriate and vile humor appealing. It’s a sad, disgusting commentary on our culture.

Five minute diatribe

So I’m really full of it this morning because it’s TOUR DATE DAY and I’ve had it UP TO HERE, ABOVE MY HEAD, with people being douchey misogynists when it comes to women who like or participate in sports. Shut the eff up. We are not all in it for the hots guys. We are not all lesbians. We know the rules. We love the rush of adrenaline you get when your team takes the field. We have just as much right to be here and enjoy the game as you do. We have every right to discuss sports, to participate in sports, and to cover sports as you do. We are not unqualified because we have vaginas. We are not here for you to sexualize, harass, abuse, or belittle. We are not going away and we are not backing down. So just shut up and keep your snide commentary about women to yourselves. We’re too busy scoring the game.

The invincible summer

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

-Albert Camus

This has been one of my favorite quotes for a long time. I discovered it for the first time about 12 years ago and I wanted nothing more than to find my invincible summer. I was pretty sure Camus had it right — there WAS one. I just needed to figure out a way to find it. And I think I have.

I decided at some point, somewhat subconsciously, that this would be a summer full of skirts because I was sick to death of dying in jeans because I was too scared to show off my chubby, pasty legs. I found a couple of skirts at the thrift store and that was pretty much all the encouragement I needed (that and a few 100+ degree days). So far, I’ve worn jeans thrice in the past two months (Giants game, Harry Potter, and one day when I was too lazy to shave my legs, which was dumb since I didn’t shave them the next day either and wore a skirt) and it has been AWESOME.

In case you’re sitting at your computer wondering why this is a big deal, I’ll tell you why: I’M FAT. I’m unabashedly fat and anyone who has anything to say about it can kiss my fat ass. Seriously. Kiss it. IT NEEDS LOVE TOO.

Okay, where was I? Right. Being out and fat and all of that. So anyway, I figure that I have just as much a right to be comfortable in this god forsaken heat as the next wilting flower, so I’m going to wear WHATEVER I WANT when I go out. That includes sleeveless dresses, tank tops, shorts, and skirts. And let me tell you, internets, IT IS AMAZING. Seriously. I look at the weather forecast. I think about sweating my ass off in uncomfortable, rigid denim and then I move to the next section of my closet and find a skirt to wear.

This has been a long time coming for me. I have hidden my body for years and years, afraid of what people would say or think if they saw my FAT all over the place. And then I reached a point where I was tired of being uncomfortable just so everyone ELSE could be happy. Eff that, you know? Life’s too short to sit around and worry about what other people think. It’s hot during the summer and I want to wear skirts. I love skirts. I love dresses, too, and I rocked one this afternoon at Target. It felt good, not worrying about how much I was sweating under the little shrug I usually pair with the dress (for work).

Beyond the obvious perks (boost in self-esteem, not being miserable outside), there’s a fun bonus for me: MORE FRECKLES. I hated my freckles when I was little and I wanted anyone who thought they were cute to drop dead immediately. HOW DARE YOU THINK MY BURDEN IS ADOR ABLE? But now I get it and I love them. I have discovered an entire crop of them on my legs and they are glorious.

Another perk is that I have a tan line now! One I achieved organically (which means I didn’t have to get burned first)! At the pool! See, that’s another thing. I have pool time now. When I was a little kid, you couldn’t get me out of the pool. Ask my mom about the time I insisted on swimming in a hotel swimming pool when it was like 50 degrees out and then I got horrendously sick. But when I got older, I skipped the pool because ugh, I’m too fat and noooooooooooooooo. While I’m not entirely in love with my swimmy suit right now (when you buy one so late in the season, you don’t have much choice), I don’t mind going out in it. I still have some swimming pool anxieties, but nothing bad has happened yet so my anxieties are unfounded.

Finding your invincible summer is not easy. I didn’t even realize this was mine until I was right in the middle of it, literally DURING SUMMER. I’m enjoying life more now than I think I ever have (childhood excluded) and I think a lot of it is because I’ve unlocked this achievement. Now if I could just achieve Gamer Babe from Half Moon Bay status, I think my life would be complete.

Rest your rump

Ah, a brand new blog. I have some plans for this. Well, if by ‘plans’ I mean ‘two ideas’, then yes! I have PLANS. I’m a little nervous about this little experiment because I plan on giving this to like, everyone. And by everyone, I mean my parents. That means I have to clean up my act a little and not swear so much in big font.

I hate sexism. As a woman, it’s on my radar all the time. I work in an industry dominated by men, at a company run by men, and live in a country that grants exceptions and privilege to white men. I’ve had my opinions, experiences, and knowledge undermined and invalidated by men who assure me that I cannot possibly be right about how women are treated, and really, I should just stop being so sensitive about everything.

Except, you know, I’m not sensitive enough about it. I let things slide all the time. I let guys I know say things that are borderline offensive or just completely offensive. I don’t like conflict and I don’t like to push buttons. But I’m also sick to death of being told my place. By individuals. By corporations. By everything.

I’ve had men treat me as incompetent because I am a woman. I’ve had men step in to take over without asking if I needed help first (and when I didn’t need it anyway). I’ve been lectured about being too independent (mostly by those in the church). I’ve been lectured about not respecting men enough (again by the church-types). I’ve been sworn at for not responding positively to a stranger’s attention. I’ve been catcalled more times than I can count, and believe me, man-readers, it’s not a compliment and it’s not good manners.

So basically, if a woman tells you that she has experienced sexism in one way or another, don’t tell her that she’s wrong and that it’s really THIS way that is TOTALLY not a form of sexism, gosh you crazy woman! Because you’ll be wrong and you’ll also be a jackass.

Sexism is real, it’s wrong, and it hurts everyone.

(Thank you for visiting! This blog post isn’t very good because I was being royally distracted by the Giants’ gloriously horrific playing and also by Buster Posey’s presence in the dugout SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS.)