Thursday, August 21, 2014

Profound Change

Today I was looking through the pictures I have loaded to my computer thus far in my fashion/body pos blogging journey, and this is what my screen looked like.

I started giggling with giddiness.  I don't think I have ever seen 36 pictures of myself in (mostly! - but that post is literally for another day) clothes that I love and a smile on my face.  Oh, I have a selfie here and there and some lovely engagement/wedding photos and nothing quite like this.  I have to say that the more I do this project, the more comfortable I have become with my body and aware of my feelings about my body. That might sound funny to those of you who read this and know about my body journey, and it's true!

For many years I have had an ambivalent relationship with my body. I have both loved and loathed it.  In public and among my peers in the Fat Activist/HAES movement I was full of pride and joyfully presented myself.  Strong, confident and outgoing - all words used to describe me.  Often times, I felt (and to be honest sometimes still) the exact opposite.  I was able to look at my peers bodies, both larger and smaller than mine, and find beauty, grace, strength, softness with genuine appreciation - yet often could not see the same things in myself.

It has been in the last year or two that this has really begun to shift.  I feel that as I age, I have begun to be a little more gentle with myself.  I have been able to fully appreciate that my body and soul have carried me through so much.  Recently, in my yoga class I have paid close attention during savasana as my teacher reminds us that we get to live this life once that we know of and that our bodies have carried us through to this moment and we should be grateful.  It feels like such a simple, yet profound statement every time she says it.

Today, when looking at this page of pictures I had that same feeling.  How simple yet profound it is to love myself.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

When I'm feeling shitty...

It's been a rough week.  Not just rough, but truly soul aching.  People in my life, both personally and professionally have been struggling and sometimes it is hard to bear witness to.  With the recent suicide of Robin Williams, the talk of depression and suicide have been on the forefront of social media, the news and many conversations this week.  I am so glad people are talking, sharing their feelings and creating space for dialog to happen.  Also, I am feeling super tender about it.  I feel like I have very few spaces where this conversation is not happening all the time.

There has also been the brutal murder of Mike Brown, a young black man, by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri.  By all accounts he was a good kid, getting ready to go to college like thousands of other kids this fall and arguably due to racism, is now dead.  Not only has his bright star been dimmed, but a whole community is suffering because of it.  I don't know how anyone can deny that we have a serious problem in this country that needs to be addressed now.  We are not post anything.  We are actively racists.  From our foreign policy, to how we treat children escaping violence in other countries and seeking refuge here, to educational policy, to stop and frisk laws, driving while black/brown and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Institutional racism is destroying our future and making the here and now nearly impossible for many people.

All this being said, in order to feel like I am showing up and being present with those who need my support, I have to feel good.  Part of me feeling good is dressing myself in a way that is physically comfortable and fashionably fulfilled.  Here are my ideas for comfort dressing this week...

 This is an old Lane Bryant dress that I got from a clothing swap 
and I threw on some LB leggings and Crocs for comfort. 
 This is a Torrid dress and belt, LB leggings and Old Navy cardi
 Comfy Avenue capris and shoes with an LB top.
Lastly a splash of color to brighten up my spirits.  
Top and jeans from LB.  Fancy shoes by Torrid

I am feeling a bit nervous about posting about my fashion, suicide and racism in one post and I think it accurately represents some of the complexity that exists in the world.  I cannot occupy one space or idea all the time.  I have to create a space where my brain, body and spirit can take a break. I know that this is a privilege and I truly believe everyone deserves it.  I want to support and encourage anyone who reads this to take care of themselves, in what ever way feels true to them.  Just as it is so important that we are taking care of each other, we need to be sure to take care of ourselves as well...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Make sure to take care...

I need to work on my self-care.  I am really good at talking game with others, however when it comes to ensuring my own well being, I am not always the best.  I stay up too late, haven't found a way to fit in exercise - beyond my weekly yoga class at Fat Yoga which is awesome - just not enough and I have an ever growing afternoon Diet Coke habit, just to name a few.  Needless to say I am working on it, it's just tough.

I am currently balancing between two jobs.  One is a fulltime, benefitted job in community mental health, where I get to do some really interesting work with people who are mainly in crisis.  My second job 12 hours a week is working with naturopathic medical school students, in a student mental health clinic.  I love this as it is less crisis oriented and gives me the opportunity to build therapeutic relationships.  I also get to provide supervision to student interns who are broadening their skill set while preparing for a future career in mental health.  It keeps me engaged with students, which I love (being one too!) and it keeps me engaged with the public administration side of my brain.

The thing is working 52 hours a week outside of the home, then trying to be a good parent and supportive partner is tough.  Like many people who have to balance lives similar to mine, it is easy to focus on what we aren't doing versus where we are being successful.  I know that most days, I good at my job as a clinician, parent and partner.  I know that when I take better care of myself, I am able to be more present in each of these roles.  I know I feel better and have a healthier mindset.  So today, I slept late, lazed around the house in my jammies until near noon.  Took a long hot shower before heading in for a wonderful pedicure.  Then I hit up Trader Joe's to make sure that I had the food necessary to nourish my body this week.  Lastly I grabbed dinner out.  It was a nice reprieve since it was so hot today.  All this to say, take care of yourself.  Do what you need to do to make sure you can show up in your life.  Your self-care is just as important as everything else you do for everyone else.  Remember, it doesn't have to be big and fancy, it just has to be something that nourishes you.  

 Shiny new toes post-pedi! 
I wasn't too sure about this outfit today.  I felt a little bleh, then as I was getting ready to leave, my partner said, "I like your outfit.  The shirt looks really good with your earrings," and it put a smile on my face. 
Shirt: Torrid, Tank: Lane Bryant, Shorts: Old Navy, Shoes: The Avenue  
My earrings were by a local artist that was selling at NAYA's Holiday Bizarre in 2010. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Super Moon - August 10th, 2014

The lovely view from our back deck...

 The one above is my favorite.  It looks like lace to me!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The look that started it all...

When I began my new attempt at fashion/photo taking journey it sprung from this cute picture.  I was reading a bunch of articles by Lesley Kinzel and she kept showing up in these cute little dresses with leggings and a shirt tied high.  I loved the look and again, was convinced that it would not work on my body type.

This is an ongoing narrative in so many peoples lives.  "I can't wear this, it's not right for my body."  "I can't cut my hair that short, my face is too fat."  "I can't show my arms because they jiggle."  All these are excuses that get in the way of living a full life, a life that we deserve.  I can't how many times I have allowed myself to miss out on an adventure, both big and small, out of fear of how my body may be perceived or fear that it/I won't be accepted.  I am tired of feeling that way.  I am tired of feeling like I don't deserve to feel good in what I am wearing, how I want to move my body and where I want to go in life.  So today,  I put on my dress, tie up my shirt and walk into the world, just the way I am...

I love this dress!  It's comfortable and can be dressed up or down.
Also, IT HAS POCKETS, which is perfect, if you ask me.
I added a strand of pearls to "dress it up" a bit and it was perfectly for work.
Dress: Torrid; Shirt: The Avenue; Leggings: Lane Bryant; Shoes: Crocs

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

Here is to many more years with my partner in life and one true love...

All photos by emily g photography

Let's try this...

I needed a change. So I decided to check out Pinterest to find new ideas for my wardrobe. I am a clothes horse and have lots of options, just no motivation. I had come to a place that my daily uniform consisted of figuring out new ways to wear yoga pants, tennis shoes and t-shirts in a way that looked "work appropriate."

For context, I work in an urgent walk-in clinic where no two days are ever the same. Some days we are slammed, meaning we are running between clients, trying to chart in a timely fashion and while ensuring that folks who are in crisis are getting their needs met. Other days I barely leave my office chair for 8 hours. I had found that the yoga uniform was comfortable for either situation, however I felt frumpy and felt overwhelmed by the task of finding comfort and style. Enter Pinterest.

I loved surfing through the pins looking for styles that matched my personality and fashion sense. I found combinations of textures and patterns that I would have never thought of myself. The one thing I found missing were bodies that looked like mine. All the women in this beautiful clothes were perfectly proportioned. They were classic size 16 with an hourglass figure. As I looked at all these outfits, I kept thinking how would that look on me? I am fat, almost 40 years old and no where near "all the right curves," so how was I to translate this fashion to me?

Then I got an idea. What if I just tried outfits and took a picture in it. This way, I could see how it looked on me. I started doing that for a couple days and I started to feel a change. I found myself wanting to try new outfits. I felt sexy, flirty, professional, dare I say, fashionable! I felt more brave in my choice and was enjoying the feedback I would get when something I put together looked particularly cute.

All this is how I got to this post. I decided I would start blogging what I was wearing and then pin it to Pinterest. Perhaps there are others out there, shaped like me that are just waiting to stumble across an outfit on a body that looks similar to theirs....

Sweater by The Avenue
Dress by Torrid. Leggings by Lane Bryant, Shoes by Crocs