Saturday, 28 August 2010

Did you know that French women don't get fat?

While I was on vacation, I read French Women Don't Get Fat. You read that right. I read a diet book. On vacation. On purpose. I find diet books to interesting and (often times) amusing, so yes, I occasionally read them for fun. (Actually, I read a lot of things while I was on vacation. Reading is fun.) And, I found that the book is actually full of some pretty good advice. The thrust of the book seemed to be, "slow down, be choosy, make time for yourself, and enjoy what you have." And, I think my life could use a little more of that. I think most people could probably use a little more of that.

I've been thinking about my life and about how stressful being a graduate student can be. I have school work, research, lab hours, and teaching responsibilities that I have to balance with the business of being a grown up, which luckily for me just means making sure that my cats and I eat, sleep and exercise and that the bills are paid on time. And, when push comes to shove the parts of my life that get dumped first when I'm busy are my eating, my sleeping and my exercising. But, I have thought about this a lot, over the last eight months or so and I have come to the conclusion that taking time away from the eating, sleeping and exercising doesn't help me get any of the other stuff any easier. In fact, it makes everything just a little bit worse, likely because I'm not getting the vitamins/nutrients/calories I need and I don't have a place to appropriately blow off steam.

So, before I even picked up the book, I was already on the look out for little changes that I could make that would just get more movement into my life. I have decided that starting on Monday, I am challenging myself to 30 days of 20 minutes of yoga in the morning and to 30 days of a stroll after dinner. I'm a little nervous that I won't be able to keep it up but I think these are necessary changes that need to be made so I'm going to make it happen.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Owning it

So, as the seven readers of this blog already now, I'm back in the land where I'm from visiting my family for a spell. Visiting is always complicated, maybe others disagree, when you're visiting someplace you had lived for quite a long time. There are lots of people and places you want to fit in and not a lot of time and schedules have to be taken into account and it is a delicate balancing act (which makes visiting not always the best form a vacation can taken since you end up getting up early and running around and much driving. I digress.)

Anyway, on this little trip home I had the opportunity over the weekend to go shopping with my Mother and my sister, which is always a good time. We tried stuff on and laughed and found some really nice pieces on sale (My Mom and I ended up picking out and then buying the same endless scarf, but in different colors). We were in a store that we've all been to together before, but probably not in at least a year and I turned to my Mother and I said, "Where are the fat girl clothes?" And, she was surprised by the question. I think she responded with, "The plus sizes are that way." and then she said something like, "I didn't want to use that word."

I love my Mom, she's great. And, she's also struggled with weight and body image so I know that she's sensitive to these issues and she'd never want to do anything to hurt my feelings. I appreciate that. It is nice knowing that people do take your feelings into consideration. But, I'm at this point in my life where I just want to own it. I want to use words to mean what they mean and not pussyfoot around the pragmatics of things. I'm a fat girl. And, you know, I don't feel bad about it. I'm also a smart girl and a funny girl and (shock) a healthy girl who eats a lot of vegetables and a not-to-be-trifled with girl and making an effort to save people's feelings and avoid the word 'fat' for so long as made a big deal out of being fat. And, while my size might be one of the most obvious things about me visually, it is actually one of the least important things about me in total. I feel like there should be more of the bigger picture taken into consideration.