Did You Know. . .

That today is http://www.giftoffat.com’s/ birthday! 

To celebrate, I will eat a cupcake and let someone take a photo of me smashing it in my face. 

I originally concieved of The Gift of Fat as a book.   A New York Times Bestselling book.

My book will explore a fat girl’s life.  (yeah — that’s never been done before. *snort*).

I have been fat all of my life.  A lot of people think that they are fat. In many cases, it’s more of a self-perception than a concrete reality. Not that the fat feelings are any less significant, it’s just that . . .well, it’s different. In my case, everyone else knew I was fat too. How. . . .validating.

My book will be original because I will explain how I came to realize — in my 30’s — that while being fat really really sucks, there are gifts associated with being fat.  No one ever talks about the gifts.

Gifts like devloping a quick sense of humor.  Developing a strong sense of justice.  A powerful work ethic and a thirst to prove that I can do anything a thin person can do.  Gifts like realizing that I stand out — and if I wasn’t fat, I would look just like everybody else.  Friendships.  Experiences.  Revelations.  Advocacy. The book will cover all of those things.

I started the blog to begin chapters of my book.  I thought I could just tie up all the blog posts in a shiny package and sell it to Penguin Books, who would publish it with great fanfare and retail it at $29.99 hardcover, $9.99 on Kindle. 

Turns out, the blog is not the book. 

Not that there won’t be a book.  There will be.  I think.  The blog serves different, but important purposes.

I am a sucker for being the center of attention, and I love to make people laugh.  Much of this blog has been trying to make you laugh, which guarantees me a spot in the center of attention for a few minutes.

The blog is also about my journey.  My journey into fitness. . .and my newfound passion for working out.  I never expected to love excercise.  In fact, did I just write that I love excercise?  WTF?

I don’t consider myself a “mommy-blogger”, but I am a mom. . . so I write about it.

I never expected the blog to be relational.  Who knew you could make friends with people you’ve never met?  Turns out — I have made cyber friends.  Nikki, Lex, Andi, Annabelle, plus my wonderful commenters (Hi Diane!).

Mostly, the blog helps me find my “voice”.  Writing the blog has been a great experience.  I plan to continue.

For at least another year.

The Stylish Blogger

I got another FUN award!

Mommy A from Being Veruca gave me this award:

You know I love getting awards.  I love it!  Look for Being Veruca on my blog roll!

I now have to tell you 7 things about myself. I blog pretty much everything, so you may know some of this already, but. . . .

1.  I have lived in Illinois twice, Texas twice, Colorado, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, California and Arizona.

2. I have never been outside of the country.  That’s embarrassing.  I like to think of myself as uber-cosmopolitan, but I am about as cosmopolitan as a screwdriver.  (Get it?  Get it? HAHAHHA)

3. If I write a post I think is funny, I read it over and over hoping for new commenters to tell me how hysterical I am.  Insecure much?

4. I gave up booze with no trouble.  Giving up diet pop and desserts seem to be completely beyond me.

5.  I think Tony Danza has aged really really well and if I hadn’t married Greg, I would seriously consider Tony.  Even though he’s kinda too old for me. 

6.  I was in the Junior League.   I got dishonorably discharged.  But not for something cool like telling all the snobby beeches to get a life.  Most of the women in the League are really, really cool.  (At least in Corpus Christi).  I got dishonorably discharged because I missed my meeting quota and was too lazy to make them up. 

7.  I cry every time I hear a patriotic song.  Proud to be an American makes me blubber like a tired toddler.

So there are my seven. Now I get to bestow upon 5 fellow bloggers this same honor.

1. Kathryn at Livin’ Life the Smart Way!  She my friend IRL, and my running buddy. 

2. Miss Sweet Tea at Sweet Tea Diaries.  She’s just ADORABLE!

3. Fuck My Table.    Do I really need to say anymore?

4. Nicki from The Loaded Handbag.  Smart, funny and takes incredible photos.  I have a major girl-crush on her.

5. Rae at Rae’s Randomness.  Rae is my cousin-in-law and an incredible person.  Love her!

Thank you Mommy A!

Another Gift of Fat – Snuggly Arms

Number 2 son woke up last night with a fever & sore throat. 

I am sure there are moms who dose the kid with Tylenol, give him a kiss on the forehead and go back to sleep.  It’s only a fever.  Fevers are good — they build the immune system and fight invaders.  In an otherwise healthy kid, they are nothing to worry about. But I am a worrier. 

After the Tylenol and the kiss, he says “Will you sleep with me Mama?”  Of course I will sleep with you, baby.

I don’t care that there isn’t room for me and that I won’t be able to fall asleep.  I will lay there, listening to his ragged breathing through his congested nose and worry that the fever is the first sign of Meningitis.    I will worry about whether his shots are up to date (they are) and wonder how contagious he is.  I will worry about his brothers and wonder if they are incubating fevers of their own. 

And he will reach over to me and slip his hot little hand under the sleeve of my nightgown so he can snuggle my arms.  The arms that keep me from going sleeveless.  After working out for six months, they are strong now, and the muscles are hard beneath the jiggly layer of fat.  But it’s the jiggly part that he needs to make him feel better when he’s sick. 

And for once, I am grateful for snuggly arms. 

Gift of Fat: Empathy

I feel bad when people are hurting. 

I think I have empathy because I know what it’s like to be teased.  To be judged. 

One of my friends killed himself last weekend.

I can’t imagine what he felt, how he struggled, what was going through his mind.  I have no idea.

I have no idea what his family feels right now.  All I know is that it’s pretty bad.

I know that whatever he was feeling that night, he was struggling to get away from it. His bible was with him, passages were highlighted that give some clue of what he was asking God.

In the end, the depression — or whatever it was — won.

Is it empathy to be annoyed with people for saying things like:

“All he had to do was reach out and we could have helped him”
“Why did he do it?”
“Nothing could be that bad.”
“He was a Christian, how could he?”

I know we all grieve differently.  I know we are all sad — and mad — that this happened to our friend. 

I just can’t help feeling that people are judging him.  And it makes me angry.  Is that empathy? 

KK, I hope you are OK now.

Liar, Liar. . .

George Washington, age 10, hat in hand: “Father, I cannot tell a lie. It was I who cut down the cherry tree.”

Me, age 10, eyes cast down, tongue poking my cheek out: “I don’t know who ate the last donut. I don’t! Really! I am not lying!”

And I haven’t gotten any better at it either.

Integrity is a Gift of Fat.

I wish I could say that my integrity comes naturally to me, that it has always been clear to me that Honesty Is The Best Policy, but unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way.

I suck at lying.

And that’s the truth!

A Lesson from the bible. . ..

I heard this at mass the other day:

1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 5:1-5

So cool, right?? These are the gifts of fat for sure!!

I think it’s gonna be on my dedication page.

Today’s Gift: Tenacity

For some reason, I hate to be told I can’t do something.

It’s childish, really.

But it has worked to my advantage.

My mom used to tell me “not to feel bad” if I tried something & failed. “Don’t feel bad if you don’t get picked for the team”, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t get asked to the dance”, “Don’t feel bad if you don’t win the election”. . . .When I tried & failed, she usually would say “You didn’t want to do that anyway”, or “He’ll never amount to anything anyway”, or “They are all stuck up.”

But when I tried & succeeded, she was always excited . . . . and surprised.

Because Mom thought that fat girls couldn’t do everything thin girls could do. She never said so, and I am sure she would deny it even now. My mom loves me. When I hurt, she hurt. It’s not that she didn’t believe in me, she was just trying to spare me pain & humiliation.

But for some reason, pain & humiliation never bothered me much. I guess I was used to it.

I knew I would never get anywhere by relying on my looks, my brains, or my connections. I’m attractive, but not beautiful; bright, but not brilliant; and I’m not exactly an A-lister.

But I’m funny. And I don’t give up.

One of my favorite quotes is something I found in a sales journal years ago:

Don’t Quit.
Is that what you want to do? Quit?
It takes no talent, it takes no guts.
It is exactly what your adversaries want you to do.
So get your facts straight.
Know what you are talking about.
And keep going.

I don’t know who wrote it, but I have never forgotten it.

My other favorite quote is from Theodore Roosevelt:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

So, I don’t quit.

When I was 16, I worked for Osco Drugs. It was supposed to be a great job. I made more than minimum wage, I was inside, didn’t have to mop floors or serve food. But I hated that job. The management was vile. There was one little man who made it his personal mission to belittle & insult the teenages who worked there.

I hated it so much, that I used to wish I’d get hit by a car on my way to work so I wouldn’t have to go in. (psycho, right?). For some reason, I felt I couldn’t quit until I worked there at least six months.

As soon as I hit six months, I quit and went to work at Showbiz Pizza Place. (It was a precursor to Chuck E. Cheese). I worked at Showbiz for about 3 years, making pizzas, mopping floors, dressing up like Billy Bob bear for the birthday parties.

It was WAY better than working at Osco.

This Gift Is. . . .

Humor.

That’s not necesarily the first gift of fat, but it is the first one I thought of.

I’m funny. I’m really funny. I’m not just a clown — although I can be. I am witty, sharp, silly and irreverant. I told a priest that the secret to a long and happy marriage is a well timed blowjob. (Well, it IS!)

Here’s how being fat MADE me funny.

There was a boy who lived down the street from me named Eddie W. He was mean. When we waited at the bus stop to be driven to Jefferson Junior High, he would sing his favorite polka: Roll out the Mary. He sang all the words:

“Roll out the Mary. . .Mary is Big and Fat. Roll out the Mary. . . Mary is really Fat. Roll out the Mary, Mary is really FAT. Now it’s time to roll out the Mary, because she’ll Roll on YOU!” (obviously Eddie W was not fat, because these words are not witty or particularly original).

As the target of these taunts, I had 2 choices:
1. Cry & say “Shut up!”
2. Accompany his song with my Air Tuba, singing “Oooom-pah, ooom-pah-pah, oooom-pah, ooom-pah-pah-pah”.

I chose option 2. And choosing option 2 made everyone laugh. Not AT me. WITH me. My favorite line in Funny Girl is when Ziegfield tells Fanny Brice that the audience was laughing at her, Fanny (Barbara Striesand) said: “Yes, but it’s MY joke.”

That’s just it. It’s MY joke.

If I really thought about it, I could come up with a million examples of where I turned teasing to my benefit. Hell, 35 years later, I’m starting to be grateful for the teasing. How else could I have sharpened my skills? Eddie W. was certainly not alone in teasing the fat girl. But I remember him.

One of the reasons I remember him is because he was killed when we were in our 30s. During my weekly call to my mom, she casually mentioned that he was in a car accident and had been killed.

Me: “Oh, what a shame”.
Mom: “Little Bastard, he had it coming to him. He was the one who used to sing ‘Roll out the Mary'”.

So Eddie. You couldn’t hurt me. But you hurt my mom. I have long since forgiven you. I am not so sure about Mom though.

Next time I’ll post about my Mom. I’ll tell you the advice she gave me that allows me to recognize the Gift of Fat.

Wierd name, right?

I have long planned to write a book entitled The Gift of Fat. It was going to be published in 2009. But I had a baby (which is my excuse for EVERYTHING) and didn’t get very far in my book.

Pretty much have the title.

It’s an awesome title, right? I mean no one thinks fat is a GIFT! Fat sux! Fat is ugly. Fat is awful.

But, as a lifelong fat girl, I can tell you that in many ways. . ..Fat is a gift.

Don’t believe me? Then read my blog tomorrow. I’ll tell you the first gift.