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[Pamela] Attitude is everything!

So I recently returned from a fun filled 4 days and 3 nights in the lovely sin city.  The weather was beautiful.  I enjoyed the sites.  But the people that is another story.  I went in to a few high class casinos and clubs where the seats were to small and the egos to big.  It surprised me because I consider myself a very well educated and classy person.  And all most of the people at these places were was rude.  You would have thought that I was the first SSBBW some of these people had ever seen.  Even the waiters, waitresses, and cocktails were rude.  I blew there attitude off for a bit knowing that I am a big spender and extremely good tipper, so at least I thought the staffs attitude would change.  I smiled at everyone that passed by our table.  In hopes they would see me as a person.  After a few disappointing hours at these places and the nasty attitudes, snickers, and looks, the friend I went to vegas with (who had lived there for a few years) said, lets go hang out where the locals hang out.  I agreed, and can I say, I am glad I did.  We went to this hole in the wall bar that was packed with nothing but locals.  And to my surprise what a welcome we got.  The bartenders were friendly and amazing, the locals were welcoming, and even got us up to sing some karaoke.  There was laughter and fun all around.  And when I looked back and remembered the faces and attitudes at those other places I realized one thing.  That I don't think any of those people were having any real fun.  When we can all realize that people are people.  That size, race, looks, nor social status make people who they are.  Their true colors and hearts do.  I try to walk into every situation with my head held high, a smile on my face, and a light in my eye, that will show people that I am a wonderful person.  And 9 times out of 10 that works.  But I guess sometimes you just have to let the shallow be shallow. I don't know that there is a point to this blog.  I am sure I will return to vegas again next year, and I will again try to change some ones opinion.  And I am also sure that I will be remember in a good way by the locals at the local bar.  So always be who you are and hold your head up high.  Because no matter what you are a person, no matter your size, race, looks, or social status!

[aundie] under the wire and other matters of balance.

Whew! Just making it for this month's blog. I nearly let being busy deprive me of the joy of writing for you all, and for myself. Ok, I can be a little kinder to myself. Since my last postm, I did have some major life events which took some attention and adjustment time. One such event was that I left my job to return to a former employer. I'm not much for going back to things in life, but the circumstances were such that I felt it was necessary. I'm struggling a bit with this. I'm sure that it was a good decision. I'm just not happy that things did not work out with my job.
I'm also not happy that I'm so good at what I do. I'm sure this sounds incredibly selfish and spoiled and juvenile because there are people who are hungy for a passion and a talent or even just a job. I'll try to explain.  I'm a special education teacher and I'm really, really good at teaching. But, it is hard. I have sacrificed a great deal of myself to teach. I believe that I was called to teach. I just want to be called to do something else. It doesn't look like that new calling is coming. I do think I am being called to do more than teach.
So, now the challenge is to allow myself to love teaching without giving it all my energy. I'm trying to find that balance. It is hard for me. I know that I am not alone in this. I know many of us struggle with balance. My biggest obstacle to balance is detachment. I have been too detached from my own feelings, needs, and wants for too long. I know that detachment was a big part of my getting to this size. I did not connect the food I was putting in my body with the weight I was gaining, the trouble I was having breathing, and the difficulty I had with movement.
I'm no longer detached. I know how certain foods make me feel. I know that I want to move. I know that it is hard for me to move, but I am going to do it anyway. I know that it hurts initially, but then feels so good for so long. Again, I think I sound spoiled when I discuss this because I know there are many with way worse health problems. I can walk and so I will. I can get down on the floor and do stretching and (modified) yoga with my students, so I will.
In this way, returning to my former employer is better for me. I was teaching higher functiioning secondary students, which was more exciting and fulfilling to me as a teacher. Working with younger, more disabled students is better for me as a woman. I have more time. I move more. It's better. I just miss the intellectual stimulation of teaching higher math and how to research and write reports. However, with more time for myself, I can be intellectually stimulated with adult reading and writing. I can be physically and spiritually stimulated in the pool at the gym. (Hey, by the way, hold me accountable to actually join the gym with the pool. Thanks).
I'm not ready, or interested, or motivated, or whatever adjective we want to put here, to go on a weight loss program. I just got to accepting myself as a beautiful large woman. My boyfriend really likes my body. I know that if I were sick, I would feel differently. I don't have diabetes or high blood pressure or heart trouble. If I did, there would be an urgency and I would do what needs to be done. I know this about myself.
I am, however, interested in feeling the best that I can feel. I do find that I am eating differently and moving more. I know that I am happy about the physical aspects of the new, old job. I can see that I am less detached. In fact, I don't think I'm detached from myself at all anymore. I was a bit detached and guarded with men when I first started dating this summer, but I'm a lot more connected there too.
So, I continue working on balance. I continue connecting with myself, mind, body and soul. I'm going to try to take care of myself in as many ways as I can. I doubt I will let a month go by without writing again.  I missed you. Let me here from you if you missed me.

[Sue] A Year Since I Came Out of Mental Health Closet

I can't believe it was a year ago that I came out of the mental health closet to my friends and family. 

 I wish I could say that the year got better after that. Perhaps it did for a while but since November I've been on another downward spiral. And again, I'm hiding it from everyone. It's just so much easier for me than to talk about it. I have never been one for talking about my feelings.

I know I should find someone to talk to but (yes there is that awful word):
  • I have no medical insurance and can't afford to pay for sessions with a specialist
  • the two specialists I've seen in the past really put me off of the whole idea because they were totally useless and a waste of time 
  • I keep telling myself that once I get my surgery things will get better
 I'm also doing the hermit thing again. I rarely leave my apartment. I don't mind being on my own. Well that's what I tell myself. I go out only if I have an appointment or to go to my Mums on Sundays. If I had my way it could be weeks before I left the apartment. The thing is that once I am out I enjoy myself...its just getting out the front door. 

Last year I said I was going to journal things and see if that helped. I didn't. I never know what to write. And again, I don't talk about my feelings, even to myself. Some days are worse than others. Today is a bad day. As I wrote those last two sentences it occured to me that I'm doing the 'negative thinking' thing again. Instead of saying "some days are worse" perhaps I should say "some days are better than others". Who am I kidding...no matter how you say it, it still means the same thing.

[Pamela] One seat or two? Who decides?

After reading the article posted on the SSBBW Facebook page,  I thought I would share my story.

 

One seat or two.  That is the question.  Who should decide whether or not we need 2 seats on an airplane. 

 

About a month ago I was traveling for work from Salt lake City, Utah, to Phoenix, Arizona.  This is a trip I have taken many times.  Every other week or so for about 2 years.  I was stopped at the Phoenix airport by the curb side check in attendant and ask a bunch of questions regarding my weight.  Now mind you the woman asking me these questions was no small woman.  Her 3rd question was "Do you fit comfortable in the aircraft seat."  Which my response was, "Do you, or does anyone?"  I then explained that if she was to check my flights for the last two years she would see that I had never been asked this question. That she did and I was allowed to bored the plane with no other incidents.

 

Now after boarding the plane I was feeling a little down.  I looked around and noticed that there were many men on the plane over 6ft in height and weighing 200 + lbs.  I was wondering if they were asked the same questions I was.  As it didn't look as though they looked very comfortable in there seats either.  But these men would not be considered fat.  Most were in fit shape but where just big men.  Thus making me wonder what the parameters for needing to have two seats should be.  Since the flight is a short one only about an hour and a half or so.  I let my thoughts go and returned home.

 

In preparation for my next flight I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to purchase 2 seats.  After speaking with my company they agreed.

 

So 2 weeks later I am at the Salt lake airport and precede to check-in.  Showing the flight attendant at the desk by my gate that though I am only one person I have acquired 2 seats.

After a 20 minute wait we begin to board the plane.

 

I am about the 20th person on the plane.  I site on row 14, the seat by the window.  (This airline does not have assigned seating.) Because after traveling so much you learn to figure out which seats have a little more room than others.  The plane begins to fill, and fill, and fill.  A larger gentleman sits in the isle seat of my row.  And  normally I would be relieved by this, because this would insure that no one will sit in the middle of us; as they would be squished.  But knowing that I had already purchased the seat next to me I had no worries.

 

Then it happened.  The flight attendant came over the loud speaker and announced that the flight had been over booked.  As usual. 

 

The flight attendant starts showing passengers where there is open seating.  And of course she goes to seat someone next to me.  I object.  I explain that I have purchased 2 seats and that no one will be sitting next to me.  The flight attendant explains to me that she does not care and that because the seat is open, someone will be sitting there.  I then explained that according to airline,  I am sitting in both seats.  Needless to say I do not win the argument and a very nice elderly woman ends up in the middle seat.  I do not mind that there is someone in that seat.  Though I know none of us were comfortable.

 

I get to the Phoenix airport where I get off the plane and head straight for the airline desk.  Because they are about to get an earful.  I am not trying to be angry or hostile.  I would just like a refund and maybe an extra flight credit for the ticket that went to waste.

 

I begin to explain the situation to a very thin, high maintenance, holier than thou, snobby woman.  She did not want to listen to a word I had to say.  Explaining that it is not her fault that I purchased two seats and only used one.  I called for her supervisor which lucky for me was a woman of normal size, who looked as though she was not anymore happy about her employees actions than I was.  I received a refund along with 2 round trip tickets to any destination the airline traveled as long as they were used within the year.  And the supervisor assured me that they would put a note on my frequent flyer info that would list that I do not need to ever again purchase a second seat.

 

I thought this was great.  My business trip went well and I returned to Phoenix airport 3 days later to return home, when I get stopped by the same woman who had grilled me the trip before.  My end of the conversation started of with, "Are you kidding me."  I show her my boarding pass, my ID, and ask her to please look in her system at the notes in the margin.  She does this and still insists on calling the manager.  It is the same manager that helped me before which was a great relief.  I got a smile and a wave and a thank you for flying are airline, see you next trip. 

 

So with all of this being said,  I do not mind buying an extra seat if the airlines policy is that I do so.  But make it clear what the guidelines are for needing to purchase the extra seat, to both me and the airline employees.  And don't ever fill that seat if You, the airline have overbooked the flight.  And if you do fill that seat,  the person who paid for that extra seat should get a refund and never have to purchase a second seat again.

 

We will see how my next business trip goes.

[Pamela] Introduction

This is my first post for SSBBW.  I am very happy to be writing this post and sharing the experiences that me and my children are having.  I thought I would start with a short introduction.  My name is Pamela.  I am a 37 year old single mother of 2 who is a SSBBW and proud to be it.  I work full time for an architecture firm and have been in the industry for 18 years now.  I do love my job.  One of the most trying things in my life is raising my two children and the things they have to hear and go through having an overweight mother.  Just today I was at the mall with my son.  We where there getting me some new glasses.  While waiting for my glasses we decided to have some lunch in the food court.  This made my son very happy.  We ate at Subway.  His choice and a healthy one at that.  Because I am always trying to make sure that my children make better eating choices as children than I did.  But there were a couple of teenagers in line behind us.  And of course they thought it would be fun to crack a few fat jokes that my son had to hear.  I am immune to these jokes having heard them for most of my life.  But my son who is only six asks why they are so mean.  He is such a wonderful boy who even thought he understands that I am a bigger woman I am still beautiful.  I just explain to him that these boys have nothing better to do.  And that as long as they are making fun of me someone else isn't getting their feelings hurt.  It is easy to explain these things to him.  It is harder for my 14 almost 15 year old daughter to explain to.  She too knows that I am beautiful even though I am large.  But she gets made fun of at school because of me.  You see my daughter is not overweight.  She is on the verge of starting to date.  And sometimes when the boys see here mother they are worried about what she may turn into.  This saddens me deep in my heart.  But I always remind her that beauty comes from within first and for most.  And though we are both beautiful on the outside we are extremely beautiful on the inside.  If others cannot see that, they are not worth the time to know. 

[Aundie] Cooking

I'm a fat girl who can cook. Ok, let's stop here. I use the term fat with ease. To me, it is a descriptor, like tall or short or thin. I'm not full of self loathing or self deprecation. It's just a word that describes my appearance, as does beautiful. I use it interchangeably with large, person of size, and obese. It's just a word, like smart and funny. If the word fat hurts you, then I can use a different term. Just let me know. I can't use euphemisms like "fluffy" or "plump", but I can pick a less emotional word if you need me to do that. So, just tell me.
Ok, back to cooking. So, I'm a fat girl who cooks - stereotype and cliche, right? Except it's not. It took me many years to come out of the closet and admit that I am a foodie. Turns out I'm not alone. So many of us are so busy denying that food is a part of our lives that we're cutting ourselves off from the very thing that could help us. I have very few female friends who cook. In fact, many of my friends in their 30's eat like neglected kids. They are the queens of the drive thru - a title I only recently relinquished, so no judgment here. I love good food. I eat really high quality, good food - most of the time. I am also an excellent cook. I love it. I love learning. I love experimenting. But, it is only recently that I embraced this part of me.
My kid suffered for it. We spent way too much time eating in the car. Some of that was the single parent, working hard to build a career thing. Some of it was that my kid only seemed to like food that came through a window. But, I think much of it came from my denying myself the joy of shopping and cooking and learning. I was obese, so therefore, I was to be punished. I did not feed my body what it needed. I was starving myself. The foods I was eating had super high calories and super low nutrition, the main stay of cheap restaurants. Interestingly enough, I began to lose weight when I started to eat more regularly. Weight loss or not, I feel so much better, emotionally and physically.
It's nice not to be at odds with my own body anymore. I have an incredible body. It gave birth to a healthy child. It has held and taught and nurtured many people's children. It has listened and held and reassured the parents of these children. It has worked long hours without sleep, without the proper food, and without being allowed to fully heal the few times it was sick. It did all this without proper appreciation. I cut it off from the joy and adoration which it deserved, which I deserved.
The two rooms I wanted to use the most were the kitchen and the bedroom. I used neither to their full advantage until recently. Trust that now I rock both. More on bedroom stuff when I know if anyone is reading and enjoying my blog. No, no, no, you don't get the good stuff without letting me know you are out there and that we're connected. I'm not that easy.  But, I will make you an incredible meal. Tonight, for the first time ever, I made a sweet and savory pancake to go with some butternut squash soup. The soup was canned, organic, but canned. I'll be learning how to make my own soups this winter. Anyway, I was so bold as to put both sweet paprika and a sugar/cinnamon combo spice into the same pancake. Until two years ago, I hated paprika. I didn't know there were so many different kinds. Let's get real, until last year, I thought you actually made pancakes by just adding water. I still use a starter mix, but the add more than water kind of starter mix. And, add I do. Tonight, I put in vanilla, sweet paprika, melted butter, sugar/cinnamon, and forbidden fruit marmalade. They were fantastic. They were the inspiration for tonight's blog.
There are a few ways I take care of myself now. I'm working on creating a daily spiritual practice which will include taking care of myself. Reading scripture, praying, wearing nice clothes and makeup, getting my hair done, sleeping well, writing, and cooking seem to be the most important to my core. I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing in each of these areas. If you have suggestions or recipes, I'm all ears - well, I guess all eyes, since we're writing to one another.
For now, I encourage you to get into the rooms that mean the most to you. This is what I'm telling myself these days. Aundie, do what fills you. Do what reminds you that you are a wonderful, passionate, sensual creation, who deserves to enjoy all of life. Do what brings about the best health.
The next challenge? Actually using the white truffle oil I bought and don't know in which dishes to use it - yet.

[Aundie] Be nice

Hello. I come to you tonight asking for help dealing with a bully. There's a woman who was recently so kind and supportive and is now saying vile, hideous things to me. I think the last thing she called me was a circus freak.  Can you imagine? I would never call someone else something so cruel. I doubt I would even think it of someone else. I think I understand what prompted this most recent attack, but still, no one should be treated so abusively.
I would avoid contact with her, but she lives with me; in fact, she lives within me. I am confessing to you, my new cyber family, that I have been awful to myself over the past few days. Where does this garbage and distorted image come from? Right now, I am more interested in learning how to make the attacks of self loathing stop than I am interested in its origins. I suspect that blogging will help me vanquish this lying bully for good. I strongly hope that by writing about my struggles, I provide some comfort and rest for you as you fight your own demons. It's not easy work; we are better off doing it together.
Please be nice to yourself. Trust that you are all the wonderful things you believe yourself to be on the clear, calm days. Believe that you are as enjoyable as you let yourself be on the super fun days. Know that you are as beautiful as you see yourself to be on the really great hair days. I'm going to try and do the same.
And on those days when I am bullying myself, I'm going to say, "Be nice". I'm only going to ask once, then I might resort to "Shut up, you bully". If that does not work, I'm going to report the bully to someone who is stronger than I am in the moment, someone whose voice I can hear and trust. I'm not taking this abuse anymore, and especially not from you, I mean me.
aundie

[Aundie] New at 50

It's the new year and I'm the new girl. Thought I would take a minute to say tell you just enough about me to have you wanting more. Actually, I want to get started before I chicken out.  I'm quite excited by and grateful for this opportunity.
In 2 weeks, I will be 50. I know, shocking right? I'm in love with being 50, absolutely in love with it. I started claiming it about 6 months into being 49.
I'm sure it is because 6 months into being 49 I started taking better care of myself socially. That's right, the old girl started dating after 21 years of not. Yes, reread it, not 12, but 21. I promise that I will write more about that in the future.
In June of 2012, I took my attention off my 20 year old son and put it on myself- new clothes, make up, cleavage. Started talking back to boys when they talked to me, which was a lot.
Once the social void that I allowed to create was filled, I was able to look at other ways of taking better care of myself. I'm cooking again, eventhough, it is for me and not a family. I'm good. I enjoy it. And, I can buy what I like. I like to eat well. Eating well is leading to feeling healthier, which is leading to weight loss. Now, I'm going to go on record here, that I hate when people an organizations preach size acceptance and then write about diets or worse, take before and after pictures. Of course, I would like to weigh less. I would like to move better and fit in more places (physically, not emotionally). But, you are not going to get diet tips from me. You won't get any tips or advice from me. I will share my experiences and what has worked and what has not in all aspects of my life.
When I am happy and focused on myself, I make better food choices. For one, I eat more regularly and more food. I have spent a lifetime trying to work out my relationship with food. The truth is that I don't want a relationship with anything that is not breathing, so that's people, pets, and plants - in that order. I don't want food to have more than its appropriate place in my thinking, whether it be what I am eating or not eating. So, I'm feeling better and freer to really think about how certain foods make me feel. That's all good stuff.
Ok, that's pretty deep for what I thought would be an introductory post. I hope you enjoy reading me, cause I so love to be enjoyed. I hope I share something helpful. I'm excited to be here. I hope this excites you too.

[Sue] Health Update

I met with the cardiologist and he's put me on some pills to help slow my heart down. The biggest news is that he said he "sees no reason why I can't have the surgery". Woohoo! First thing I did when I got home was contact the surgeons and tell them. Now I'm doing the waiting game again and waiting for them to come up with a surgery date for me.

At the end of January I go for a 24 hour heart halter as well and then see the cardiologist again end of February.

Saw the endocronologist as well. My TSH is now down to 6.94 (down from 50) which is good news. However it's still above the high range of normal (which is 5) so she has increased my dosage a little. I have to have another blood test end of January and again in April. Apparently I'll have this hypo-thyroidism for the rest of my life and will have to take pills and monitor my blood. Lovely.

And Christmas is over. I hate too much of stuff I shouldn't but it was Christmas and thoroughly enjoyable. I actually didn't gain any weight which is good news. I hope you all had a great Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/whatever. 

Wishing you health, happiness and wealth in 2013.

[Sue] Surgery Update

So, I had mentioned that I was having surgery November 2. I was going to get my hernia repaired and my hanging belly removed. 

I got up at 5am and was at the hospital by 6:30am. Was given some medication and put into a bed. Then was told that I needed another EKG because the one I had the week before at the pre-op showed some atrial fibrillation and they wanted to double check it. 

Because of the time they sent up to the operating area and said I'd get the test there. While waiting the surgeon drew his cutting lines all over my belly and explained the surgery again. Then the anesthesiologist came in and talked me. Then they did the EKG and it showed I was still in a-fib. The anesthesiologist said he was concerned because it was something new and something I wasn't being treated for. He decided to cancel the surgery.

They sent me back to the pre-op area and I sat around for 8+ hours waiting on consults from various cardiologists and endocrinologists. I had blood tests, another EKG and a chest X-ray. One of the blood tests showed my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to be at 50 when it should be 5 or lower (hence the. Endocrinologists). Until my heart issue is sorted out they won't reschedule the surgery. Have a prescription for a thyroid hormone and more doctors and tests. Right now no one knows how or why these issues popped up.

Needless to say I am devasted about not having the surgery. 

Yesterday I had an echo cardiogram and Thursday I have an appointment at the Heart Institute with a cardiologist. I am hoping to get more information then. I have a follow up in December with the endocrinologist as well.

As of now my heart is still in a-fib, which is a bit worrisome although the doctors so far don't seem that concerned.

About this blog....

Our vision with this magazine is to let you know that you are not alone. There are other SSBBWs around the world with the same issues, thoughts, worries and joys as you have.

- whether you have accepted your weight and love your body
- whether you are actively working to lose weight
- whether you want to get healthier and have more mobility but don't know where to start
- whether you are single or in a relationship
- whether you have children or not
- whether you work or are unemployed
- whether you are housebound or relatively mobile
- whether you are healthy or have medical issues

You Are Not Alone

Let's band together and share our stories, our triumphs and our pain.

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Recent Posts

  1. [Sue] Long time coming - update
    Monday, March 24, 2014
  2. {aundie} Ego
    Sunday, December 01, 2013
  3. {aundie} Anniversaries
    Monday, September 30, 2013
  4. (Stephanie) Fat sex and Body image
    Saturday, September 21, 2013
  5. (Stephanie) Self-encouragement
    Wednesday, September 18, 2013
  6. (Stephanie) Baggage
    Saturday, August 31, 2013
  7. (Stephanie) Emotional rollercoaster
    Tuesday, August 20, 2013
  8. (Stephanie) Finding Love long distance, Toss the list!
    Friday, August 09, 2013
  9. (Stephanie)I want a life
    Thursday, August 01, 2013
  10. {aundie} fitting in
    Saturday, July 27, 2013