Body Love and Dieting: They’re Not Mutually Exclusive

At the recommendation of a very dear friend, I have started reading “Things No One will tell Fat Girls” by Jes Baker aka “The Militant Baker”. If you’re not familiar with either of those names, here’s the SparkNotes version. “The Militant Baker” is a blog written by Jes Baker which is all about body love, body image, feminism, and fatshion. To be completely honest, I’ve never read her blog. Jes is, in short, one of the biggest voices in the body love world right now.

I’m currently twenty-seven pages in and I am struggling. I just finished reading a guest essay about diet culture and how it’s basically the root of all evil. The essay is called Living the Dream at 250 Pounds or “Why Diet Culture is Full of Shit and can Suck my Lady Dick” by Virgie Tovar of #LOSEHATENOTWEIGHT. Basically, the essay says that if you’re dieting, you can’t possibly love yourself. Which…what? I do agree that diet culture can be toxic when taken too far. When people cross the line between dieting/healthy living and pro-ana (anorexia) ideology. Eating disorders are incredibly serious and it’s very possible to cross that threshold from “dieting” to “disordered eating”, trust me…I’ve crossed it. But losing weight in and of itself, isn’t harmful. Wanting to get healthy so you no longer get winded from a flight of stairs isn’t harmful. Wanting to make sure you live a long life so you can see your nieces and nephews grow up isn’t harmful.

I’m currently eleven pounds shy of my highest known weight, actively following Weight Watchers and exercising, and I’m honestly the happiest I’ve ever been. When I look in the mirror, I don’t see something or someone I hate. I just see myself; a 25 year old woman who has a great job, a beautiful home, and an adorable but trouble making puppy. I see a woman who went on vacation this summer and wore several two-piece bathing suits and didn’t bother covering up. I have a boyfriend who treats me like a princess, and loves me exactly as I am, but also gives me his full support while I’m on this weight loss journey. A boyfriend who makes me feel beautiful even when I first wake up and have mascara in the corners of my eyes and ogre-like morning breath. Making healthy choices and going on daily walks, which I happen to love, doesn’t negate any of that. It adds to it. When I’m outside on a sunny day with my puppy’s leash in one hand and my boyfriend’s fingers tangled in the other, I feel incredible. I feel light, and happy, and truly blessed. When I make dinner and it’s mainly green beans and broccoli with a little bit of grilled chicken, I’m excited to eat because green beans and broccoli are fucking delicious.

I’m getting more and more heated as I write this. Because seriously…fuck anyone who tries to take my happiness away from me. Fuck anyone who says that because I’m following a certain diet I obviously hate myself. Fuck anyone who tries to tell me how I feel. This body of mine, this fat body with all its rolls and stretchmarks has gone through a lot with me. It’s gotten me through dance recitals and golf tournaments. It has taken me all around London, Paris, the Netherlands, Croatia…It has been broken, and bruised, and burned, and scratched but it’s still here. It’s still here to take me on walks, to be loved by my boyfriend, to be fed more green food than it has had in all its 25 years. I love this body. I love what we’ve been through, and I’m excited about where we’re going.

I don’t know if I’m going to even finish this book. As I wrote this little rant I realized I may not even need it. If it’s a guide to loving yourself, I think I managed to reach that point without it. If it’s anti-dieting propaganda, it’s two-hundred some pages of garbage. I’m done with things that try to dictate my feelings and my life. Fuck all of it. I love myself.

Things I’m Diggin’ Vol. 2

The-Guide-to-Dairy-Free-Coffee-Creamer-Silk-Almond-Creamer-pictured1. Silk Almond Creamer – Like many of you out there, I am completely incapable of functioning without a morning cup of coffee. Death before decaf and all that. I also HAVE to have some sort of creamer in it; I will not drink it black. Unless my best friend’s dad made the coffee…I don’t know what it is, but Papa T can brew a mean pot of the good good. Anyway, having a slight lactose intolerance and using a dairy creamer every single day was kind of like playing Russian roulette. Look, nobody ever said I was the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, okay? However, now that I’m trying this whole vegan thing, I’ve found Almond Creamer by Silk. It’s not as sweet as my other dairy-based stuff, but damn it’s delicious. I have tried both vanilla and hazelnut and I have not been disappointed. The only downside is that I’ve only been able to find it in small containers at my local grocery stores, so it gets a bit pricey having to buy more frequently.

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  1. “Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man – This. Mother. Flippin. Song is so catchy. It’s a more recent release that I first heard on Sirius XM channel 36 Alt Nation maybe a couple of months ago and I was hooked. Being a newer song and on a forthcoming album, they play it pretty frequently (as in, I can almost put money on being able to hear it in the morning on the way to work and in the afternoon on my way home) but I’m still not tired of it, and you can bet I crank that shit every time. It’s actually number 1 on Alt Nation’s “Alt 18 Countdown” right now. Give it a listen, get your groove on, and wait (not so) patiently for the release of Portugal. The Man’s eighth full length album, Woodstock, on June 16th.
  1. Smashbox Cosmetics “Be Legendary Liquid Metal” lip color – Two weekends ago I experienced a relationship rite of passage when I dragged my boyfriend into Ulta with me. Honestly, we’ve been together for going on 6 months now, he’s lucky it didn’t happen sooner. As with almost any other time I make a visit to The Promised Land, did I need anything? No. Did I buy things anyway? Don’t ask stupid questions. Once he got over his amazement of the amount of makeup, and the fact that I was testing colors on the back of my hand (poor boy has so much to learn) he ended up helping me pick out of couple of lipsticks. One of his picks was “Be Legendary Liquid Metal” lipstick in Petal Metal by Smashbox. It’s a super metallic rose gold color and boy howdy do I ever love it. I think my favorite part is that when I put it on in the car, my boyfriend kissed me and asked, “Okay but how does this color look on me??” I love that ridiculous boy.

Weedingouryourlife

  1. Deleting things that no longer bring joy – I’ve always been a big advocate of “weeding” out things and people in life. Some people think it’s kind of harsh to cut people out of your life, and depending on how you go about doing it, I suppose it could be. However, if people are no longer bringing positivity into your life I don’t see the point in keeping them around. Life is far too short to keep people who do nothing but drag you down front and center. This doesn’t just apply to people though! No longer enjoying Tumblr? Delete your account! I recently did this after having my account for 7 years and I feel so much better about life in general. I know that probably sounds dramatic, but I genuinely feel much lighter. You don’t really realize just how toxic Tumblr is until you just get rid of it all together. I’ve also deleted apps, cancelled subscriptions, and weeded out my closet. Some might call it “spring cleaning” (done late) but I call it cleansing.
  1. Flowy pants that are at least one size too big – Don’t get me wrong…I love a good skinny legged pant as much as the next person, but sometimes I don’t want to wiggle, jump, and fight my way into my pants at the ass crack of dawn. Sometimes, I want to let my ankles breathe and feel the swish of fabric against my skin. Cue flowy pants that are at least one size too big. I currently have three pairs that I absolutely love. They are the comfiest mother freakers I’ve ever been able to get away with wearing to work. Two of them are colored and patterned so I pair those with a tighter fitting solid color shirt (tucked in, so I don’t look like a complete blob) and some strappy sandals. The solid black ones get to be partnered up with pretty much any shirt I can randomly grab out of my closet (again, tucked in) and whatever shoes I see fit. It’s simple, but it’s cute and comfy and just professional looking enough that I don’t have to worry about “getting a talking to” at work.

Why The Plus Sized Fashion Industry Can Kiss My Plus Sized Ass

Earlier this week while browsing through some of my favorite Instagrams and waiting for my Forever 21 Plus package to arrive, I had an idea; Why not try to become a plus size model? I’m not entirely unfortunate looking and hey, I can rock the larger sizes when I put my mind to it. With gorgeous women like Ashley Graham out there preaching body positivity and acceptance I thought, now’s your chance, Jordan. The train is heading in the right direction. Hop on now! Sadly, after researching some modeling agencies that have plus size, oh excuse me…’curve’ models, I discovered that I’m actually “too fat” or maybe just “not the right type of fat” to be a plus size model. Which just seems ridiculous to me. How can someone who wears plus size clothing, every single day of her life, be “too fat” to wear that clothing and have her picture taken? The answer is the astounding lack of representation in the plus size fashion industry.

But first, let’s talk about the term ‘plus size’. What does it even mean? Well, Wikipedia defines it as, “a euphemistic term given to clothing proportioned specifically for people whose bodies are larger than the average person’s.” The fashion industry defines it as “a term for models who are size 8 and up”. Google defines it as “(of clothing or people) of a size larger than the normal range.” And last but not least, the most worrisome definition of them all comes from popular website Urban Dictionary. There, the top definition for ‘plus size’ is:

“A nicer way to refer to someone who is overweight, typically a female model. It is a term that tries to make being overweight seem like a GOOD thing when in fact it is not. The modeling industry has been criticized for starving its models so now some people feel the need to turn things around and make muffin tops the new trend. We come in all shapes and sizes but that doesn’t mean we need to embrace being unhealthy whether that means glorifying big thigh gaps and collar bones or saying a “real woman” needs to have something you can “grab onto” or that her belly needs to be able to serve as a natural pillow that you can rest your head on.”

I’m not even sure where to begin here. Using the words ‘average’ and ‘normal’ in definitions of plus size alludes to the fact that women who wear those sizes are wrong, different, other. And while it’s great that lately there has been this outcry of women telling you to ‘love the body you have’ and that ‘beauty has no size’, one quick look at the fashion industry tells you that it most certainly does.

The first modeling management company I looked into when I was doing my research proudly boasts that it is their “mission to let models be healthy and happy, while providing them with an opportunity to work as a model at their natural body shape and size.” You know the saying, ‘sounds too good to be true’? Upon further research into their company, I came across their blog which gives you helpful tips on ‘How to become a model!’ Right after saying that they “really try hard to create opportunities for models that are not the ideal measurements because we feel beauty comes in many shapes and sizes and should be represented.” They go on to state that they “accept model submissions for models who are a minimum of 5’7”-6’1”,” and that they “look for models who are sizes 8-18. To be more specific [they] look for a hip measurement between 39″- 47″.” So by their standards, I’m 1 inch too short and my hips are 3 inches too wide, even though I comfortably wear size 18. Interesting. For an agency that prides themselves on stuff like “beauty at any size” what they really mean is “beauty at any size as long as you’re THIS size”.

The average American woman wears a size 14. The average plus size model wears size 8-12. Where are the women who wear size 18? 20? What about 26? How are ‘plus size’ women supposed to feel when we see a size 8-12 woman advertising clothing for size 22 bodies? Are we supposed to be inspired? Are we supposed to assume that we’re going to look like that if we wear those clothes? Like, ‘oh, if I just buy these skinny jeans and that top then I’ll have that killer hourglass figure!’ Please. It’s no different than ‘straight size’ clothing advertising where they have size 0 models wearing clothes meant for ‘normal size’ women, which is apparently size…what? 6? Bullshit. Do I need to say again that the average American woman wears size 14?? One of the major issues the fashion industry has (and I fear will continue to have) is a failure to recognize that different body types exist! Not every plus size woman is going to have that ‘perfect’ hourglass shape, but that’s what the industry sees as being plus size. It’s what the industry deems an ‘acceptable’ type of fat. Meaning that women like myself, who lack that hourglass figure, are ‘unacceptably’ fat. Along with the despairingly obvious lack of different body types, there’s an embarrassing lack of different races. I don’t think I know of a single Asian plus size model. I can only think of about 4 black plus size models. But I know of about 30 different white plus size models with their long, straight hair, blue eyes, and perfect hourglass bod. Where are my beautiful women of color? Disabled women? Where are the women with flaws? Cellulite? Muffin tops? You know…women people can actually relate to.

It’s bad enough that although more plus size clothing stores are beginning to pop up here and there, for the most part a size 16 woman can walk into a store and not find a single thing in her size. Occasionally stores will have a ‘plus size section’ which is usually a tiny corner in the back of an enormous store that offers maybe 10 different ill-fitting options, but it’s usually at a higher price than the same thing in straight sizes. Fat tax? It’s totally a Thing.

The problem with the plus size fashion industry is that it still ostracizes the women for whom it’s supposedly intended. But here’s the thing. Us Unacceptably Fat™ women, flawed women, short women, are the ones who keep all of the shot callers in the fashion industry in business. We see the ads. We buy the clothing. Simple as that.

Cutting My Legs Shaving: The Only Guarantee in my Life

Nobody likes shaving. It’s a fact of life. I really don’t like shaving because no matter what I use or how quickly or slowly I use it, I cut my legs up. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m really not. Band-Aid should be cutting me a fucking check…that’s how bloodied up my poor stems get from shaving. So I went on a mission to find something, anything that would actually make my legs all nice and smooth, but without the cuts. Here’s what I discovered.

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Your Boobs Will Thank You

Alright ladies, it has been cited by fashion insiders several times over that about 80% of women go around wearing an incorrectly sized bra, and you know what? I say enough is enough. Ignorance is not an excuse, so let’s talk about this, shall we? As you may (or apparently may not) know, wearing ill fitting bras can have quite a few consequences, some of which are admittedly vain, but others are quite serious.

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What’s in my Bag

 

Happy Monday, everyone!

I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and do a “what’s in my bag” post. Partly because I like reading them and think they’re fun, but mostly because I’m bored at work.

IMG_8191So, above we have my bag. It’s Simply Vera – purchased at Kohl’s (much like 99% of the things I own). I think it’s the perfect size, and it has a large zippered mid-section that’s perfect for separating everything.

 

Currently in my bag, I have:

  • my Moleskin journal*
  • a pen*
  • Florence + the Machine tickets
  • elephant wallet*
  • empty Ray-Ban sunglasses case (actual glasses are on the table at home, oops)
  • anti-inflammatory for my crappy knees
  • white chocolate macadamia nut Cliff bar*
  • mirror*
  • Burt’s Bees lip balm in pink grapefruit*
  • Aveeno sunscreen*
  • emery board*
  • Skull Candy earbuds*
  • annoying work cellphone

 

* indicates things that can be found in my bag at any given moment

That’s it, folks! Kinda boring, I know, but I’m a pretty simple person. I guess I’ll end this with a question for you…

What’s in your bag? xX

My Skincare Routine

Good morning, everyone!

I’ve been blessed with pretty good skin, to be honest with you. I went 23 years with never washing my face or taking my makeup off before bed and never really had issues. But I recently realized that my skin isn’t going to stay like this forever, so I better start taking care of it before it’s too late. I have a little morning and night routine that I’ve been sticking too and I figured I’d share it with you guys in case you need some skinspiration!

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Do What Ya Gotta Do

This morning when my alarm went off at 4 am I realized that there was no way in hell I could get myself out of bed and not have a shitty day at work. So I decided to get a couple extra hours of sleep and work from home. I’m very fortunate to have a job that allows me to do that, and a chill boss who seems to like me. After 3 glorious extra hours of sleep, I naturally woke up and was ready to face the day. It got me thinking; you gotta do what ya gotta do.

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