I posted this before I finished it,
I am right now in bed cuddled up with my brand new Chromebook whom I have dubbed Bloop the Mighty, I am wrapped in my leopard print snuggy, I have coconut milk to drink.
This reclining while writing thing is pretty amazing.
My aching knees are not cold, my back doesn't hurt. I'm not saving every thirty seconds in a paranoid fashion.
I've even made my first writing submissions from wee Bloop.
This is all just amazing and wonderful.
Thank you again K. Thank you so so much.
Now can we talk about something?
If you are bothered by talk about periods I bid you farewell because we need to talk about my period.
Once upon a time I thought periods were no big deal. I sneered and made fun of people who lamented about them or whined about being bed ridden with cramps,
And then I turned 30.
Holy fucking shit.
Since I turned 30 my periods first just got wild. It was like playing Russian Roulette with my uterus. Clots, heavy bleeding, light spotting for a full seven days.
And then a couple of years ago the pain settled in.
My already cranky knees get swollen and sore. Or for some reason things like my hips or hands or feet hurt.
What the real actual fuck?
Also I'm regular. As in I've been using a period tracker app and even though about twice a year my period moves backward through the calender, I'm regular. 25 (um really body? TWENTY FIVE DAY CYCLE WTF R U DOING) day cycle, and then the roll of the dice.
If I bleed lightly everything hurts. I mean from the back of my neck to my toes, my scalp is tender my tits hurt. It's just not okay.
Or I bleed like it's a race and my uterus will win.
And the eating.
Goodness. My body demands fuel for the bleeds and wow. I am never so constantly hungry for EVERYTHING.
I used to just have cravings. You know I'd want fries, or meat, or nothing.
Now I WILL EAT EVERYTHING I SEE,
I often joke that my uterus has found the fountain of youth. When I was a teenager (I started a bit late) I thought I was supposed to have PERIODS. I mean that in an absolutely all caps holy shit way. I was pretty disappointed I didn't have that and then I thought well, all the hype is just hype and went skipping through the proverbial meadow as we all who have periods do.
As I get older it amazes me just how much bullshit I totally thought was legit this is how it is type stuff. All because it's what doctors and the tv said.
I can admit it. I was a total asshole about period related pain. When friends would say they were curled up in the fetal position in bed with a heating pad and drugs and in tears, I called bullshit.
And now this.
This leads me to believe that I was right to start questioning what I thought was medical gospel.
Going by what doctors have told me I should be any of these things for various reasons from being fat to being fat AND Black at the same time:
- Dead of diabetes (presumed to be unamanaged)
- Dead because I just continued to gain ALL THE WEIGHT,
- So full of fat I shouldn't be able to walk, talk or breathe.
When I lost so much weight in my 20s my doctors spent a lot of time alternately congratulating me and giving me dire warnings about regaining weight. As a teenager when I was doing high school activities like being a cheerleader (I know right? LOL) and being on the dance team, I complained then to a doctor about problems I was having with my knees.
I remember my knees swelling up, over time I lost a lot of flexibility and I was really scared.
Yes I was a little chubby and under that chubby along with that chubby I was athletic. I could dance. I wa a pretty good kicker, I was strong.
My doctor told me I was just fat.
Said with a straight face by someone who was awsare that I passed a lot of my fitness tests with flying colors except for things like coordination, I wasn't (ever) a good runner even at my fittest. But yes I was strong with a good layer of fat.
So I didn't get treated.
I wonder now if I had gotten adequate treatment then and wasn't made to feel like I had to start engaging in what would become a pathological amount of exercise, if my relationship with my body wouldn't have taken so long to get to a good place?
What if, what if.
I can also look back and see where things got me all fucked up,
I fully believed that despite my ability to do sit ups and push ups and pull ups and splits and high kicks blablabla, I was just fat and unfit because I wasn't a sports type athlete.
Also (this may not be right) I was frequently feeling like the fattest fatty fat fat because I was in fact built a lot differently than most of my friends. I was bigger than them. My perception of the inherent wrongness of my body (as most of us go through in adolescence) and the belief that if only I worked hard enough and did the right exercise I could change the shape of my body and eventually it would be acceptable and be a good body.
I also thought if I forced myself to run, eventually I would love it.
I never did. I still don't.
What if I had learned back then that I don't have to force myself to run because someone else has a different standard for bodies than I do?
What if I'd been able to even tell my Mother that I was afraid that there was something really wrong with my knees and ask her for help talking to the doctor?
What if my then nascent and still unformed belief that all bodies are good bodies and that fat isn't the devil had been supported?
When I did read my first book that talked about being "fat" (I put it in quotes because the author harped a lot on how awful being a size 12 was and how gross it was and later I found out she lost a shitload of weight and referred to her former self as being gross...you know how it is) I was so excited.
Granted I thought if I could be a size 12 too (even back then I was around a 12/14) then maybe I too could radically accept my body.
Here's my point my friends,
This shit is really fucking hard.
Never forget that it is a process and there is no Super Fatty Benchmark of Fat Awesomeness,
None of us who you might look to for advice or wisdom about these things sprung forth from the womb knowing and understanding these things.
Shit some days I STILL don't totally get it,
It takes a lot of work and frequently going through a lot of bullshit to get a handle on body politics.
But here's the awesome part.
Every piece of information you ever needed about bodies, fatness, the politics, the academics, the science, the personal positions, HAES, mindful eating, why Real Women Have Curves type activism is terrible, about how intersectionality works and how to navigate it, how to be a good ally, how to not be a racist dickbag, how to talk about gender in an inclusive way and so much more is right here.
Dudes, DOOODS so much of that information is freaking free.
You have the googles. You have the facebooks. You have the twitters.
Unlike me you won't have to rely on interlibrary book loans, requests for books that nobody has ever heard of, you don't have to buy books unless you want to. Babes, it is all here.
My personal credo is that yes knowledge is power.
You can never know too much about how to navigate intersectionality, you can never know too much about the interactions between parallel and intersecting privileges.
It's so exciting,
And frankly, you can do it. I do not want to hear that it's too academic or that it's too hard. If this were ten years ago I'd buy that but not now because there is a diverse range of voices out there. You just have to do some work.
Fat acceptance, feminism, etc etc whatever you are doing takes work. It takes work and the sure knowledge that you do not yet know all the things. That even if you haev the masters of all masters degrees in something, there are going to be parts of it that you cannot speak to or from because it's just not a part of your life.
Remember you don't have to speak from all angles, I used to try and do that and frankly it drove me nuts.
The flip side to that is that you must remember that just because something doesn't speak to your personal specific experience, no one is saying your experience is invalid. Nor is anyone ever saying your personal experience is more or less important than mine or another persons,
Experiences are often similar, often just the same and just as often completely different,
No one can create ALL their content tailored to you. That is a shitty position to be in so don't do it,
Right now my homies remember this.
I did not learn these things overnight. I didn't take classes, I don't have a degree, I am just a person who has had an interest in body politics and has talked about them for a very long time. I made the choice a long time ago, even before this little blog was born, before the Fatosphere was a thing, before I found Fatshionista, before I found the internet to learn this shit.
You can too if you want,
And I am very happy to be a part of your learning
Next week I want to talk about stuff that is difficult for me.i want to talk about figuring out some stuff with my health situation, how I am dealing with it and how I am self caring through it,
I love you my homies and haters.