Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Health help for a Super Fat Friend.


Homies we have important work to do today.

One of our new homies who is super fat wants some advice on relearning how to engage with their health outside of the OH SHIT FATASS U GONNA DIE thing.

Okay first thing I'm going to say to you my friend is be hydrated.

For at least ten years one of the few things I can do constantly and know immediately if I am not is drinking a lot of water.

If you aren't a huge water drinker start with one big glass and then drink two.

For me being hydrated even if I feel otherwise really shitty, helps a lot of things. My joints work better, my innards work better, my skin looks better, I am not as itchy as I can get. It helps overall.

Stretch. You don't have to go all full on yoga. But try doing a few little stretches (which you can do sitting down if you need to, search the youtubes) to loosen up. Sit up as straight as you can.

Now we get into what can be terrible territory.


Now let me remind you my friend you don't have to do shit. You do what makes you feel good.

For me the way I made friends with movement again was slowly and really fucking gently.

We all know I'm a big fan of doing a little dance. If I am upright chances are my ass is wiggling. It makes me happy. I express my happy like that. I do something great, victory dance. I manage to not spill my tea, victory dance. I get a tune in my head, my booty shakes.

That is what makes me feel good. I like doing a little bump n grind around the house. I bounce, I shake. It makes me happy.

For me thinking more in terms of what just makes me feel good- okay wait.

I really started thinking about this while watching dogs and babies.

It started with a neighbor boys pitbull Baby. I ran into them and Baby wagged her tail and hind end so hard she tipped over and then rolled on her back for a belly rub and she wriggled and made happy noises.

It tickled me.

And then babies.

Have you ever watched a baby have like a full body laugh/happy?

They wriggle, they flap and flail because they don't know how to control their arms yet.

And then I felt kind of jealous.

I wanted to remember how it feels to express my happy that way.

So I did.

And I do.

So I wiggle my ass. Sometimes while I am brushing my teeth I twerk a little bit. I hum and wiggle my butt. I can't twerk properly but I can do a thing with my thighs I like. Sometimes I do a little bellydance flavored shimmy.

it makes me happy.

I encourage you my friend to find some movement that makes you happy. Maybe you like walking in circles, maybe you like swinging your arms about, maybe you like sitting on the couch and kicking your feet.

The point here isn't necessarily fitness as an end goal but to show your body and your brain that movement doesn't have to make you feel like shit.

If you are too shy to get outside for dedicated exercise try this. Go to a farmer's market (this is presuming you don't have mega social anxiety) and stroll. Look at everything, ask folks questions about their super special tomatoes.

And remember. Even if you weren't fat someone would be looking at you and that is okay. It is also okay for that to make you nervous. The important thing is that you are dong your thing regardless of what anyone else is doing.

Wear comfy shoes. Wear an outfit that makes you feel good. Put your sunscreen on and do your thing.

Now those things are hard things to really take in.

There is a payoff my friend.

Once we start to figure out how to engage with our health on our own terms, things start to change.

For me that has meant I have to make peace with the size of my ass right now.

As much as I miss my fatter ass, that is not what's happening and I have to deal with it without letting myself sink into a big ole hate spiral.

It has meant that I have had to relearn a lot of stuff. I have had to relearn how to eat. I have to eat more in order to keep my weight stable and I have a hard time with that. I'm doing pretty well but it's really fucking hard and I get really frustrated.

I'm still struggling with not just giving in to my inside EXERCISE TIL YOU PUKE voice. I have to work really hard to make sure that I'm not being a total asshole to myself about exercise. My first instinct is often to push it until I break and my body doesn't like it.

So when my knees start to hurt I stop myself. I tell myself that while it's a great idea in theory to walk that extra mile, I just shouldn't do it.

I work at it.

Some days y'all, I fail. I am a total fucking asshole to myself and I want to dive head first into the self hate fueled diet and exercise thing. Sometimes it takes me a few days to pull myself out and remember that doesn't work.

I said it before and I will say it again.

Self hate and shame is not good for your health.

You cannot hate yourself into being healthy. That is a contradiction in terms.

What you can do is learn to care for your health and support your health in ways that don't stick to the hate yourself thin framework.

So my new friend let's start with just little things.

Be nicer to yourself in general.
Drink water.
Move around.

And let me also remind y'all that there is no magic bar of able bodiedness to engage with your health or movement.

If you can't shake you booty shake your toe. Blink, tap your fingers. Your body is great regardless of what you can do or how you need to do things differently.

Now I want everybody to give it a shot.

Try this stuff for two weeks. Or maybe a month.

You can do it. I believe in you.

In other news.


We're gettin ready to level up.

I am working on creating a simple graphic to put on stuff (cafepress stuff to start with) to be a little visual reminder about self care. I'm talking I want you to see it, and think Shannon said that shit about drinking some water so I'm gonna drink some water now.

I am also looking into moving blog services.

I'm probably going to install wordpress now that my hosting has made it simple. All I need to do is have some time and space to work it out. Most likely this here blog address will remain as an archive and we'll start fresh n tasty on wordpress.

AND thanks to more sales of the self care book, this here website has been paid for with my writing and that means everything to me.

Right now my goal is to sell the remaining 30 copies of the book I have listed (don't worry there will be more), get a new phone because my phone is aged and bordering useless and save the rest of my money for writer related business.

I also want to (when I relaunch here) make sure I keep the integrity of my space and make sure y'all still feel nice n welcome.

So that is the business.

And I turn it over to you guys. Do you have advice for our friend? Drop it in the comments like it's hot.

Homo Out.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stop Improperly Using my Work

Okay y'all.

Again this week (after numerous times of this happening) I am just...I am irritated.

Can someone explain to me how it is that my work here in my little blog over the years has been good enough to quote and be used for source material for textbooks, articles, other blogs but people can't be arsed to look to the right and see my goddamn name?

You know I realize that when everybody and their Mama was getting blog based book deals that I was not shooting for that.

I realize that I am not a Nice White Lady nor am I a generally recognizable name in FA circles but, how intellectually dishonest is it to use my hard work without bothering to learn my name?

Given that this has happened for years at this point and I'm sure I've only caught a small amount myself and the readers who have tipped me off haven't known what to do, I can only think of a few things.

Is it because I am a "lay" person? I don't have a doctorate. I'm not even traditionally educated. Is there some shame in using such a poor resource? A resource that is made with code switching and that makes it clear that there is to be no academic jargon gate keeping?

Is it because this little blog is not hugely popular. Is it because this is not Shapely Prose nor is it any of the other once mega popular fat blogs?

Or is it because it's easy to steal from a Black blogger with a relatively small following? Naturally someone as disconnected from academia and social justice book publishing must be too ignorant to catch people in the act.

I am getting shades of Seal Press and that epic fuckarow back in the day.

How the fuck is this still happening?

I realize that due to frequent racist spam bombs in my various inboxes I can be not the easiest to get a hold of.

But since google attached G+ to everything, you can read my goddamn name.

This level of complete disrespect for me, my work as a writer AND the activism I have done in this space is astonishing and yet I'm not that surprised.

How is it that for every quote from a well known White FA blogger I see, their full names are always used.

Even if they are known by their handles people use their names.

Why don't I get the same respect?

I get that it must make White people feel real good when they can say they read the blog of a Black woman, even better to look at their book or whatever and say HEY LOOK I LINKED A BLACK PERSON.

But, it's too much effort to use standard attribution for a Black blogger.

And not one person who has done this, NOT A SINGLE ONE in the past six years has really admitted to doing anything wrong really.

The one's I have spoken to offered luke warm "I'll try" apologizes that they might as well have not even fucking bothered.

This is why I am really at a point where I would like to sever official ties to FA.

I am tired of having a bunch of different google alerts and methods to find out who and where my work is displayed without my consent or knowledge.

I can't even get a fucking thank you.

This is why I so often talk about my long term readers as my ride or die people.

So many of you have dropped me notes when you've seen posts and articles that have basically regurgitated things I've said or co opted my particular vernacular without even a shade of thanks to me.

So many of you have raged along with me about this.

I don't even know what to do anymore.

Currently I have been spreading my little writer chicken wings and trying to expand my writerly universe. I have had some amazing authors, editors and other people supporting me and giving me opportunities I don't know how I would have ever gotten.

So while I am feeling so good about that, here I am with this little blog.

My little blog has been my favorite litterbox.

I love my ride or die readers.

I love that so many of you have really come on the ride with me. You've supported me. You've encouraged me when I've been down. You've helped me through some shit in ways I can't even really describe and this keeps happening and tainting it.

It's worse that so much of it comes from academia.

I just...y'all.

I am not just angry. Of course I"m angry. I pay for the hosting here, I learned t code to make this blog look the way I wanted it to look. I did research into an option for my visually impaired friends (at the top there is a sort of auto reader thing). I have wept, I have been harassed, I have had people roll through here JUST to steal my photos and threaten to dox me.

I'm also hurt.

It hurts me in a very specific kind of way.

Am I good enough but not really?

Or is it worse?

What is worse?

Deep down every time I see this happen all I can think about is this.

It must be because I'm Black and who gives a fuck what some random Black girl has to say? Right? It'll make someone else look good to quote me but it's not important enough (as in being anti racist or even being an ethical writer) to give me the right type of credit.

I don't even know what to do.

I don't know how to feel except hurt and dismayed.

There is of course going to be some plagiarism in life. I'm a writer I know that.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

How about either attribute me the way all the Nice WHite People you attribute, or just don't bother at all. Don't read my work, don't link to it, don't quote me, pretend like I don't fucking exist.


I can't any further.

Later this week (had been planned for today) we're going to get into some stuff about dealing with fatness outside of an FA context and I want to give y'all some tools to survive.

My regular homies, I love you.

Homo Out.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm Cute, Fat and Living.

Once upon a time there was a chubby Black girl who walks around feelin herself.

LOL no okay.

So earlier this week I was walkin around lalalala. I had a short but frustrating conversation with a woman who is my age, a little fatter than me. She said she sees me in the hood fairly often and she of course mentioned that she noticed I've lost weight.

After swearing that I don't have a sooper seekrit weight loss thing and briefly explaining that I am fairly ambivalent to slightly disappointed with having lost weight she launched into one of those things that makes me cringe.

She spoke at length (on the bus too) about how much more confident I seem. How I'm "not afraid to show my stuff".

I was so tired y'all, all I could do is face palm.

She not only ignored what I actually said about my weight she ignored the fact that the last time we saw each other it was fucking cold so I had on a lot of clothing.

Lately I look something like this:

 photo me1_zps9882761f.jpg

So it's warmish here in Washington and we know I hate wearing pants so most days I'm wearing a skirt, my fancy ass croc flats (no seriously they are the best fucking ballet flats ever) and my trusty velvet hoody.

Now I told her when she was done marveling at how I've kept my look and blablblabla that from size 4ish up through a size 22 or so (also I'll get to my actual weight in those years) I have dressed essentially the same.

The reason I'm walking around feeling myself is because I dyed my hair red recently and I look fucking cute as shit.

After it was clear that she wasn't trying to believe that I felt as good if not better about myself and my body when I was fatter I just shut down.

The point is my friends that even I whom y'all tend to think is pretty bullet proof sometimes just can't engage.

It's exhausting.

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how so many people just don't understand that a lot of fat people don't walk around consumed by their fatness.

Fat people have shit to do. Work, home, school, jobs, eyebrows, manicures, fancy cars, writing, reading books, walking dogs, chasing goats.

You know,life.

It breaks my heart that so many not fat people seem to think that life is a diet commercial. Fat lives aren't all fat people sitting next to windows gazing wistfully at the outside world, with a single tear rolling down their fat cheek because they can't do anything because they are fat. Fat people don't generally magically lose a shitload of weight and then find themselves spinning in charming circles in Paris or running around in fucking meadows.

That is just not necessarily how it is.

It reminds me of tampon and other vagina product commercials.

All of a sudden you do a thing to your pussy and you can drink wine with your girlfriends, run in a meadow AND GO IN A POOL.


Know for those who believe wholeheartedly that being fat or being really fucking fat precludes the ability to just live let me ask you this.

When you see those terror clips on tv that show fat people outside, when you see that they have no heads we can assume that they aren't actors right?

Now if fat people weren't outside doing things (going to work, at amusement parks, at cultural events etc) how would that footage happen?

If they are in fact all actors, how could they be outside you know acting if fat people can't do anything because they are fat and being fat takes over your entire life.

Fat people from wee tiny fats like myself to really fucking super fat people have shit to do.

Fat people of many sizes live lives.

Those who are in fact entirely consumed by their fatness, often if we examine that and talk to them we learn that it is not coming from within but from the outside.

If those people weren't abused into believing that their worth as a human and their ability to live a life is dependant on the size of their ass, they'd be living too. I stand by that shit firmly.

So if you are fat and don't think you can do stuff, you can do stuff.

You might need to do things differently if you are really really super mega fat but you can still do stuff.

Some stuff might be harder than other stuff and that is okay.

What's not okay is projecting a fat=symbolically dead narrative onto fat bodies or bodies that were once fat.

Stop doing that it is not okay.

I really wish that instead of assuming I look cute cause mya ss is smaller, assume I look cute as fuck because I have style and a kick ass dye job.

 photo redhairs_zps7e1807b0.jpg

Or just think I look cute.

Homo Out.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

About my freaking body.

Okay so as we know I lost some weight in the last couple of years and while my weight is stable right now (Thank you Gods of Chaos) I'm still not totally used to the changes nor am I happy with them.

An issue I'm kind of struggling with is that I have some crepey skin.

So it's not a lot but sometimes when I see myself naked in the mirror or I lay in a certain position or whatever I see it and kind of feel weird.

Being that I have a degree of thin privilege I'm doing pretty well in terms of finding clothing I like to wear except that my measurements are a little extreme right now so my aim when it comes to stuff fitting is a bit off.

But y'all....

I figured out I would rather be rounder and fatter with my skin full up than to feel like it is loose in places. This realization has kind of fucked me up.

Like I tried to explain to someone recently.

I felt more bodily self esteem when I was closer to an 18-20. For my height and proportions I felt pretty much perfect.

I had a little bit of booty meats, I could fill out a pair of pants the way I like and now I just...well shit.

Even though this weight change wasn't voluntary or on purpose I am trying to deal with it and stay somewhat positive but sometimes I'm just ugh.

WHERE the fuck did my ass go?

We all know I'm booty obsessed. I love booty. I love a big fat ass.

I had a little bit of a fat ass and now I don't and I'm mad.

I want my ass back.

I have to confess y'all.

I look at fatshion pics and stuff and I am tingly with a particular kind of jealousy. I want my ass back. I want to be solidly back in plus size clothes.

Do you know how sad I was that I had saved up money for a dress from Domino Dollhouse, crazy ass price to be damned and when I finally had saved up I can't fit into it anymore? LIke...fuck.

I honestly am struggling with it. Trying to shut out the narrative that I am supposed to be super happy about my smaller ass is way more stressful than I realized.

I have a handle on dealing with what bit of thin privilege I have. I'm totally comfortable owning it and if y'all like we can talk about it.

I have made peace with the fact that bodies change and sometimes it sucks but we can deal.

What I cannot abide right now is getting used to how my body looks.

This is not my aesthetically preferred weight. If life were fair and perfect I'd be a bigger 16/18 and feel like everything was right with the world.

Alas, I am not.

Objectively I'm barely fat. The way I'm built means I look smaller than I am which I am also struggling with, as evidenced by my lack of full length photos lately.

On one hand I've been dressing super cute lately and I want to share some new thrifting ways/things to demonstrate my theory of ignoring size labels and wearing ALL THE STRETCH but at the same time I don't want to alienate my fatter readers with my not so fat anymore body.

And before anybody says NO NOT ME, it's nobody individually it's more of a general vibe I've gotten in FA for a long time. Now I just am feeling it kind of more keenly since visually I'm sure 90% of you would look at me and tell me to fuck off cause I'm not that fat at this time.

So yeah.

I'm angsting a bit about it because I for real want to share but I don't want to drive folks off.

I'm going to think about it.

Meanwhile, I am going to try really hard not to feel so weird about how my body looks. I'm healthy for me, granted I've gotten sick more since I lost weight and I don't like that but I have been working very hard on intuitive eating and I'm doing...er no I am feeling like I am doing better at feeding myself appropriately.

I'm trying to listen to my body and not fight it. If it wants to do a thing, we're gonna do the thing because I do not have the spoons nor magic to fight it and work and everything.

What else?

In keeping with my struggle to really accept how my body is right this instant I want to blog more about fatshion and ways to get around some of the sizing problems death fat folks and smaller folks like myself might be having.

I want to revisit my thrifting methods.

I want to bring y'all along as I am heading for 40 and really putting all of this FA/body politics shit into heavy practice. I want to explore how bringing these things into my late 30s has made aging so much better.

Not that I wasn't before but right now I feel like it is absolutely imperative that I go hard for it. This is survival,

So there we are.

AND here we are back to our regularly scheduled programming.

ALSO Beatfreak you are mentioned in the new self care book. Just an FYI. Because I adore you.

Okay that's all for right now homies. LOTS of things are gong on right now.

If you'd like to read some of my non fiction you can read my article here Dear White Ladies at Luna Luna Magazine.

Homo Out.

Monday, June 02, 2014

New Rule

After spotting my work quoted, used as a resource etc without proper attribution new rule.

(Once I roll over to word press this will be a perm page.)

If you are going to use my work as a source for academic work, books, or whatever especially if you are making money off of said thing source me properly.

My full name is everywhere.

My name is Shannon Barber.

I am an author. I work hard to provide good quality content both here and my other blogs and in my other work.

Have enough respect for me as a creator to use my full fucking name.

Kick in a few bucks.

Don't act like I am an anonymous blogger because I'm not.

It is not that hard to find out my name.

I found my work used as a reference (again) over the weekend and frankly while I am glad that my work is good enough/salient enough to be used as source material it is really not okay to do so without even bothering to use my full name.

More so when I can see that the other bloggers referenced (all White) were named fully.

More so when nobody asked me if I minded.

More so when I know that this has happened at least ten other times I can think of and the only reason I know is because I know how to use googles effectively.

I am not so into solidarity that I will say oh yeah go ahead.


If you can't be bothered to treat my work with the respect you give others don't fucking bother.

That's all for right now.

Don't forget you can get my new Self Care book right over here for only FIVE DOLLARS.

I will be back to regular posting here soon.

Also I will be moving to wordpress in the near future but this link will remain as an archive.

Homo Out.

Subscribe To My Podcast