Music Monday And The Size Of My Ass… Or Your Ass

Kinda catchy, yeah? The title of this post, I mean. So, let’s get down and dirty…

My ass is a size 22. A size 24 sometimes, depending on, oh let’s see… my stress level, my hormones, my state of happy or sad, my depression, my job (how many hours I’ve sat in a chair and for how many days), my diet, and my genetic pool. Some of these things stay level (genetic pool) and some (all the rest) of them fluctuate by the hour. And they all affect the size of my ass.

All this size crap? Sucks. That little chart in the Dr’s office? That sucks, too. A doctor telling you that you need to eat better, quit smoking, stop drinking, etc…? That really sucks when you find them eating junk, smoking like a chimney, and drinking more every night than you have in your entire life. Do as I say and all that shit.

And right now, I’m eating a piece of cheesecake. And I LIKE IT! It’s so good and rich and it’s all mine. I will not share it with you. Okay, maybe I would, but only if you promised not to feel guilty about eating it…

On the heels of the announcement of the size 16 model on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in which we are celebrating body diversity, I learn that my daughter is being asked to write a ‘practice’ paper on obesity in children, teens, and adults. This isn’t something earth shattering, because as a society, we have been focusing on obesity for a long time. We charge out the ass for a bottle of water, but give away chemicals (soda) for next to nothing. We charge out the ass for a bag of salad, or a pint of blackberries, but give away a sugar laden candy bar for next to nothing. We talk about getting out and exercising, but we work all the time and don’t lead the example. We have become the rule, not the exception. But I can’t throw stones because honest to God, I hate exercise. I do. I hate sweating. I hate the treadmill. I refuse to join a gym. I refuse to take an aerobics or spin class. I tried several times. I hate it. (I do like yoga, though.)

Over the last year, my daughter has gone from a size 1 and an extra small, to a size I don’t know because she won’t tell me and a medium. She looks beautiful. She looks healthy now as opposed to the gaunt, sunken, unhappy young woman I had previously known. But she looks at the stretch marks and hates how she looks. She’s seeing ONE part of her and hating it and it colors how she sees the rest of herself. And society needs to fucking stop that shit.

You, me, my daughter, anyone, everyone is NOT their skin, are NOT their scars, are NOT the size of their ass. But we make it, we make ALL OF IT about the physical. We don’t give a damn about the kind of asshole person they are, because as long as they look right, it’s all okay, who they are inside doesn’t matter.

When I see my daughter hating something about herself that she has no control over, and no she has no control over the stretch marks that appeared when she was confined to a couch for 4-6 weeks after she broke her ankle last year… Shit fucking happens. I gained weight too when I crushed my ankle right after my son was born. It never healed right because you know, newborn and couldn’t stay off my feet for the weeks I was told to stay off my feet, and I’m in pain with it all the time.

I was told one time by someone very dear that some guys were/are into bigger women and love bigger women and well, he just wasn’t one of those guys… That’s one of those heartbreaking moments in life. That’s one of those life altering moments in life depending on who says those words. And just like everything else in life, it’s how you deal with those words that matters. And I can tell you I didn’t handle those words very well. They broke my heart and sent me down into a deep, dark hole that I’ve only started climbing out of in the last 3 years.

I’ve hated myself and my body for YEARS. For more than 20 years I’ve hated myself and my body. From words my husband and my doctors and my family and my friends and society has spoken to me I’ve hated, HATED myself and my body for over 20 years.

And not hating myself hasn’t come from diets, though I’ve tried them and lost weight. It hasn’t come from exercise, though I’ve tried that, too, and gained weight. It hasn’t come from my spouse, my doctors, my family, my friends, and most definitely not society, because yeah… It’s had to come from me, from INSIDE me.

Do you get that? INSIDE! Not outside. No, cause the outside is cruel and mean and completely heartless at times. But it has had to come from INSIDE.

Many are not that strong. I haven’t been. Not until recently. And no one ever really takes into account that happiness can cause one’s ass to spread too, but it can also cause it so get smaller.

Something I’ve learned is that we have to own our shit. I told my daughter that today. No matter what it is, we have to own it. Own that you ate an entire chocolate cake and loved it. Own that you’re addicted to coffee. Own that you suck at marketing (I know I do and that’s another post altogether.). Own that you hate all the popular stuff. Own your kinks and perversions. Own that you are unhappy or hurting. Own that you’re happy and not hurting. Own your shit. Whatever your shit is, own it, embrace it as yours, accept it as yours. Only then can you begin dealing with it. Only then will the stretch marks become part of you, and not a part that you hate that in turn makes you hate other parts until you’re hating everything you are.

I saw a post on Tumblr recently where a woman added text to an image of herself and it said she was glorifying obesity. She was poking fun at the comments people made about obesity. And some of the comments were just fucking mean. But there were the absurd ones too. One of them from a man was that he bet she cried herself to sleep at night because of her size and that she should think of all the things she couldn’t do that an average weight woman could and that probably made her sad. The woman in the pictures was anything but sad. And as I’m reading these comments and looking at the woman and reading more of the comments from men and women all I could think was, Fuck You.

Society has declared it okay for you to wish my ass were smaller because of how uncomfortable it makes everyone around me. But it hasn’t declared it okay for me to shout Fuck You because of how much of an asshole you are that you can’t see more than that. I don’t have to tell you my ass is big. You see it. But you definitely feel the need to point it out.

We teach girls to hate themselves. We teach the beautiful people that it’s okay to be bitches and assholes because they have what we obese people really want and that’s to look like them, all pretty and perfect on the outside. We teach boys that it’s okay to look at woman and tell her that he bets she cries herself to sleep at night because she can’t do the things a skinny woman can do.

We’re all as different on the outside as we are on the inside. We’re all beautiful and we’re all ugly. We all throw stones. We all break the glass houses that we live in. We all hate ourselves and there are a few of us who love ourselves more.

But we need and much as I hate that word need, we NEED to stop wishing to be different and own our shit. Own the shit storms and the stretch marks and the fact that we have to buy a size bigger. Own that we are mean and cruel and a reflection. Own that we can love and smile and accept and embrace. That’s the only way we are ever going to move forward.

I read book with plus size characters where the heroines are obnoxious about their larger sizes. That’s just as bad as not being accepted at all. Embracing yourself doesn’t mean you have to shove it in another person’s face and scream look at me. You don’t have be an asshole about it. Believe me, people see it and they’re already uncomfortable. Don’t push them away because you had to shout it to the world.

The size of my ass or your ass is no one’s business. As long as the inside is healthy, none of that other crap matters. You want to lose weight? Great. You want to diet? Great. You want to embrace your size, whatever it is? Great. But whatever you do, and when I say you, I mean the collective YOU, not anyone specific… Own your shit. You’re beauty, inside and out. Strengthen your soul, your mind, your heart. Those are the things that matter most. Not stretch marks. Not the size 24 jeans. Not the orgasmic moan you let out when you bit into that piece of cheesecake. But whether or not you were an asshole. That’s what someone is going to remember. And that’s what they should remember…

I posted this video last week and it’s still relevant to this particular topic.

We need to stop hating ourselves and stop hating our differences. For ourselves and for our children…

~lissa

Four In The Morning…

This is what I’ve been doing all week. I’m up at Four In The Morning. I’m actually up before four, but by four I’m usually writing and well into a cup of coffee. The second cup comes in at about six, but four is when I’ve been pretty much hitting my stride.

I’ve had to make some time management decisions lately and let me tell you, it sucks. I like early mornings/late nights, or maybe it’s late nights/early mornings. Hell, I’m so tired I don’t know anymore. But, in order to get anything done and done the way I need it done, and that’s the key right there, ya know… the way I NEED it done, I had to make a few changes. One was that I go to bed a little earlier and get up no later than three in the morning.

When I writing more, I was doing so in the middle of the night. The house is asleep. No one can bother me and I can’t make a whole hell of a lot of noise cleaning or cooking or do the laundry. I could put in my earbuds, turn on the music, and write for several hours. There were a few people on Twitter and we would converse every so often, but set a timer, some tunes, and I was good to go until around five or six…

Then public school dreams for my son crept into his brain and shot all that to shit. With that, I was getting up at five-thirty, to bed at ten, homework until nine, and empty nest syndrome that left me with so many hours on my hands, I didn’t know what to do. I tried for weeks, months to write during the day, I mean, I had all these empty hours, right? It should be easy to get things done, but… Nope. I would stare at the screen, walk around, stare at the screen some more, walk around… I wasn’t getting words in and I wasn’t walking off the pounds. It was miserable.

I got the idea to try this getting up at two and three from another author. She does it when she’s on deadline and I can tell you I’m on two so… But then, deadlines are when I do my best work. These books should’ve been done long ago, but that’s a  story for another day.

Suffice it to say, I’ve gotten more writing done in the last four days than I have in the last month. I know where the stories are going and know that they’ll be done in time for publication. Sometimes I have to be pushed to my limits in order to find a solution. Sometimes I have to have no other options before I’ll find something that might actually work. Either way, while I’m still exhausted, some changes have been made the household schedule that’s allowing me the chance to try out this insane way of working. I get up, write for a while, get my son up, the spouse gets up, I get food, throw in a load of laundry, get more coffee, make the bed, say bye to them, work a little more, and around eight am I crash for a couple of hours. I do housework, walk, shower, work, get dinner started, get my son from school, nap again cause I’m beat, homework, family, a few oh shit moments when I realize I forgot to do something, and then, bed to do it all over again. I don’t know how sustainable it is, but we’re about to find out… I’ll keep you posted…

~lissa

From Me Out Into The Universe…

On behalf of those we’ve lost…

On behalf of those who are battling now…

On behalf of those who’ve ever suffered from it at all…

On behalf of those who’ve been left behind, grieving…

#FUCKCANCER

…with a spoon. “It’s dull, you twit. It’ll hurt more…” Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

On January 29th… In just a 13 days, it’ll have been 9 years since my grandfather passed away from a 9 year battle with cancer. He was the very best man I knew.

And if it continues to take the very best of us… What does that say for those of us it leaves alone?

But that’s just it. It doesn’t leave us alone. We’re all touched by it. We’re all pulled down into the fight, in one way or another, because we’ve all known someone, somewhere who’s lost their life to it. We see it more. It’s in our face more. And just this week, with David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Grizzly Adams… Millions around the world were touched and affected by it. Felt the loss of those who’d been on our movie screens, in our ears, on our television sets for more years than we could count. It wasn’t just a woman who watched a man, in his bedroom, take his last breath, surrounded by other women who, too, loved him best and most.

I miss him daily, sometimes hourly. He was a good man. Strong and capable. He didn’t deserve that way to go. He didn’t deserve the pain and suffering. And it’s personal. Cancer made it personal for many years, but most especially that morning, just after 7am, on his 60th wedding anniversary. Cancer made it personal by taking him.

Cancer makes it personal…It takes away our brightest, our most beautiful, our most amazing… And to that, I say… Again…

#FUCKCANCER

Sunday Speeds

It’s been a good week. Sorta. I wake up every morning so, that’s something to be thankful for, yes? Yes.

I’ve blogged daily, which is something I’d set out to do. I’m keeping a planner. Two actually. One is yearly. And the other is quarterly. I loved the idea of quarterly planners, breaking my year up into smaller visual pieces and had to give it a try.

I joined in #fitreaders to do 5K or 10K each month, but really I do more than that and it’s a good thing. I do 5K or 10K several times a week. Or, I’m starting to do so. I’m not looking for weight loss (though my doctor would love it if I did.). I’m looking for better fitness on the inside.

FitReaders2016

I started a thing (that’s also still in infancy and full of need to be tweaked here and there) called #10KWeekendsForWriters. I want to write more and always do better when I have an end goal or a deadline looming. So, I thought this would be a good thing, going back to when I first started writing. The first weekend of it ends tonight at 10pm and while I won’t make it to the 10K, I’ll have made a HUGE dent in the current book I’m writing and needing to finish like yesterday.

10K WEEKENDS-2-532

I accomplished some things. But still, not enough of what is necessary each week. I’m working on trying NOT to stress too much. To read more. To think and plan and figure out when I’m most productive as a writer. Ever since my son started back to public school in October of last year, I’ve been floundering on the writing front. I’m a night writer. (No. Jokes.) I always have been really. Yes, I can write during the day sometimes, but it’s never consistent. I write at night after everyone goes to bed or goes to their rooms, when the dishes are done and the house is quiet. There are minimal distractions and minimal noise I can make. It’s always been perfect.

I kind of got into the habit of creativity at night when I was in college. The guy I had the biggest crush on, who had a crush on me but would never admit it, would show up at my house at 11pm. We’d talk while he was waiting for a practice room at the university to come available. He was a French horn player and he’d practice from midnight to three or four in the morning. He said it was when he felt most alive, most in tune with the music. I understood that perfectly. I sometimes did the same thing.

Night has always been my friend and while we home schooled, I could work at whatever hours I wanted. But with public school hours, I can’t. I’m up at 5:30am and in bed by 11. The hours I’m used to writing, I’m now using for sleep and my mind, my creative mind, hasn’t figured out how to make the transition. I sit sometimes and simply stare at the screen because the words are just not there. But at 2am I’ll wake up and the words are ready to pour through and I’m just so dead tired, I’ve created at night for so many years. I’m not sure how to switch. I’m even sure I can.

This has been a struggle. We’ll see what I come up with and how I’m able to adjust. I don’t have a choice but to adjust, I just have to figure out how and in what ways.

And, that’s about where I am right now. I have more writing to do, some errands to do, a book to finish reading, and more coffee to brew… Y’all have a great Sunday.

~lissa

 

35 Things I Learned In 2015

Why 35? How did I come up with 35? Not using common core, that’s for sure. I simply added 20+15…

My list is comprised of personal and business related things. Some of which I’ll go into more detail about later, and some I’ll just let go of, or try…

      1. I didn’t do fuck all in 2015
      2. I learned it takes a village in the writing/publishing business to get the word out, the boost your name, etc…
      3. I don’t have a village or a small tribe of good friends/authors/bloggers who I can band together with.
      4. I’m not organized enough and I like my personal time with family way too much
      5. I hate always having to be ON
      6. I compared myself to others. A LOT. And while we’re not ‘supposed’ to do it, when everyone posts their awesomeness, it’s kinda hard not to do compare. It’s okay. We ALL do it.
      7. Success is a state of mind and mine has been in the crapper.
      8. I’m lost. And let’s face it, I’ve been lost in this writing/publishing business since 2010. That’s a long ass time to wander in the dark. Without a map.
      9. I suck at time management, especially when there are big changes to my schedule.
      10. I suck writing during the day.
      11. I didn’t read enough
      12. I didn’t bake enough
      13. I didn’t craft enough
      14. I didn’t go to any conferences and I wasn’t once sad about it.
      15. Depression is a fucking liar, but a fucking good one
      16. 6 deaths in the family in 24 months is not good for anyone
      17. I need a vacation
      18. My kids growing up make me both incredibly proud and incredibly sad
      19. Emotions are a bitch.
      20. My swearing has picked up the pace.
      21. Too many hurtful, negative voices in my head telling me I can’t and I shouldn’t and I need to but I won’t
      22. I made a bestseller list with a group of amazing authors who have dedication that I can’t begin to fathom
      23. I wrote some fun stories and made some money
      24. I wrote some fun stories and didn’t make enough money
      25. I’m tired
      26. I don’t do it right. Any Of It!
      27. I did not lose weight
      28. I exercised more
      29. I drank a lot of water
      30. I didn’t see or do a lot of things
      31. I was proud to be a Kyle Busch fan
      32. I was proud to be a Florida State Seminole fan
      33. Common Core sucks ass
      34. I’m glad 2015 is over
      35. Brilliance is out there. I just don’t know how to find it.

So, there it is. My list. It’s sad and completely uninspired. It’s depressing and horrible to look at. This lost thing is going to stop and go away. It has to. There is no other choice. I had a voice once and it’s fucking GONE. It’s time to find a new voice. I don’t know how. I don’t know how you’re going to learn about it. But, it’s time for me to find it.

I have some goals set for 2016, but that’s a post for another day.

Be blessed and beautiful and thank you for being there for me.

~lissa