I have fat on my abdomen.
Fleshy fat that is thick and hard to get rid of. I understand the daily struggle that obese individuals go through and I will not pretend to know how that feels. However, I can discuss the absolute disgust I feel when I stand naked and look into a mirror. Instead of celebrating my breasts or my freckles or my thighs, I just stare at the tube of fat that surrounds my middle.
I have tried dieting. I'm a pescetarian . I eat fairly well on a day to day basis. I don't eat fast food or drink soda. I do drink wine and eat tacos. I call that humaning and we all have to human, in moderation.
I exercise. Some weeks, I have a rhythm of consistency. Some weeks, I do ten sit ups after drinking two glasses of Malbec and call it a day. I mean, last week I barely made time to shave my legs, let alone spend five hours in work out classes. I love running. I love being healthy and I know how to make it a priority. YOU will never get the last thing on your to-do list done. I know this and yet, today, I can't say to you that I'm on a regular workout schedule. That is the reality of my now.
SO, that is why this fat sticks to me. IT goes with me to the Sandlot where I bartend five nights a week. It comes with me to the coffee shops, where I write and plan for the school year. It accompanies as I meet the new teachers from my school, as I try to set them up for success for the school year.
My fat lives with me. It haunts me. It hugs me. My fat is a constant reminder of what I consider to be failures. What people want to hear is that attitude of love yourself no matter what. I do, I do love myself but at the same time, sometimes my stomach pushes against my fat and I have to run to the bathroom to cry because for so many years I have worked on losing weight.
I know I am strong. I know I am beautiful. I know I am a fucking bad ass.
I also know that sometimes I feel fat. I feel like an intruder is sitting on my body and taking up space is my clothes that I love.
Sometimes I squeeze my stomach between my fingers and question if it was worth it. The moments that made my stomach protrude outward and 90 percent of the time the answer is YES. The tacos were worth it. The wine was worth it. The humaning was worth it. However, I know that in the future to be truly happy, I have to do a little less humaning and a little more balancing.
Although I can plan to get rid of this literal weight, it is not gone at the moment.
It is a part of me and to love myself, I have to accept it. NOT love it because fat can be a sign that you are overdoing it in some ways. I.E. Wine and tacos.
Can we stop pretending that it's a horrible thing to feel bad about yourself? Sometimes, I feel like the most disgusting human on earth. That doesn't mean I'm not thankful for my life and all the wonderful opportunities I've been given. It just means that at times I let my insecurities take hold and it would be nice to hear, "Yeah, society is a bitch and with all the pressures to be beautiful, there are going to be times where you feel like hot garbage." Keep telling your friends that they're beautiful but also tell them that we all feel fat sometimes. Whether you are skinny or your are fat.
I read an article that demonized chubby girls for calling themselves fat. IF it is your reality that you have been or are overweight, then I understand that your struggles don't match with mine. Except, let's go back to that line and focus on the words your struggle. I will never know exactly how anyone feels. I only know what emotions live in me and they are no less valid than any girl or boy for that matter. BOYS struggle with weight as well. There are so many societal implications that say boys can't be this or that. And it SUCKS. It sucks that we have to wake up and look in the mirror and think anything less than "You are fabulous."
I am fabulous.
I love everything about me, except my fat. I don't love my fat and it would be a lie to say that I do. So today, I choose to celebrate me, fat and all. I celebrate. I dance. I drink my coffee and my wine. I eat my tacos. I go on my run. I sit at the pool. I celebrate the fuck out of myself today.
I celebrate myself, even though I FEEL FAT.
My writing muscles are sore.
Which is an amazing spectacular wonder-licious (Adjective and Noun) feeling. Auto Correct really was not having that one. Writing every day ranks just above working out every day.
I've been giving myself prompts, word counts, and working on various projects. Today's prompt was a blast.
Prompt: The World Is Cold
Word Count: (100 words)
The world is cold with no skin.
“It is not necessary,” the loudspeakers boasted. “Without skin there is no racism, jealousy…” The list went on.
Many resisted. “My beautiful nose,” a young woman wailed.
Her boyfriend seemed unimpressed.
“Dear, you didn’t pay for it anyway.”
Dr. Tucker had done some of his best work on her. His slogan was, “I’ll tuck your fattest nightmares away.”
Many plastic surgeons, including himself had shoved their mouths open and put cold metal between their teeth the day after it had been announced that skin was illegal.
“Do carry a jacket,” the loudspeaker continued. “It will get cold.”
Ray Bradbury started many stories with questions and so far this short story has made me wonder, “What would life be like without skin?” This is a piece I hope to return to.
"There ain't nothing I can do -Or nothing I can say- That folks don't criticize me - But I'm going to do Just as I want to anyway." -BIllie Holiday
I want to talk about coffee but before I do, can we talk Billie Holiday?
I live on the same street that Billie Holiday once lived and for some reason I'm so incredibly infatuated with this fact. Creativity is this living and breathing entity and I think that I might be getting a little bit of her wonder through proximity, that gravel that coated her voice, that thing that made her mystical. Maybe you can't catch creativity like one does a cold but I would argue against that. Think about all the wonderful writers out there who are friends.
-James Baldwin and Toni Morrison
-J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis
-Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton (My personal favorite)
Think about those creative coincidences. Yes, maybe that's all that they are but I would like to think that there's a little more at play. The world is a complex place and I like to believe that maybe Elizabeth Gilbert is right, maybe it's magic.
So back to coffee, I have been continuing my quest to find the most inspiring coffee shops on the east coast.
The one's I have on Instagram so far:
1)Battle Ground Coffee and Cafe
3)Bird in Hand **
4) Bmore Licks (coffee and ice-cream)
5) A Baked Joint
6) Ceremony Coffee
So, what's my favorite so far? Well, my favorite place to work is Ceremony because for some reason the calm colors seem to signal to people to keep quiet. I have been multiple times and it's not a particularly loud shop.
However, my favorite has to be Bird in Hand.
There is a book store inside the shop and I love everything about it. There is an 80's/vintage/modern mixed vibe that I can't stop loving. I could go there every single day. I had three drinks, which should tell you how much time I spent in one single visit. I'm obsessed. With Bird in Hand and coffee shops in general.
In every coffee shop, it seems people are there to do more than just exist. They aren't there JUST to eat or JUST to drink. They are there with purpose and that get's me going, almost more than the coffee itself.
Take a look:
“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”
― Dave Barry
I'm excited to spend the next month in coffee shops because to me there is no better place to be.
About the blog:
Emily Ann Hansen
I'm a writer and teacher living in Baltimore City. I'm originally from Chicago. I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Fiction. Instead of babbling, I will list a few of the things in life that make me happy: