Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The recent A&F uproar….

Feel free to start here for some context to this post…. 

Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch
We're all still fairly new friends here, so there's a lot we don't know about each other. I won't bore you with details, but I'm a girl that's grown up with zero to little self-esteem, which eventually blossomed into bulimia when I was about 16. It ravaged my mind, and I still have the scars from it that plague me regularly. Don't get me wrong, I've got a healthy self-esteem these days and actually think I'm a pretty girl, but saying that makes me cringe inside as I have a hard time accepting it... Not to mention I feel acca-awkward saying it out loud for fear of sounding narcissistic.

Fat Amy is my soul sister...
So anyway. Reading the above article naturally struck a few nerves in me…

  
  

Clearly it was an emotional minute or two for me.

I started to call this post "Idiocy of a melty faced man" and was going to go off about how he's wrong and I'm a nice fat kid, blah blah blah, but then I realized something: there's absolutely nothing wrong with me. I don't need to justify myself or my life to this guy, or really to anyone. Yes, OK, I am statistically obese. But I have healthy self-esteem, I'm taking positive steps to get more fit, and most of all: I like me. This guy clearly has some issues if this is how his mentality is shaped. What I mean is, maybe he's battling the same demons I myself battle that tell me I'm not good enough.

Maybe he's so superficial in his approach because his self-esteem is low. Maybe he's insecure. Maybe he was picked on in school. Bottom line, I don't know this guy, and I've never particularly cared for their clothes (that's just a personal preference; nothing to do with this incident). I could rage and fume like I did for a hot 30 seconds, or I could be the bigger person (literally and figuratively in this case- ha!) and just ignore this whole thing. My blood pressure will thank me for it, I'm sure!

I posted the article on my FB wall and I'm getting some interesting discussion out of it… Some of my favorite comments:

  1. "At least this guy admits it. Do you know how many stores don't stock large sizes in store but sell them online? They're more than happy to take your money, they just don't want you in their store. They just don't want to admit it."
  2. "His philosophy isn't all that different from many people's / places in the world - but he's openly stating a reality. As aghast as I am at his nerve... it's not untrue, what he's sharing. There *is* a "cool kid" in / our mentality, and I for one never felt like I belonged. But... at least with age, I care less about that fact!"
  3. "That's almost like promoting bullying and teasing."*

There are so many retailers that fat shame their potential consumers, and really person #1 is telling the truth: This guy is the first to say what a lot of corporate clothing stores already do. Old Navy raises it's prices $2+ per item in their "plus-size" line. Plus they don't carry women's plus-sizes in the store, though they do admittedly carry a women's XXL. But that's a whoooole other blog post. This guy's just a mean face on a fat shaming industry of clothiers. I can't really see this problem as a whole going away, especially with the rising obesity epidemic in this country.

The best we can do is to keep loving ourselves, love on the younger generations who shop at these stores and see these hateful messages, and hopefully try to counteract a bit of the discrimination and negativity. (Never have I ever sounded like such a hippie…)

Bottom line is: I'm not going to shop at A&F, and I would hope my friends would do the same, but I don't honestly expect to change anyone's minds on the matter.  I just wanted to offer perspective from this not-so-average fat kid's view. On that note, I officially turn a little blind eye to Mr. Jeffries and his hateful comments, and choose to be the bigger person. Figuratively speaking.

<3
A Redhead

*For the sake of integrity, this quote was in a text about the article.

Well……..?

Did I eat ice cream or not?

Tummy roll please:

I did not! woohoo! Did I open my freezer to put bananas in and see my ice cream stare me in the face? Yes. Did I succumb and shove my whole face into that container? I did not! I didn't even have a spoon!

Someone on Fito suggested I make frozen banana "ice cream", which I've done several times and love, but hadn't even thought of this time. It didn't even occur to me that I could do a healthy substitute to an otherwise potentially unhealthy craving. I think I was blinded by a desire for caramel and magic shell (am I the only one with embarrassing food cravings?).

I ended up forgetting about my chopped up frozen bananas, because I found one of these guys in the freezer:

OK it didn't look quite so designer and proportionally massive in my freezer, whatever...
It's a Dreyer's mango fruit bar. That's right. Mango. Deeelish. The marketing on the website is kinda silly, because those are either pinky nail-sized mangos, or an arm-sized fruit bar. Anyway. They're awesome. Only 80 calories, under 20g of sugar, and 100% awesome. I got a box of 6 at Wal-Mart for a few bucks, and I have to say they were well worth it.

Yes yes yes, I know, I could just make my own at home, like these fabulous people here, here, and here. I know. I get it. I do believe (despite whatever I've already said on this thang) that homemade food is 100% better than stuff you buy, because you know exactly what's going into your food. But listen, when I'm roaming around the store and eyeing up my bros Ben & Jerry, then I have absolutely no qualms buying a healthier alternative.

Plus let's be honest, I'm just lazy sometimes. I wish I made everything I ate myself, but really…

OK that's not true, but who doesn't love a Sweet Brown meme in the morning?
Anywho. That's all for now.

OH, BY THE WAY…...

Thanks to everyone who's been popping in from Fitocracy, or random friends that are joining with me on this weight loss journey! I don't have lofty aspirations of this blog being "a thing", and I know I'll never be like the illustrious TheBloggess, but I just need something to keep me accountable as I'm in the process of bettering my body. So thank you, for giving this blog more views than I ever expected, and a million thanks from the bottom of my heart for all the encouragement and sweet words I've gotten. It means a veritable crap ton to me. =)

<3
A Redhead

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nope nope nope

You guys.

I am not eating ice cream tonight.

Uh-uh girlfriend!
I'm hoping if I post it here then it'll keep me accountable. I'll feel like a big dork if someone asks and I admit that I did.

<3
A Redhead

Blurgh

So the Bearded Wonder and I went to Indiana this weekend to celebrate his cousin's graduation. He's ½ Filipino, and the side of the family we were visiting was full Filipino, so you know what this meant, right?

 


And that's just to name a few! Sweet Lord. I think I'm still full. Filipinos know how to party! I managed to exercise quite a bit of restraint, though I did have 2 of those fried plantain goodies up there. I have nooooo regrets. Not a one. So. Darn. Good. 

As we were out of town until yesterday afternoon, today was my first day back in the gym. My arms feel like the noodle dish up top there. Or like this kid.


It's a good burn though. I'm making progress with my weights, which is encouraging. I'm thinking of bumping in some cardio because I have 4 months and 1 week to tone this motha up! Please don't think I plan on going all crazy gym rat with the scary tan and dark eyeliner. You know who I'm talking about. Go on, scroll down, find the chick in my 1st post. That's not my goal. I don't think it's unreasonable though to not want to have advertisement space dangling from my pitiful biceps. I just wanna firm some stuff up! =) 

I'm loooving Fitocracy. I don't normally feel comfortable around fitness buffs, but that's not what this website is about. It's about getting healthy and fit and having a ton of awesome encouragement around you. Yeah, I may go to the gym by myself, but I come back and track my workouts and watch the "Props" and the positive encouragements roll in. I get so excited seeing people congratulate me on a job well done. It's not even that I necessarily need it, although… You know what? I think I kind of do. I need the encouragement, pats on the back, high fives, and virtual "props". It's just nice to know that people support you! If any website knows how to build community, it's most definitely Fito. 
I sound so "in the know", abbreviating things… so cool.
So that's basically it for today. I worked out. It burned. I ate a tasty and filling meal of brown rice mixed into my small bowl of chili. 

<3
A Redhead


Foooooooooods


One thing I know is that diet actually IS a ginormo part of losing weight. When I say "diet" I don't mean the Jenny Craig factor; I mean what you eat and how much of it on a regular basis. If I work out and burn 400 calories but then eat 1000 calories of food "because I can", that's still 600 calories of extra food. 

And I said I can't do math.

Give the girl a medal!
So some more things I'm learning… 

It is OK to eat ice cream

Heck, it's OK to eat french fries.

The important part here is moderation. If I know I'm going to eat ice cream, or if I decide on a whim that I want some FroYo in the afternoon, then I'll cut back in other places. I'll eat a healthier dinner, or more importantly, I'll eat smaller portions of ice cream. If I grab a tiny bowl that holds ~½ a cup of whatever, and I fill it up, then hot dog look at me eating a FULL bowl of ice cream! 

I don't know if this simple trick works on anyone else, but home girl here feels like a million bucks polishing off a bowl of ice cream that's an actual proper size. Especially since I used to pound back pint after pint in my youth. 

If you're desperate for french fries, get the kid's size. You don't need anymore than that, pinky promise. I know for me after awhile it's less about the taste and more about finishing the container. If I get a large order though, you bet your sweet bippy I will lick that container clean. (Not literally, that's just gross…)

Because of my past struggles with weight loss and body image in general, I have a really difficult time accepting that junk food sometimes IS ok. I'm not suggesting you eat a kid's order of fries every day, because I feel like that would still be counter-productive. But if you want to splurge on a Tuesday afternoon and get a tall Frappuccino from Starbucks™, then do it! But get it sans whip and with nonfat milk. Add a shot of espresso and you've got a tasty treat with a few less calories. =) 

Lesson here: There's no "quick fix" to losing weight outside of surgery. Even those results aren't permanent if you don't learn that diet and exercise are key. It's a process, but would you rather start now or kick yourself later for not starting sooner? 

This is one of the pics posted on my vanity mirror. 
<3 A Redhead 

Disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist or trainer. I'm not pretending to be any sort of expert with diet and exercise; I'm just babbling about the things that do and don't work for me.