Wednesday, 20 January 2016

forever 21 plus activewear

I'm fat. I have been fat for a long time. I wish I could be one of those women who feel empowered and beautiful at any size, but I'm not. I'm working on it.

Recently I got blood work done at a routine physical and it came back that my blood sugar is high, which means I am on the path to diabetes. I know what healthy living looks like, my parents always exercised and ate well. I know I have unhealthy habits, but for whatever reason I can never bring myself to make a change for longer than a couple months at a time. My weight fluctuates, leaving me with new stretch marks every time, and exacerbated anxiety and depression, but something in me hasn't allowed me to take this information and make a permanent positive change.

I'd like to say my blood work is enough evidence of my unhealthy lifestyle to get me active and eating impeccably, but my relationship with food and my body is complicated. It is something I am ever navigating and trying to reconcile. There have been plenty of moments I was convinced would be THE moment I learned to exist at a healthy weight effortlessly, but there has been no magic circumstance. Not even my approaching wedding day is a sufficient motivator.

Today I am in a place where I am much kinder and more forgiving to myself than I used to be, but it's a messy and imperfect journey. That's something I struggle with - imperfection. If my food gets crazy or I start to slack on my exercise routine, I self sabotage.
Finally recognizing this pattern is my first step to an evolution of my health.

Not only do I need to get healthy to reverse my high blood sugar, but I need a hard reboot on my mental health as well. It's not easy for me to be a plus size woman. My size is at the back of my mind 100% of the day. The intentions of every person I encounter runs through a "is it because I'm fat?" filter. Logically, I know this is insane, but there are so many insane ideas woven deeply within me. Cutting them loose takes time.

Admittedly, at times I silently resent my female friends who can find clothes that fit them literally anywhere. I don't want to feel this way, but existing in a world that mostly thinks you're too large to be respected, considered beautiful, or even worthy of clothing takes its toll on you. That's why it's such a triumph when companies that you've dreamt of being able to wear release plus lines. You finally feel like you exist.

When Forever 21 started to offer plus sizes, I was thrilled. I started shopping there when I was 19. I was smaller then than I am now, but even at a size 10 I was only able to fit in larges depending on the cut of the garment. The plus line is far from perfect - a lot of the prints and designs are downright hideous and there are probably a quarter of the options available to straight sizes. This is just a fact of plus size fast fashion though, be it Forever 21, ASOS, or H&M. I take what I can get.

forever 21 fit

This year, Forever 21 launched an activewear line in both straight and plus sizes. I had actually been on the hunt for new activewear in my size. The two pairs of yoga pants and oversized band tees weren't cutting it. I wanted to feel cute on my walks, hikes, and jogs, god damnit! So when I found out Forever 21 had activewear in my size, I had to check it out.

Sunday, 17 January 2016


Edit 1/19/16: I had bought tickets to Swardson and Friends at Largo the Monday after Sandlercon for Eloy's birthday. We decided to go because we love Nick Swardson, but mostly because we were hoping for an Adam Sandler drop in. Well, I am happy to say the Sandman himself DID drop in and did an incredibly funny, charming, and impressive hour of jokes and songs. It was surreal. I didn't think I could love him more than I already did, but what a downright lovable, talented, genuine, humble guy.

A quality I value most in friends and family is the ability to make lofty plans and follow through with them. 2016 started with the loftiest plan yet - to host a marathon of 20 Adam Sandler movies in a weekend.
This is Sandlercon.

collage by Eloy

While I was in North Carolina this holiday season, I was receiving texts from Eloy and my friends about an idea to host an Adam Sandler convention. We decided we would watch 20 of his movies in chronological order over the course of a weekend. Starting at 10 am on Saturday, January 16th, we would be watching 33 hours of Adam Sandler movies, wrapping up on the evening of Sunday, January 17th. (Yes, we know. There are more Adam Sandler movies. There are 12 more, in fact. 33 hours of Sandler was too much. 50+ hours would have been insanity.)

The finalized list was:

10:00 AM-11:30 AM Airheads
11:30 AM-1:00 PM Billy Madison
1:00 PM-2:30 PM Happy Gilmore
2:30 PM-4:00 PM The Wedding Singer
4:00 PM-5:30 PM The Waterboy
5:30 PM-7:00 PM Big Daddy
7:00 PM-8:30 PM Little Nicky
8:30 PM-10:00 PM Punch-Drunk Love
10:00 PM-11:30 PM Mr. Deeds
11:30 PM-12:45 AM Eight Crazy Nights

12:45 AM-3:00 AM Spanglish
3:00 AM-4:40 AM 50 First Dates
4:40 AM-6:30 AM Click
6:30 AM-9:00 AM I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
9:00 AM-11:00 AM You Don't Mess With The Zohan
11:00 AM-12:40 AM Grown Ups
12:40 AM-2:10 PM Jack And Jill
2:10 PM-4:10 PM That's My Boy
4:10 PM-5:50 PM Grown Ups 2
5:50 PM-7:50 PM Blended

Our friends Nicole and Avalon just moved into a new place in Highland Park, and Nicole just acquired a new projector for Hanukkah, so they decided to throw Sandlercon at their new place. There was a Facebook event page where everyone could share plans and info in the weeks leading up to Sandlercon. Our friend Faye took a poll to see how many of us would be willing to get an Adam Sandler related tattoo. Eloy started planning a Sandler inspired menu and took a headcount of everyone who would be partaking in the 5 course meal. Nicole and Sophia stayed late at work to make a Sandlercon step and repeat and programs with the schedule of movies on the back of Adam Sandler's head. Avalon and Nicole stayed up late drawing Sandart, and Eloy and I gathered ingredients for dinner and necessities like extra toiler paper and bottled water.

While Sandlercon was underway, anytime someone left to re-enter the outside world, they would text asking what we needed before returning (thanks for the garbage bags, Jake.) We even had a sponsor - Town Pizza - who donated two pizzas to our cause. Thank you, Town. An inspiring amount of teamwork went into making Sandlercon happen, and I am so proud to call these people my friends.

Monday, 4 January 2016

archer's nursery

archer nursery

Heather and I spent months sharing Pinterest boards and texting photos and links to things to get for the baby's room. We decided to make it woodsy and smart. Kid friendly, but not childish. We wanted a stimulating, interactive environment that didn't scream BOY, but something he could also grow into.

Heather and I put a lot of effort into making Archer's nursery, and there are still a couple of finishing touches to be done, but I think we nailed it.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

polaroid baby

snaps of my time with my newest favorite human, archer (and old favorites, heather and guy)

 nursing mama

 first family photo

first moments inside their home as a family

our family lives to make each other 'happy cry'

baby's first polaroid portrait

 new fam

Heather and Mom

 me, Guy, Carly, and Terra

Christmas selfies

 baby's first Christmas tree

baby's first sunset stroll

Aunt Brittany and Uncle Mike

Aunt Stacey and little Leify

(Leif took an accidental selfie)

The good thing about being an aunt and fairy godmother is that you get to love a baby and also play drinking games guilt free (and rub chocolate on your teeth before a picture)

hello archer

Remember when cousin Heather got married back in August? Well this year for Christmas, I spent two weeks in the Outer Banks meeting and falling in love with my first nephew/godson, (her first child), Archer.