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I am my own worst critic, A.K.A. who is that fat girl in the photo?

I am my own worst critic, A.K.A. who is that fat girl in the photo? (more info at palomacruz.com)

“Big.” “Chunky.” “Plus-sized.” These are all words my loved ones would use to describe my appearance. Others would just call me “fat.” The medical community would use the word “obese.”

Strangers and acquaintances alike take it upon themselves to try to shame me, to make me understand the way that I’m destroying the world by insisting on being fat. There’s an entire industry (several, in fact) dedicated to trying to solve this problem for me. And I’m told every day, in many many ways, that if I just stopped being fat I would be better, happier.

Most days I manage to drown out the external and internal voices that try incessantly to let me know that I’m a failure, that every “extra” pound is one more mark against me. Most days I’m just louder than the voices, so they don’t make an impact on my day. Some days I’m not.

I want to have the courage to wear a bright red fitted dress without thinking about the muffin top or the love handles. I want to have the boldness to have my photo taken without dreading the split second where I see just how fat I am compared to the others. I want to stop seeing myself, and judging myself, through the eyes of others. I want to stop it all … now.

And I don’t mean that I want to lose weight (though I want that too). And I don’t mean that I want better clothes (though I always want new clothes). I just want to love who I am, in my current size and shape, without having to work at it.

I guess when I achieve that I’ll know I’m actually, finally, a grown up.

In the meanwhile, I’ve challenged myself to try to take more selfies … and I’ve been failing at that too. But I will get better. And I will keep trying. At some point I’ll stop dreading the photo … eventually.

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Sometimes I sound like my sister

 
It’s a running joke in my family that my sister is … well … high maintenance I think is the polite version. We’ve used other words within the family, but most of them are not suitable for the blog, so I won’t go there.

I love her. We all love her. But, she wants what she wants in the way she wants it. No deviations are permitted. No small changes are allowed. No excuses are accepted. 

She picks the restaurant. She chooses the cake. She decides the time. And she has veto power over others’ choices. The rest of us have just learned to go with it. Really, it’s just easier this way. 

Today I was at a store buying a gift card. I asked for a gift receipt and the cashier acted like I’d asked her to translate the card into Chinese or give me her first born or something. Can I really be the first person who has asked for a gift receipt? I always include a gift receipt, in case the recipient has problems with the card. It’s happened before, so I just make sure I include the gift receipt just in case.

Because the cahiser didn’t have a clue how to give me a gift receipt, a manager was called out. And she didn’t know  either. Between the two of them they couldn’t figure out how to give me a gift receipt for the gift card.

So, in the end, they decided that the only way to do this was to run a balance inquiry on the card. Which would have required that they scratch off the code in the back and pull it off the cardboard. 

“Do you think they’ll mind?” the cashier asked me, wondering if the recipient would really care if she did this. 

“I mind,” I responded in an exasperated tone. “Don’t do it. I’ll just risk it.” I told her after thinking about my options for a moment. “And you better hope she doesn’t have any trouble with the card.” 

Two minutes later I was sitting at a table addressing the card and it hit me … I sounded liked my little sister. A lot. I think I even used her tone of voice. I never thought I’d see the day when that happened. 

I’ll never tell her though. 

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Trying to reinvent myself

Reinventing Myself (more info at www.palomacruz.com)

One of the biggest challenges I’ve been seeing lately is trying to answer questions about my plans for the future, immediate and long-term. I’m unemployed, I should be frantically looking for a new job … but I’m not. I should have some idea of what I’m going to do for money (a job or freelancing) … but I don’t. I should have some idea of what I would like to do in a business (assuming I “launch” one) … but I don’t. I actually don’t know anything right now. It’s disconcerting.

I give my family and friends a lot of credit, they’re being very supportive. They haven’t started to freak out on me yet. They haven’t started to push yet.

I’m pretty sure I don’t want another job, but I haven’t “decided” that yet. I’m pretty sure that I want to start my own business, but I haven’t taken the first steps to make that happen. I know that I want to do more fun things and to be more visible in offline events; this is one thing I have actually started to do.

I have started to rebrand myself, from a new cut and new clothes, to changing the type of writing I’m doing and reassessing what I want to show professionally. I think this may be my first step. But I need to establish some timelines; I can’t spent too long finding myself. At some point bills need to get paid.

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I changed my life … now what?

I changed my life ... now what?

Have you ever wondered what happens the day after “happily ever after?” The day after the revolution? The day after you upend your entire life and change everything?

I did that a few weeks ago — changed my life. Well, sort of ripped it apart a little. Made a change that has an impact on everything. Now I’m wondering what I’m supposed to do next.

We identify ourselves a certain way — by our families, loved ones, careers, achievements, even by our looks — and we get attached to that way of thinking. I am the sum of those parts. When you take away one of them, what’s left?

Don’t mind me. This is middle-of-the-night rambling. I’ll make more sense with more sleep.

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